February 4, 2013

Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities.

Exciting news over here at TransForm – we are proud to announce that our Executive Director, Stuart Cohen, has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious 2013 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.

Stuart earned this prestigious honor for his impact as “a champion for innovative regional planning to create affordable, vibrant communities that improve quality of life and help the environment.” Today, Stuart stood on the floor of the California State Legislature to be celebrated for his vision and leadership in the movement to transform transportation.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for being part of our community. This award is an acknowledgement that we’re truly making an impact in our efforts to create world-class public transportation and walkable communities – and we couldn’t do that without your support.

Please click here to learn more about the award and watch a video that the Foundation made about Stuart’s impact and our work. If you’d like to congratulate Stuart directly, you can email him at stuart@transformca.org.

And now for the rest of the e-news:

Help win state funding for real transportation choices

This spring, California has an incredible opportunity to expand funding for real transportation choices. The state Legislature will decide in June where to invest revenues from the state’s landmark greenhouse gas cap-and-trade auction. So TransForm's Transportation Choices Campaign is moving into high gear!

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) is holding public workshops on cap-and-trade revenues this month in Los Angeles, Fresno, and Sacramento. Come to a workshop to strengthen our voice for funding for public transportation, walking, biking, and affordable housing near transit – email our state advocacy team to sign up now.

Can’t make it to a workshop? You can still get involved:

  • Check out our new, interactive mapping tool to show state leaders examples of how we can transform our state's transportation and housing infrastructure
  • Sign the petition telling the Governor to use cap-and-trade auction revenues to give us real and equitable transportation choices (and if you are a member of another organization, tell them to endorse our proposal)
  • Attend our second Statewide Summit and Advocacy Day on April 23 and 24, with special mobile tours and networking reception on Monday April 22

Save the date for an evening with Angela Glover Blackwell on April 10

You’re invited to a special evening with Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink and national leader on social justice and equity.

Ms. Blackwell will offer her perspectives on “Creating a Climate for Equity.” Too few people have access to healthy and affordable communities with real transportation choices. But we can leverage policies like cap-and-trade to create a climate for equity where every community has the resources to achieve prosperity, health, and sustainability.

In addition to a thought-provoking conversation with this inspiring speaker, this event will include food, drink, and networking with the TransForm community in San Francisco on Wednesday, April 10. Click here for more information and registration details coming soon.

First Community Housing: The O.G. Original GreenTRIP developers

We are proud to recognize First Community Housing in San Jose as the first recipient of our new GreenTRIP Certification for Existing Buildings. First Community Housing (FCH) is a leading affordable housing developer that’s been providing GreenTRIP strategies to its residents for over a decade. FCH offers a free VTA unlimited travel EcoPass to all of its 1,099 residents over 5 years old – saving each person $770/year while promoting stronger transit ridership in Santa Clara County.

FCH achieved GreenTRIP certification for Gish Family Apartments (35 units, 2008) and Fourth Street Apartments (100 units, 2012). Click here for more information on GreenTRIP, including details on how to apply for GreenTRIP certification of multifamily housing developments near public transportation.

Victory: Incorporating affordable housing into OneBayArea Grants

Last fall, county congestion management agencies (CMAs) began developing their criteria for distributing OneBayArea Grant funds, meant to support focused growth in areas well-served by public transportation. But when some counties proposed criteria that failed to include affordable housing and other key criteria, TransForm and our partners around the Bay joined together to change that. Working with Greenbelt Alliance, Urban Habitat, and other allies, our successes include getting Santa Clara County to triple the importance of a city’s record in creating jobs and homes near transit – including affordable homes, and getting Alameda County to more heavily weight the benefits of affordable homes when making grant decisions. Read more on our website here.

The Santa Clara VTA also incorporated an unusual and welcome degree of public outreach into its grantmaking with a brochure explaining the grants and inviting residents to suggest transportation improvements in their communities. The next step is project selection this spring, and TransForm will continue to meet with CMAs to keep land use issues front and center during the process.

For information on our efforts and how you can help, contact Chris Lepe in the South Bay or Joël Ramos in the East Bay.

