California Advocacy

California Advocacy

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:

Leads efforts to increase funding for public transportation.

Shapes and advocates for state legislation that supports world-class public transportation and walkable communities, and to oppose efforts that work against these goals.

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.

For more information, contact Josh Stark.

Transportation Choices Campaign

KEY CAMPAIGN UPDATE: California Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg announces long-term strategy for investing cap-and-trade proceeds in real transportation and housing choices.

On April 14th TransForm joined California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg along with other partners and allies as he unveiled his promising long-term investment strategy for cap-and-trade auction proceeds that could begin addressing this need. SB 1156 proposes significant and sustained investments in many of the priorities TransForm and our partners in the Sustainable Communities for All Coalition have advocated for:  expanded and efficient public transit, affordable homes near transit, and increased biking and walking.

While there is room for improvement this proposal, if adopted, would represent a major increase in funding for these priorities beginning next year through 2020 and possibly beyond. TransForm will work to strengthen this bill in the weeks ahead. Click here to read a full analysis of SB 1156 on our blog.

It’s not the only proposal on the table however. Governor Brown’s January 10th budget proposal is still just as much in play as it was the day it was proposed and will play a role in this year’s plan for investing cap-and-trade auction proceeds this year as the well as years ahead. Learn more about his proposal and what we want to improve.

Uniting California to improve transportation

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 public transportation, safe walking and bicycling, shuttles and vanpools, and more.

Join with thousands of Californians to demand real transportation choices

Cap-and-Trade Funding

Cap-and-Trade: A win-win strategy to curb emissions and invest in real transportation choices

 

Read our response to Darrell Steinberg's long-term strategy to invest cap-and-trade auction proceeds in real transportation and housing choices.

 

By building strong partnerships with stakeholders throughout California, TransForm continues to be a key leader in the cap-and-trade conversation.

Although California cities have ambitious plans to expand public transportation, biking and walking infrastructure, affordable homes near transit, and urban green space to reduce greenhouse gases, they face billions of dollars in funding shortfalls. But with revenues from the state’s landmark cap-and-trade auction projected to reach up to $5 billion annually by 2018, cap-and-trade revenues represent a significant new source of funding.
 
Along with our allies, TransForm developed the Sustainable Communities for All Platform to show how cap-and-trade revenues could tackle both the climate crisis as well as our state's desperate need for real transportation choices and affordable homes.  
 
Two major proposals are on the table to govern the allocation of cap-and-trade auction proceeds. 
On April 14th California Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg announced a long-term strategy for investing cap-and-trade proceeds in the form of SB 1156 that would potentially allocate billions beginning in 2015 through at least 2020 in public transit, affordable homes near transit, biking and walking, and urban parks and green space. While it needs work it is a promising proposal. Learn more about this proposal here.
 
The other came in January when Governor Brown unveiled his 2014 - 2015 budget proposal for investing $850 million in cap-and-trade proceeds. It includes funding for many of our transportation and housing priorities but falls short in a few areas, including the amount dedicated to investing in sustainable communities and having no funding for transit operations. Click here to read a full analysis of the Governor’s budget proposal.
 

Help us make sure our state's climate funds are put to work reducing greenhouse gases and investing in real transportation choices as soon as possible:

Cap-and-Transit Map

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.

This month, the California Air Resources Board is holding cap-and-trade workshops around the state to hear from the public where to invest revenues from the state’s landmark greenhouse gas cap-and-trade auction. This new funding source offers an incredible opportunity to expand funding for transportation choices for California communities.  We need your help to show our leaders where communities are planning innovative transportation projects and programs to expand transit ridership, increase biking and walking, and ensuring affordable, accessible housing.

Anyone can add projects and programs to the map with just a few clicks.  Can you help us by adding a project to the map now?  Click here to get started.

Click on the markers to view the projects. Click on the project titles for more information.

Javascript is required to view this map.


Here’s how to add your own project:

  1. Click on on of the links below to add a transit project, bike project or pedestrian project
    1. Add Transit Project
    2. Add Bike Project
    3. Add Pedestrian Project
  2. Enter the title of your project under "Title."
  3. Add a description of your project in the project info section.
    1. You can add links using the   icon.
    2. You can add pictures using the image upload field (must be 200px x 75px or smaller).
  4. Use either the address fields or click a point on the map to add a location.
  5. Click "save"
  6. Projects may take 5-10 minutes to appear on the map!

