It’s a simple equation: if you can’t get around, you can’t get ahead.
Dependable and affordable transportation choices keep people connected to work, school, healthcare, their families, and more. But especially for the most vulnerable Californians, unreliable public transportation and unsafe streets for walking and biking are barriers that keep everyone from achieving their full potential.
That’s why we’re declaring 2016 the year for transportation equity – but we need your help!
Join us at our annual Transportation Equity Summit on Monday, May 16 as we gather in Sacramento to learn, strategize, and advocate together for real choices and real change in California. And you can take your message directly to your Legislator at the State Capitol during our optional Advocacy Day on Tuesday May 17.
Early bird registration ends April 15, so don’t wait: register today!
CELEBRATING EARTH DAY & EQUITY
April 22 is Earth Day, a day founded in 1970 to raise environmental consciousness. But it’s not all tree-planting and parades. As environmental and civil rights advocate Van Jones has said, “the traditional environmental movement has a diversity problem.” As a result, low-income communities of color have been excluded from the organizing resources and policy changes needed to address the environmental problems that endanger their health and safety. But at TransForm, we see environmental sustainability and social equity as two sides of the same coin.
LET’S PUT EQUITY, ACCESS, SAFETY, AND CLIMATE PROTECTION ON THE BALLOT
The Valley Transit Authority (VTA) is considering placing a transportation funding measure on the ballot this November that could reduce congestion, increase transit ridership, and clean the air - if it's done right. TransForm, along with our allies in the Transportation Justice Alliance and the Sunshine Climate Action Alliance, are working to ensure that the needs of working families, seniors, students, low-income people of color, and persons with disabilities are represented, and that safety, access, equity, and climate protection are core pillars of the measure.
Please take a minute to email the VTA Board of Directors and urge them to write a ballot measure with every member of the community in mind.
TAKE ACTION FOR TRANSPORTATION EQUITY
Sacramento is abuzz with transportation equity: on April 11 our state leaders are voting on four bills (together called the Transportation Equity Package) that would help create more transportation choices for people of all incomes and abilities - from providing students and low-income Californians with discounted transit passes, ensuring more community members are involved in planning bike lanes and sidewalks in their own neighborhoods.
We are proudly sponsoring this Transportation Equity Package. If you support more transportation choices for all Californians, tell your Legislator that you stand with us!
NORA CODY, SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL PROGRAM DIRECTOR, WINS HUBSMITH AWARD
We are thrilled to congratulate our own Nora Cody for winning the 2016 Hubsmith Safe Routes Champion Award for leadership, commitment, and positive impact on Safe Routes to School (SR2S) in her community. As Cass Isidro, Executive Director of SR2S National Partnership, writes: “Nora exemplifies the same qualities that marked Deb [Hubsmith]’s career as a leader of the Safe Routes to School movement. Nora is deeply committed to ensuring that kids can walk and bike to school safely and is leading the movement for a true culture shift.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
OAKLAND IS WORTH IT
Oakland has finally begun to attract global attention as an amazing place to live, work, and do business. But the displacement of low income residents and communities of color, many of whom have lived in Oakland for decades and have strong roots here, has reached a crisis level. In order for Oakland to accommodate new development, and keep the city affordable for current residents who will work in the jobs that new development brings, the Oakland City Council needs to pass a strong housing impact fee.
30 other Bay Area cities have already adopted strong housing impact fees, and it’s long past time for Oakland to do the same. Oakland is worth it!
Read our blog for more on this issue, and come to the Oakland City Council Meeting on April 19 to show your support for a strong housing impact fee.
BART’S NEW REALITY
From mystery electrical glitches to sardine-like commutes, last month was a troubled time for our beloved BART system. People took to social media in frustration, demanding to know why BART hasn’t fixed these problems yet, to which BART famously replied: “This is our reality.” But a better reality is possible. The BART Directors are trying to raise $3.5 billion on the 2016 ballot to maintain the existing core system by improving safety and reliability, reducing crowding, and investing in the BART riders of today and tomorrow. For more, read TransForm’s quotes on BART in the San Francisco Chronicle and on KPFA last month.
BART needs a new reality – tell your BART Director you support a funding measure that will put BART’s existing system back on track.
HOPE FOR A TRAFFIC-FREE HIGHWAY 101
As long as there have been highways, there has been traffic. TransForm’s innovative approach to easing congestion without expanding roads (called Optimized HOT, or High-Occupancy Toll lanes) has the potential to improve everyone’s commute along Highway 101 – but current restrictions have made it impossible for agencies to fully try this out on their roads.
Until now. With Governor Brown’s new proposed guidelines for environmental review (CEQA), transportation agencies will have the green light to study Optimized HOT lanes as a way to reduce both traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
MAY 3 IS SILICON VALLEY GIVES
Tuesday, May 3 is Silicon Valley Gives, a 24-hour day of online giving that gives you the opportunity to invest in your community. When you give on Tuesday May 3, you help us advocate for better bus service, more affordable homes, safer streets for walking and biking, and a better Silicon Valley for people of all incomes to live, play, and work.
SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY, WIN MONEY FOR COLLEGE!
A college education should be priceless, not pricey. That’s why we’re very excited to be launching the Community Involvement Scholarship, with our friends at GJEL Accident Attorneys. We will award $2,500 each to two high school seniors who have shown strong interest in bettering their community through volunteer service, participation in local programs, or activism. The deadline to apply for the Community Involvement Scholarship is Friday, April 22.
MEET ESTHER ROBERT
For Esther Robert, an affordable home near transit was the key to keeping her family together and off the streets. It’s also one of the critical tools California is using to fight climate change. Watch our video “A Place to Call Home” to meet Esther and learn how California’s climate program is improving people’s lives across the state. Then check out ClimateBenefitsCA.org to find climate investments near you, and see the full impact of our state’s ambitious climate protection efforts.