To create world class transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond, we need state and federal policies to support these goals. To unlock some of the barriers to success facing California, TransForm:
Helps to lead ClimatePlan, a partnership of California's leading non-profit organizations that we co-founded that is advancing policies and programs to address the relationship between land use policy and climate change at the state level.
California has long been known as the car capital, for good reason. We drive enough that transportation is now nearly 20% of family expenses and is the largest contributor of dangerous air pollution and climate change.
But California is also a place where we value choices, health, and prosperity. And that is why Californians are embracing choices in how they get around -- demanding fast, affordable transit, safe walking and bicycling, shuttles and vanpools, and more.
Join with thousands of Californians to demand real transportation choices
Join leading community organizations and advocates in Sacramento and help ensure state policies and investments promote effective public transit, great walking and bicycling, and affordable homes. Together we will learn about the hottest issues from leaders like the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing Brian Kelly and Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols as well as leading advocates like James Corless of Transportation for America.
We will hone our skills and messages in breakout sessions, and there is time for networking with advocates from your area, and from across the state.
Held in the beautiful Library Galleria in downtown Sacramento, the event will be followed by a reception. Legislative and agency leaders will be invited to network in a casual setting with summit attendees.
Join us before or after the Summit
Monday, April 22 – Mobile Tours and Networking
You’ll have a choice of journeys that explore old and new parts of Sacramento. See how the city is transforming its streets, providing new housing options and tackling tough issues from parking to regional transit. This is a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues from around the state. After a break we’ll meet at 7 p.m. for a networking reception.
Wednesday, April 24 – Transportation Choices Advocacy Day
Join over 100 community and organizational representatives as we join together for a morning training then head to the State Capitol for Transportation Choices Advocacy Day. We’ll let them know how urgent it is to include funding for transportation choices and affordable homes in the state’s cap-and-trade program and more. With diverse voices we can ensure they prioritize a transportation system that provides access for all, protects our environment and is the cornerstone for sustainable, equitable communities.
The summit will help prepare you for the advocacy day, but it is also possible to just attend this April 24 event.
Lodging and travel scholarships for community advocates are made possible by the generosity of our sponsors. Please consider sponsoring the event today.
Cost The Summit is $100, but early bird sign-ups can take advantage of open sliding scale rates from $40-100. The registration fee covers both the Summit itself and the April 22 Mobile Tours and Networking Day. The April 24 Advocacy Day is available to all and is free to participants.
After years of transportation funding cuts, the Great Recession, and state budget crises, we are building momentum in the state capitol to restore transportation funding and focus our resources on transportation projects and programs that will serve all Californians. This spring, leaders in Sacramento are considering bills that would invest in world-class public transportation, safer places to walk and bike, and affordable, accessible housing.
But for these bills to pass - and for California to begin reinventing our transportation system for the benefit of all communities - we need to make our voices heard.
That’s why we’re focusing on the following critical bills at our Transportation Choices Summit on April 23 and Advocacy Day on April 24. We need you to join us and urge our decisionmakers to take decisive action to fight climate change and invest in the health of our communities and our economy.
If you can't make it to Sacramento on April 24, you can still take action online or by phone to let your legislators know that you support real transportation choices and healthy, affordable communities.
These are the key bills and issues we’ll be focusing on:
By June 15th, California will decide how to invest funds from the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade auction revenues. With nearly 40 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions coming from transportation – the largest of any sector – we must invest in real transportation choices that help our regions achieve our SB 375 goals in order to meet our greenhouse gas reduction targets under AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act.
With the dissolution of Redevelopment Agencies, California cities and communities lost $1 billion in revenue annually for redeveloping downtowns and building affordable homes. SB 1 would allow for the creation of Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities that could raise revenue to invest in transit-oriented development. This focused investment would promote better access to public transportation for more people and increased transit ridership to achieve greenhouse gas reduction targets.