Click here to see a list of all the submitted projects

State Advocacy Blog

To the relief of those who care about the people of California, and the future of the planet, Caltrans has a dramatically new mission.  
 
The old “Caltrans Improves Mobility Across California” mission statement often put it on a path of destruction, literally.  Just look at their decision to destroy over 300 homes and 120 commercial properties in Bakersfield for a $500 million highway connector.
 
But Caltrans’ new mission is great. Catalyzed by an incredibly productive critique of the agency by State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI), it shows Secretary Brian Kelly and Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty are ready for change.  The new Caltrans will “provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation...

Past Entries

Title Posted Date
Caltrans has a new Mission - here’s what we have to say about it. 04/02/2014
Report calls for radical reform of Caltrans A new report calls for dramatic changes to Caltrans 02/04/2014
Governor's new budget makes transportation and environment priorities 01/16/2014
Fifth cap-and-trade auction moves ahead today after legal affirmation Cap-and-trade auctions should fund clean transportation 11/19/2013
Transportation and equity in focus this week Transportation and Equity in the Bay Area Rapid Transit System 11/08/2013
The 2013 Legislative Season: A Mixed Bag for Transportation 11/01/2013
A win for active transportation, a win for California Kids Using Active Transit 09/27/2013
Here comes PARK(ing) Day! PARK(ing) Day in Chattanooga, TN - 2012 09/17/2013
The end (of the 2013 legislative session) is near End of the legislative session ahead 09/12/2013
Timing is critical for Safe Routes California Advocacy Day Kids participating in Safe Routes to School programs 08/15/2013
A big day ahead for state transportation policy California Homes & Jobs Act 08/06/2013
State Legislative Update: Spotlight on the CTC California Transportation Commission 07/31/2013
Getting youth on transit cuts climate pollution for an entire generation 07/23/2013
State hits pause on funding for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure 06/26/2013
State budget misses the mark on climate change and transportation 06/13/2013
Safe Routes Fellows travel to Sacramento 06/04/2013
All eyes on the conference committee for climate funding decision 06/03/2013
400 ppm and the Governor is loaning away climate funds? 05/15/2013
Impact of Advocacy Day already visible in key bill’s approval by Assembly committee 05/01/2013
Transportation Choices Summit ignites advocates to spark change 04/24/2013
CARB calls for transforming California’s transportation system – really! CARB 04/17/2013
California’s cap-and-trade program: An opportunity to invest in community health Community Health 04/09/2013
AB 1051: Assemblyman Bocanegra calls for Sustainable Communities for All Assemblymember Bocanegra 03/27/2013
On Cap-and-Trade: Together, our voices are being heard. 03/12/2013
Transportation advocates turn out in force for final cap-and-trade workshop Cap-and-Trade Hearing in Los Angeles 02/28/2013
Transportation and affordable housing take center stage at California’s first cap-and-trade workshop Jerry Brown 02/21/2013
What happened at the first auction of cap and trade 12/04/2012
Governor signs AB 1532 and SB 535... but what does cap and trade mean for public transportation? 10/26/2012
2012 Legislative Round-Up 09/04/2012
TransForm’s 2012 Ballot Initiative Endorsements 08/30/2012
Historic Vote Kicks off Real Journey for High Speed Rail 07/10/2012
Transportation Choices Summit Gets Statewide Movement Off to a Running Start 05/03/2012
Let the marathon begin: San Diego adopts California's first SCS 10/30/2011

Transportation Choices State Summit & Advocacy Day 2014

04/22/2014 10:00 am
America/Los Angeles
Yes
Regional Meeting: 
No
Google Map URL: 
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=100+Capitol+Mall+Sacramento+CA

Click here to register!

2014 is a year of tremendous opportunity for California’s communities. With millions of new cap-and-trade revenues coming in, YOU have the opportunity to tell legislators how this money can and should make a difference. Join us at the Summit and optional Advocacy Day, as we learn, build networks, and work together to promote a transportation system that provides access for all, protects our environment and is the cornerstone for sustainable, equitable communities.

Monday, April 21 – Pre-Summit Mobile Bike Tours

Join us for a bicycle tour of the Sacramento region, on both sides of the river!  See how the region is transforming its streets, providing new housing options and addressing issues of sustainability. This is a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues from around the state.  Please note that tours will leave from a new location: Crocker Park, 211 O Street, Sacramento. Bikes are available to borrow or bring your own bike!  Tours are hosted by Jim Brown of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates (SABA). Bring your own helmet, and please arrive 15 minutes early if you will be borrowing a bike.

