Monday November 18, 2002
Bernson was chosen as “a leader in transportation (who has) made an outstanding contribution to the transportation community.” The award was presented to Bernson by MTA CEO Roger Snoble and LA Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rusty Hammer.
In addition to serving as chairman of MTA’s Board of Directors as an appointee of Mayor James Hahn, Bernson chairs the boards of Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA) and the Southern California Association of Governments. On the City Council, he is chairman of the Transportation Committee.
In 1994, as a member of SCRRA, Bernson was responsible for site acquisition and construction of the Northridge Metrolink station, which was built in just 12 days following the Jan. 17, 1994, earthquake.
A native of Los Angeles who has lived in the San Fernando Valley since 1957, Bernson was elected to the City Council in 1979. His numerous legislative accomplishments include strong involvement in earthquake education and preparedness.
In 1980, he initiated Earthquake Awareness Week in Los Angeles and, later, a special children’s earthquake preparedness program. As chairman of the Council’s Building and Safety Committee in 1981, Bernson authored landmark legislation to rehabilitate 8,000 seismically unsafe buildings.
Later, he organized the city’s First International Earthquake Conference and was chosen to represent the United States at the First International Earthquake Conference in Beijing, China.
For his work in this area, Bernson received the Governor’s Award for Earthquake Preparedness and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Special Award for Seismic Education.
Bernson and his wife, the former Robyn Goewert, have two daughters, Nicole and Sarah.