SB 391 (Senator DeSaulnier): California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013
The California Homes and Jobs Act would generate an estimated $500 million per year – and leverage an additional $2.78 billion in federal, local, and private investment – to invest in affordable apartments and single-family homes. This funding would create thousands of jobs and be a vital source of revenue to invest in affordable housing near transit so all Californians can have access to clean, efficient, and affordable transportation choices.
SCA 4, SCA 8, SCA 11: Empowering democracy by lowering the voter threshold
Our current system for approving local tax measures effectively gives each “no” vote the same power as two “yes” votes by requiring a two-thirds threshold (66.67%) for approval. Last November in Los Angeles, over 1.9 million voters said yes to more transportation choices but lost to the 970,000 that said no. In Alameda County the margin was even closer – over 66.5% said yes – but the local measure still lost. A strong majority of Californians in our regions are saying yes to ballot measures that would invest in public transportation and now it’s time that their voices count.
Three bills, SCA 4 (Liu), SCA 8 (Corbett), and SCA 11 (Hancock), would accomplish this for transportation.
Bicycle and Pedestrian Legislation and Proposals
Bicycle and pedestrian programs and infrastructure have been massively underfunded for decades. Only about one percent of all transportation funding goes to invest in safe streets for biking and walking despite the fact that 40 percent of all trips in California are two miles or less. We will need to invest tens of billions of dollars in safe streets over the coming decades to meet our climate change goals, provide safe access to transit, reduce injuries and fatalities, and increase physical activity.
Multiple bills and proposals are on the table this year that could provide the funding and policies we need to move forward including the proposed Active Transportation Program and AB 1194 (Ammiano).
Transportation Choices Summit – Social Media
Help increase the impact of the Summit by sharing your experiences here with your networks on social media. Here are a few tips to help you get the word out.
Check In On Facebook: Check in at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria - “At the Transportation ChoicesSummit!” Make sure to tag TransForm and any other organization you’re with.
Tweet From The Summit: When tweeting from the summit, use the hashtag #TransFormSummit2013. Be part of the conversation by following @TransForm_Alert, and enter your handle here so we can follow you, too! We can create a bigger buzz by replying to and re-tweeting one another throughout
Here are some potential ideas for tweets:
Tell people where you are: Just arrived for [session] at the Transportation Choices Summit. @transform_alert #TransFormSummit2013
Tweet (or paraphrase) quotes from sessions: “All Californians should have access to public transportation and affordable housing.” – Stuart Cohen @transform_alert #TransFormSummit2013
Use the hashtag to engage in conversations with other attendees about what’s going on at the Summit
If you take any pictures that you want to tweet, make sure to tag @transform_alert and #TransFormSummit2013
Write A Blog Post About Your Experience At The Summit: We’d love to hear about your experience.
If you’re interested in guest blogging for TransForm about why you attended, what you learned, and what you’re taking away moving forward, please contact Ben Swift at bswift@TransFormCA.org.
If you plan to write about the Summit on your own blog, let us know – we may be interested in cross-posting with you.
Post The Summit Badge To Your Facebook Page, Blog Or Website: You can download the badge here, a larger version here, or use this code to embed it:
We’ll be doing our best to capture this event on film – but we’d love your help!
Share photos on Flickr and tag them #TransFormSummit2013
Tweet your photos to @transform_alert with the tag #TransFormSummit2013
Send your photos to bswift@TransFormCA.org
Please take a moment to spread the word about the Transportation Choices Summit 2013 and help us take Sacramento by storm!
Cap-and-Trade: Time to curb emissions and invest in real transportation choices
This June, California can take an extraordinary step to expand funding for real transportation choices. State leaders will decide how to allocate billions of dollars from the state’s new greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program – funding that could truly transform transportation in California. Click here to take action now.
California needs to invest in more public transportation, biking and walking facilities, and affordable housing near transit to reduce greenhouse gases and spur California’s economy forward. But instead, federal and state transportation funding have remained stagnant and even declined while congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, and household transportation costs are on the rise.