 

1:30* -- West Sacramento:  West Sacramento, the small city on the west side of the Sacramento river, is setting the bar for bike-friendly streets in the Sacramento region. With the support of a bike-positive mayor who rides everywhere and cares strongly about matters of equity, the city has developed a new bicycle master plan that includes the active development of low-car neighborhoods. 
 
3:30* -- Sacramento In-fill Housing: Central Sacramento is putting in new, sustainable in-fill housing, with one big problem: bike access isn't always part of the decision-making. We will visit 3 in-fill developments and discuss issues of access and connectivity with the surrounding region.
* Timing is tentative at this point and may shift by as much as 30 min.

 

Tuesday, April 22nd – Transportation Choices State Summit

At this year's Summit you will:

  • Connect with community leaders from your region and across the state. The Summit draws activists and community leaders from throughout California and every issue area (labor, disability rights, seniors, social justice, environment, health, bike/pedestrian, transit, and more). 
  • Hear from inspiring, innovative speakers, including Senator Kevin de León, a champion of equitable climate solutions and Kate White, the new Deputy Secretary for the California State Transportation Agency (and founder of City Carshare).
  • Learn and strategize about a huge range of topics. The day will include breakout sessions on active transportation, cap-and-trade funds, clean vehicles, affordable homes, CalTrans reform, and much more. 

Unwind and mingle at a post-Summit reception for advocates and legislative leaders, held alongside the beautiful Sacramento River and golden Tower Bridge. 

Click here to view the agenda.

Click here to learn more about our speakers.

Click here for detailed travel information.

OPTIONAL EVENT THE FOLLOWING DAY -- NO CHARGE
Wednesday, April 23
rd – Transportation Choices Advocacy Day

Your voice is unique, and California’s leaders need to hear it!  Join over 100 community and organizational representatives as we walk through the Capitol building, visiting legislative offices, during the 3rd annual Transportation Choices Advocacy Day.   

  • Meet with legislators and legislative staff from around the State.
  • Speak out and tell your representatives why transportation choices are critical in your life and for the health of our State.
  • Represent your community and your region, making your voice heard in support of biking, walking, transit, and homes affordable and accessible to all!

Advocacy Day begins with an early morning workshop on both basic and advanced advocacy skills. Then we will form teams and head to meetings with legislative offices. 

The Summit will help prepare you for the Advocacy Day, but it is also possible to just attend this April 23 event.   Advocacy Day is optional.  This FREE event requires pre-registration.

 

Registration Fees

Summit registration is sliding scale, with rates from $25 to 100. Pay what you can afford. A limited number of $25 and $60 tickets are available -- register now!  Your registration fee covers the Summit itself, lunch, and the evening reception. The April 23rd Advocacy Day is optional, available to all, and free to participants, but advance registration is required. Click here to register.

If you are visually impaired and/or have any trouble filling out the registration form, please call Danielle Fodor at 916.706.2035 x 303 .

 

Sponsorships

The generosity of our sponsors empowers regional advocates and our statewide movement through scholarships for those who would otherwise be unable to attend.  Please consider sponsoring the event todaySign up to sponsor online or contact Danielle Fodor for more details: statesummit@transformca.org.

 

Thank you to our Steering Committee Members for 2014!

Bonnie Holmes-Gen, American Lung Association in California
Chanell Fletcher, Climate Plan
Chione Flegal, PolicyLink
Dave Snyder, California Bicycle Coalition
Denny Zane,  Move LA
Elyse Lowe, Move San Diego
Jeff Thom, California Council of the Blind
Josh Shaw, California Transit Association
Katelyn Roedner, Catholic Charities of Stockton
Martin Martinez, Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership
Max Baumhefner, Natural Resources Defence Council
Rebecca Saltzman, California League of Conservation Voters
Ruben Cantu, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network 
Sarah de Guia, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Tove Beatty, Legislative Consultant
Tracy Delaney, Public Health Alliance of Southern California
Rick Theis, TransForm Board Member
Warren Cushman, California Council for the Blind
Will Barrett, American Lung Association of California

 

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Overall Support for TransForm's State Policy & Engagement ProgramFord Foundation    

Surdna Foundation     Irvine

 

 

2014 Transportation Choices State Summit Sponsors:

 

Visionaries:

 

The California Wellness Foundation

 

Partners:

 


     TCE        Silicon Valley Community Foundation

San Diego Foundation                     Policy Link

 

Advocates:

 

    CA Community Foundation         NRDC

 

     BART     Circulate SD     

 

            

 

 

Allies:

       Capitol CorridorCalifornia League of Conservation Voters  Council of Infill Builders

 

     City CarShare       Zipcar    CPEHN

DTB Strategic Consulting

            


           

Location Title: 
Embassy Suites
100 Capitol Mall
Sacramento
California

About The Campaign

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.

