Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was scheduled to take a red-eye flight to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday evening to lobby the Obama administration and congressional leaders on the proposed $885-billion economic stimulus package that's now before the Senate.
Villaraigosa wants to ensure that Los Angeles remains high on the list for funding for major transportation, green energy projects and big ticket items such as the "Subway to the Sea," as well as the mayor's ambitious solar energy initiative. He also wants federal money to go directly to cities.
The mayor's spokesman, Matt Szabo, said sending the money to local governments would provide "more bang for the buck."
It also would keep the money away from the hands of the California Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who are locked in a battle over how to address the state's mammoth budget gap.