All that could change this spring thanks to the state’s ambitious climate change policy. Revenues from the state’s new landmark cap-and-trade auction are projected to reach $1-4 billion annually by 2015, representing a new and significant source of funding. In June, the California legislature will adopt a budget that includes the first set of investments from the cap-and-trade auction program.
Sign our petition calling for real transportation choices that we will present to the Governor in May.
Add projects in your communities that need funding to our Cap-and-Transit Map and show our leaders that there is a real demand for cap-and-trade auction revenues for public transit, biking and walking, and affordable, accessible housing.
Communities throughout California are clamoring for real transportation choices to revive the economy, improve public health, and protect the environment. Our interactive map of innovative "cap-and transit" opportunities will show the statewide demand for resources to address California's transportation crisis - a demand that can be met through smart allocation of cap-and-trade auction revenues.
Even as he acknowledged that we are nearing a climate tipping point and that it will take two more years to recover the jobs lost during the Great Recession, Governor Brown yesterday released a budget that punts fighting climate change and tackling a still-sluggish economy to an undisclosed date in the future.
The revised budget includes a proposal to loan $500 million indefinitely from California’s landmark cap-and-trade auction to the General Fund. This is funding we should invest this year to reduce climate pollution, grow our economy, and provide Californians with real transportation choices. Now it is up to the legislature to reject this proposal as they consider the State's overall budget. TransForm and a host of allies are working to focus this funding on its intended use: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support disadvantaged communities and improve public health and the economy.
Governor Brown yesterday released a budget that punts fighting climate change and tackling a still-sluggish economy to an undisclosed date in the future.
The revised budget includes a proposal to loan $500 million indefinitely from California’s landmark cap-and-trade auction to the General Fund. This is funding we should invest this year to reduce climate pollution, grow our economy, and provide Californians with real transportation choices.
Just hours after Governor Brown proposed the $500 million loan, the California Air Resources Board released its final three-year investment plan for cap-and-trade. The plan is extremely strong, and includes a list of existing and proposed programs that mirrored our Sustainable Communities for All platform. Many of these programs, like State Transit Assistance or the Transit-Oriented Development program would greatly benefit from cap-and-trade investments this year.
Last week we received the sobering news that atmospheric carbon concentrations have hit 400 ppm, a threshold widely recognized as putting us dangerously close to irreversible and drastic climate impacts. This news should be a call to action. It’s time to put that $500 million to work.
The Transportation Choices Campaign was launched in 2012 to ensure all Californians gain this access and independence through better walking, biking, public transportation, and affordable housing. Expanding transportation choices for Californians will allow us to save billions of dollars per year on transportation, invest in local jobs instead of foreign oil, and breathe healthier air and get more physically active -- all while providing access to jobs, housing and education for people of every age and income.
2013 promises tremendous opportunities, but these will only be realized if we come together: as individuals, as organizations, as communities, as California.
We will also be working to make it easier for local governments to raise desperately needed funds by allowing voters to support more transportation choices with a 55% supermajority, instead of the current 66.67%.
This year, California has many new opportunities to dramatically improve - even re-imagine - our state’s transportation focus in ways that offer real choices to all residents.
With leadership from the Governor and legislative leaders, as well as the largest Freshman class of legislators since 1966 giving Democrats a two-thirds majority in both houses, this next session may be pivotal. In his "State of the State" address, the Governor emphasized the need for our transportation agencies to prioritize our needs in light of climate change and air quality.
Key transportation and land use bills to follow in 2013
AB 1051 (Assemblymember Bocanegra) : Directing cap-and-trade funds to transportation choices and affordable homes
Last year’s first greenhouse gas auction netted the state significant revenues for fighting climate change in a new and innovative way: putting a price on greenhouse gas pollution. Companies paid the state for allowances to emit these gasses, and even the small number of allowances auctioned resulted in over $285 million in revenues.