Our top priority is to ensure significant funding for transportation choices from California’s new program to reduce climate pollution, known as “cap-and-trade”.

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%.

For more information about the campaign and how to get involved, contact Joshua Stark, State Campaign Director.

State Legislation

Click here to sign up for updates on state legislation and our Transportation Choices Campaign.

The 2013 legislative session ended on Friday, September 13.  The Governor was asked to sign several bills that TransForm supported in this legislative session, and while results were mixed, we did see a significant victory with AB 1371 and the adoption of the Active Transportation Program. (See below for those that didn't make it through the Legislature, some of which will be considered in the 2014 legislative session.)

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 (click here for bill text). TransForm and NRDC have been working with a number of allies to support this important legislation.  For more information, please contact Joshua Stark, TransForm’s State Policy Director.

This bill was vetoed by the Governor.  Read the veto message.

AB 1371 (Bradford): Three-foot passing rule for bicycles

This bill would promote safety by establishing a three-foot buffer for motor vehicles passing cyclists. It has been introduced in past years only to be vetoed by the Governor (click here for bill text).

This bill was signed by the Governor on September 23, 2013.  Nearly 5,000 people emailed the Governor to urge his support for this bill.  THANK YOU to everyone who took action.

AB 1229 (Atkins): Provide local authority for affordable housing

AB 1229 would authorize the legislative local and regional governments to adopt ordinances regulating zoning and require affordable housing policies as a condition of development (click here for bill text).

AB 1229 was vetoed by the Governor.  Read the veto message.

SB 811 (Senator Lara): I-710 Corridor Improvements

This bill would require additional mitigation measures including transit, bicycle and pedestrian, and zero-emissions improvements to offset the negative impacts of the I-710 project. Unfortunately it has been watered down to require only a report to the legislature identifying mitigation measures to be undertaken as part of the EIR (click here for bill text).

This bill was vetoed by the Governor.  Read the veto message.

Bills that will be considered in 2014

The next set of bills are referred to as “two-year” bills, because they have been held by their author or a committee, and are not moving forward during the first half of the two-year session. Often, two-year status means that a bill is dead; however, there are more than a few occasions where the idea of the bill lives on in another bill number, or begins moving again during the second half of the session.

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).

This bill will remain on the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s calendar while work is done to strengthen the bill and move it forward early in the new year.

AB 1330 (Speaker Pérez): Environmental Justice

This bill would address the disproportionate impacts from pollution on low income communities and communities of color in a number of ways, among them: require time for translation services not be counted as total time in public hearings; require the California EPA (Cal/EPA) to identify a list of environmental justice communities; require that fines for pollution in these areas are doubled; require that enforcement actions within these communities be prioritized; require that Cal/EPA maintain a public database of complaints and enforcement cases for each of its boards, departments and agencies.  Click here for bill language and information.

AB 1330 was held by its author and is now a two-year bill.  Read TransForm's letter of support for AB 1330.

SB 1 (Steinberg): Resurrecting redevelopment agencies

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).

SB 1 was held by Senator Steinberg.

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.

These pieces of legislation have a longer two-year time-frame for passing and will continue to be considered going forward.

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).

It passed out of Assembly Local Government and has become a two-year bill.

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).

This bill is currently in the Assembly Local Government Committee.

AB 1051 (Assemblymember Bocanegra): Directing cap-and-trade funds to transportation choices and affordable homes

Last year’s first greenhouse gas emissions 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).

For more ways you can help, (including talking to State leaders in-person), check out our Transportation Choices Campaign site.

AB 1051 passed through numerous Assembly committees but was then put on suspense. The budget was approved in June with a $500 million loan from cap-and-trade revenues to the general fund. Read more on our blog here.

AB 1002 (Bloom): Funding Sustainable Communities

This bill adds $6 to vehicle registration to fund programs and projects consistent with Sustainable Communities strategies.

The bill author has held this bill and intends to pursue it as a two-year bill.

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 (click here for bill text).

The bill authors have held this bill and intend to pursue it as a two-year bill.

You can look up the latest bill information here.

SB 628 (Beall): Infrastructure Financing for Transit Priority Projects

This bill would eliminate the voter requirement for the creation of infrastructure financing districts for transit priority projects, and it would require that at least 25% of the revenues raised be used for, "increasing, improving and preserving" low- and moderate-income housing availability. 

This bill was held in the Assembly.

 AB 1179 (Bocanegra):  Regional Transportation Plan: Sustainable Communities Strategy:  School sites

This bill would require sustainable communities strategy to identify, in consultation with each local educational agency in the region, how the sustainable communities strategy may impact school enrollments and capacities and the need for new schoolsites or expansion or modernization of existing school sites. 

This bill is currently in the Assembly Local Government Committee.

 

Bills that are no longer relevant

SB 731 (Steinberg): CEQA reform

This bill would update the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in order to ensure this landmark environmental law continues to protect people and the environment while also adapting to the needs of our changing state.  Included are changes that would support transportation choices in urban in-fill developments, better aligning the environmental review process with long-term goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving other environmental benefits through less car-centric community design. It also contains provisions to address displacement of vulnerable communities when new developments are proposed near public transportation.  Read a more complete overview of this bill on ClimatePlan's blog here.

Read a coalition letter with an overview of our principles and priorities, submitted July 19, 2013.
Read TransForm’s comment letter from September 6, 2013.

Much of SB 731 was incorporated into Senator Steinberg's SB 743, which modified CEQA while exempting the Sacramento King's arena."  Add a paragraph to AB 1194 that says, "The deal struck to create the Active Transportation Program rendered this bill no longer necessary.

AB 1194 (Ammiano, Pérez, Alejo, Levine, Pan): Safe Routes to Schools

This bill has been amended: though it still states the intentions of the State to protect the Safe Routes to Schools program, the guaranteed revenues for the program were removed. TransForm supports this effort to maintain Safe Routes to Schools (click here for bill text).

Although passing out of the Assembly with only 2 votes against it, this bill has been held by Mr. Ammiano while the Legislature and the Governor come to an agreement on the Active Transportation Program.

 

For more information or to get active please make sure you sign up for e-mail and follow us on Twitter or Facebook. You can always 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".
 
Thank you to everyone who visited Sacramento with us or contacted the legislature or Governor.  Read the full text of the new law you helped to pass.
 
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.
 
AB 1446 (Feuer) – Extending ½ cent sales tax in L.A. County
 
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/
 
AB 1532 (Pérez) & SB 535 (deLeon) – Processes for allocating carbon cap & trade auction revenue
 
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.  

Need More Information?

For the most up-to-date information on the status of California bills go to http://legislature.ca.gov/

Have questions? Contact Joshua Stark, State Campaign Director.

Want to submit a piece of legislation for TransForm to take a position on? Fill out the request form.

SB 375 & ClimatePlan

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.

TARGETS    
Region 2020 2035
SCAG (Southern CA) 8% 13% (or more)
MTC (Bay Area) 7% 15%
SANDAG (San Diego) 7% 13%
SACOG (Sacramento) 7% 16%
San Joaquin Valley 5%

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.

The first region to complete an SCS was San Diego (available as part of their SANDAG 2050 Regional Transportation Plan). TransForm's Executive Director provided strategic policy support for non-profit groups in the region, and submitted his detailed commnets to the agency: Recommendations for Improving SANDAG’s 2050 RTP and for Post-RTP Actions.   While several were accepted, such as $700 million for a Safe Routes to Transit program, the plan had a host of weaknesses. For a full assessment of San Diego's SCS please download the report, San Diego and SB 375: Lessons from California's First Sustainable Communities Strategy, by TransForm and ClimatePlan.  It includes great lessons for stakeholders in any region.

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.

Resources

Download TransForm's SB 375 fact sheet.

Read TransForm's Windfall for All  report 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.

Read CARB's full report on the targets: Regional Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets for Automobiles and Light Trucks Pursuant to Senate Bill 375

Find out about TransForm's work to make the Bay Area's Sustainable Communities Strategy a model for the state. 

For more information, contact Stuart Cohen.

SB 375 provides an historic opportunity to create sustainable communities that reduce the amount we have to drive, clean our air and reduce costs to families.
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