Auction revenues must be used for projects and programs that reduce greenhouse gasses and help mitigate the impacts of climate change. With nearly 40% of our state's greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation, investments in transportation choices offers an opportunity to significantly reduce emissions while also improving health, equity, the economy and the environment.
Assemblymember Bocanegra’s AB 1051 recognizes that bicycle and pedestrian facilities, affordable homes near transit, transit capital operations that prioritize equity and greenhouse gas emission reductions, and energy efficiency upgrades for low-income Californians are important priorities. TransForm fully supports AB 1051 (for bill text, click here).
AB 431 (Assemblymember Mullin): Funding Sustainable Communities
Local governments are currently struggling to fund the implementation of SB 375, California’s landmark law which integrates land-use and transportation planning in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This bill, which TransForm is co-sponsoring with our allies the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California and Greenbelt Alliance, would authorize Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to put before voters funding measures that implement their Sustainable Communities Strategies. As shown in our Windfall for All materials, transportation choices can save residents billions per year, and this bill empowers our local government representatives (who sit on the MPO boards) and voters by letting them decide to fund their region’s work to improve their infrastructure in effective and equitable ways (click here for bill language).
SB 391 (Desaulnier): the California Homes and Jobs Act
Our allies at Housing California are sponsoring Senator DeSaulnier’s bill, which would create thousands of jobs building affordable housing. The bill would add a $75 recording fee to non-residential real estate transactions, raising $500 million annually for state investment in affordable home production and leveraging an additional $2.78 billion in federal, local, and bank investment in homes and jobs for Californians. Check out their informative website here. TransForm supports this great bill (click here for bill language).
Based in large part on last year’s SB 1156, this bill is Senator Steinberg’s proposal to remake some of the powers of Redevelopment Agencies, but to streamline the process, foster cooperation between cities and counties, protect school funding, support affordable homes and refocus investment in transit-oriented areas. (Click here for bill language and information).
SCA 4, SCA 8, SCA 11: Empowering democracy by lowering the voter threshold
Our current system for approving local tax measures effectively gives each “no” vote the same power as two “yes” votes by requiring a two-thirds threshold (66.67%) for approval. Last November in Los Angeles, over 1.9 million voters said yes to more transportation choices but lost to the 970,000 that said no. In Alameda County the margin was even closer – over 66.5% said yes – but the measure still lost.
Many legislators recognize that, though a new, local tax measure should be popular, today’s draconian requirement simply runs counter to our democratic form of government. No fewer than seven bills currently propose lowering the voter threshold for local projects - and three of them, SCA 4(Liu), SCA 8(Corbett), and SCA 11(Hancock), would do so for transportation.
TransForm supports these efforts to empower the overwhelming majority of Californians through the democratic process.
AB 1194 (Ammiano, Pérez, Alejo, Levine, Pan): Safe Routes to Schools
This bill would ensure the continuation of the Safe Routes to Schools program by dedicating a minimum of $46 million. TransForm supports this effort to maintain this effective and important program (click here for bill text).
AB 1193 (Ting): Bike design flexibility
Current law requires local governments to adhere to the Highway Design Manual for bicycle design on roads. This bill would allow local governments to use bicycle designs that meet specified safety standards through means beyond those specified by the Highway Design Manual (click here for bill text).
AB 229 (Speaker Pérez): Funding local infrastructure
This bill authorizes “Infrastructure and revitalization finance districts” for purposes of raising funds for public infrastructure such as transportation, sewage, watersheds, libraries, child care facilities, parks, and others.
AB 1290 (Speaker Pérez): California Transportation Commission
This bill makes a host of changes to better align the California Transportation Commission’s structure and direction to support more integrated land use and transportation efforts, such as SB 375 implementation.
AB 1002 (Assemblymember Bloom): Funding Sustainable Communities
This bill adds $6 to vehicle registration to fund programs and projects consistent with Sustainable Communities strategies.
For more information or to get active please make sure you sign up on e-mail, twitter or facebook, and contact Josh Stark for more information.
2012 in Review
State Legislation: 2012 in Review
California’s legislature runs in two-year cycles. The final two months of this cycle – the end of legislative session in August then waiting for the Governor’s decision on several bills in September – made for an exciting and, at times, nail-biting 60 days.
Here is a run-down of the bills that TransForm and so many of our allies worked hard all of 2012 to pass.
These represent the nine bills TransForm dedicated the most time to, including bringing over 100 advocates for a full day of lobbying on these bills in Sacramento – reaching every office in the capitol.
The final score? 5 signed by the Governor, 2 vetoed, and 2 failed to pass the Legislature.
Signed by the Governor
AB 441 (Monning) – Including health and equity in regional transportation planning (a TransForm co-sponsored bill)
On September 19, Governor Brown signed AB 441 into law. This law requires the California Transportation Commission -- in their next update of the Regional Transportation Plan guidelines -- to include a summary of projects, policies and programs that successfully promote better health and health equity.
TransForm is proud to have co-sponsored this bill with CPEHN, the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, and to have worked with the bill’s author, Assemblyman Bill Monning. Together we showed how so many of the strategies outlined in our recent report Creating Healthy Regional Transportation Plans, can provide great access for people of every age, income race and ability while making the transportation system even more efficient. From Safe Routes to Schools to providing vanpools for migrant workers we can promote safety, reduce congestion and air pollution, and save families money.
But AB 441 is just the first step. TransForm and many of our allies are dedicated to making healthy, safe, and efficient transportation a top priority at the local, regional and state levels. A victory like this is important in providing real information to planners and agencies, as well as advancing our efforts to build coalitions advocating for future improvements. This is one more step in guaranteeing "Health in All Policies".
SB 1339 (Yee) – Expanding commuter benefits programs across the Bay Area
Governor Brown signed SB 1339 on September 30th, authorizing a pilot program through 2016 in the San Francisco Bay Area that allows the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) to jointly adopt an ordinance requiring employers with 50 or more full-time employees to offer certain employees commute benefits. In return, these businesses receive reductions in their payroll taxes.
It is estimated that SB 1339 will save commuters up to 40% on commuting costs and save employers about 9% on payroll taxes as employers can deduct the costs of the program from their payroll tax burden.
Governor Brown signed AB 1446 into law on September 30th, authorizing the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency (LA Metro) to place on an LA County ballot the permanent extension of an existing county-wide ½ cent sales and use tax, which currently sunsets in 30 years. Revenue from the existing ½ cent tax, known as “Measure R,” is dedicated to construction and operation of rail, highway and bus projects in Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), as well as local initiatives such as street and signal improvements, bicycle and pedestrian projects, and more.
Assembly Bill 1446 will give LA County voters the opportunity to extend the duration of this important local source of funding for an ambitious program of transportation infrastructure projects that will transform the Los Angeles region. The anticipated new revenue can be bonded against to build project sooner.
“I am thrilled that with Governor Brown’s signature on AB 1446, Measure J can go before LA County voters in November,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “If we pass Measure J, we can…..complete light rail and subway projects in one decade instead of three.”
For more information please see: http://www.metro.net/projects/measurej/
On September 30th, Governor Brown signed AB 1532 and SB 535 into law. These two bills set up a process and guidelines for allocating revenues collected by the state from its cap & trade carbon auction. AB 1532 develops the process, with illustrative (but not exhaustive) language around the possible uses for this revenue – specifically mentioning public transportation and housing, among others.
SB 535 clearly states that at least 25% of cap and trade auction revenues must be spent on projects and programs that positively impact disadvantaged communities, and at least 10% of all revenues must be spent within disadvantaged communities. Both bills help to offset the impacts of climate change and other pollutants on all Californians.
TransForm applauds the leadership of Governor Brown, Speaker Pérez, and Senator deLeon in maintaining momentum and providing clear direction for California’s future through these two laws. TransForm will continue to build support for significant funding for public transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and affordable homes near transit. Read TransForm's and allies' proposal for cap and trade auction revenue.
Vetoed by the Governor
SB 1156 (Steinberg) – Establishing a Sustainable Communities Investment Authority
This bill was intended to authorize cities and counties to form Community Development and Housing Joint Powers Authorities (JPAs) for the purpose of administering ongoing economic development and affordable housing programs while reducing vehicle miles traveled. The Governor vetoed the bill, expressing hope that he and stakeholders would work closely in the future on new proposals, “… once the winding down of redevelopment is complete and General Fund savings are achieved.”
TransForm commends the work of Senator Steinberg and looks forward to working with our allies who helped lead on this bill such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, to support redevelopment that meets Californians’ needs and provides real transportation choices.
SB 1464 (Lowenthal) – Creating a 3-foot safety zone to protect bicyclists from motor vehicles
This was a priority bill for TransForm, and sadly vetoed by the Governor. In his veto message, the Governor claims that the bill does not adequately protect the State from lawsuits brought by drivers who felt they must cross a double yellow line and became involved in head-on collisions or other accidents as a result.
This concern was not brought up during the legislative session by any other interested party, including the Attorney General’s office, nor the CHP. TransForm is greatly disappointed that bicyclists must continue to use unsafe roadways due to the Governor’s concern over lawsuits (California’s bicycle and pedestrian roadway fatalities are roughly twice the national average).
Did Not Pass the Legislature
AB 485 (Ma) – TIF for TOD
Assemblywoman Ma authored language intending to ease the use of tax increment financing (TIF) to fund transit-oriented development (TOD). The bill would have made it easier for local governments to raise funds for TOD’s as long as they met certain requirements – such as dedicating 20% of revenues to affordable homes. The bill met stiff resistance from the Governor’s office, and was pulled from consideration by the author. TransForm looks forward to working with the assemblymember and the bill’s sponsor, BART, to further the important goals of this bill.
SB 1572 (Pavley) – Cap and trade auction revenue allocation for 2013
This bill would have allocated revenues from California’s first cap and trade carbon auction – scheduled for November of 2012 – to specific projects and programs. TransForm and Housing California worked closely with senate staff and met with Senator Pavley to show the benefits of a proposal that included transit and affordable homes.
Some of TransForm’s ideas for ensuring affordable homes near transit actually pushed the envelope on being low-traffic and thus would be able to stand up to a legal next test, were put in as part of her bill (e.g., prioritizing projects that offer free transit passes and carsharing).
The bill, which received stiff resistance, was pulled from consideration by the author.
In all, TransForm had a good year in the legislature. The passage of AB 441, AB 1532 and SB 535, in particular, set a course for California’s transportation and urban planning and development that give us reason to be optimistic about our future.
SB 375's Potential for Reforming Transportation and Land Use
For the past 50 years, poorly planned growth has led to an almost complete reliance on cars and transportation is now the largest and fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in California.
California's groundbreaking 2008 law, SB 375, has created an incredible window of opportunity to reduce emissions, clean our air, reduce traffic and save families money.
In September 2010, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets from transportation for each of the state's 18 major regions. These targets are emissions reductions per capita.
SCAG (Southern CA)
13% (or more)
MTC (Bay Area)
SANDAG (San Diego)
San Joaquin Valley
10% (to be revisited in 2012)
Now, each region is working on their strategy to implement meet these targets through Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS's). Under SB 375, a region should achieve an SCS by aligning long-term land use blueprints, regional plans for housing all residents of all incomes, and transportation investment plans.
TransForm is also helping lead efforts to make the Bay Area's SCS a model for sustainability and equity.
Learn more about SB 375 and how regions throughout the state are implementing it by visiting ClimatePlan, a collaboration of environmental, social equity, health and other organizations. TransForm co-founded, fiscally sponsors and provides programmatic support for ClimatePlan.
Read TransForm's Windfall for Allreport that outlines how the policies that SB 375 calls for can dramatically reduce households' costs and reduce expenses for strapped local governments at the same time as they promote healthier neighborhoods and protect our climate.