Help Oakland Chinatown and Lake Merritt BART take the next step for better transportation choices

Your input is needed to improve the most recent version of the Lake Merritt BART Station Area Plan! On Wednesday, February 27, the Oakland Planning Commission's Zoning Update Committee will consider the newest draft of the plan, and we need community members to speak up for better transportation and affordable housing benefits. TransForm and our allies are concerned about the need for stronger traffic calming, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, sufficient affordable housing and other community benefits as a substantial part of any future redevelopment in the area.

Can you come to the hearing on Wednesday, February 27 at Oakland City Hall? For a quick background and summary of the issues at hand, check out the new video we helped produce and contact TransForm staff member Joël Ramos.

California Climate Ride 2013 – join the TransForm Carbon Crushers!

Do you believe in TransForm? Have you ever wanted to pedal the northern California coast? Join us for Climate Ride – the nation’s largest environmental cycling event and ‘green conference on wheels’ this May – and enjoy an incredible week-long bicycle tour while helping TransForm build a movement for transportation choices in California.

Climate Ride is a 5-day, fully-supported bicycle ride from Fortuna to San Francisco under towering redwoods, through the Russian River Wine Country, and along the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route - one of the most scenic coastlines in the world. TransForm is a beneficiary and we’ve started a team with the goal of raising $30,000 for our work to transform transportation.

We invite you to join our executive director and other staff and supporters on our growing team for the ride from May 18-23, 2013 – no biking or fundraising experience necessary! Click here to learn more about our team, the TransForm Carbon Crushers, and register to ride and fundraise with us this spring. If you’d like more information, please join us for a brown-bag lunch this Wednesday, February 6, or contact Shannon Tracey.

Lace up your shoes for the Spring Golden Sneaker contest

Alameda County's schools are gearing up for the annual Pollution Solution Golden Sneaker contest, taking place March 4 -15 this year. Our Safe Routes to Schools program expects at least 50 schools throughout Alameda County to participate, including high schools for the first time.

This two-week contest challenges students to compete, classroom against classroom, to see who can achieve the lowest carbon footprint by walking, bicycling, scootering, carpooling, and taking public transportation to school. The winner gets the coveted Golden Sneaker trophy! See more details at www.alamedacountysr2s.org.

Be a leader for equity in East Oakland

East Oakland residents are invited to The California Endowment's East Oakland Building Healthy Communities City Planning and Justice Leadership Academy to learn about how Oakland’s city and transportation planning works through a justice lens. Participants will emerge equipped with the knowledge needed to effectively influence city and transportation planning and policymaking decisions for a healthier East Oakland. Specific sessions will focus on health equity, environmental, and social justice principles in community planning, housing, transportation, access to healthy food, and the Oakland Coliseum and International Boulevard planning processes currently underway.

TransForm staff member Joël Ramos will be helping to fac ilitate these FREE trainings, beginning with an orientation on Saturday, March 2nd from 10-5PM, with following sessions every Thursday night in March from 5:30-8:30PM (locations still TBD). Free childcare, translation, food, and even transportation are available. Click here to learn more and register.

Upcoming events in the Bay Area and beyond

Below is a sampling of upcoming events in January and February. Visit TransForm’s events webpage frequently for details on transportation-related events in the Bay Area and beyond.

Spread the Oakland Love: a WOBO Valentine's Party
Saturday, February 9th, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in Oakland

Do you love walking and biking in Oakland? Walk Oakland Bike Oakland is a not-so-secret admirer of Oakland, and this year we invite you (and your sweetie...or your crush) to help us profess our love!

Join us on Saturday, February 9, from 11am to 2pm, at Noble Café in uptown Oakland for mimosas and brunch, games and crafts, great company, and more! Don't miss the tandem bike photo booth for a romantic photo op. Find more info and RSVP here.

Let’s Get Moving Silicon Valley: First Transportation Summit
Saturday, February 23rd, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in San Jose

TransForm and our allies in the Silicon Valley are hosting a conference to promote transportation choices and complete neighborhoods in Santa Clara County. The first-ever Silicon Valley Transportation Summit aims to foster deep community engagement in transportation and land use planning. Community residents and leaders, whether new to the issues or long-time advocates, are all invited..

Click here for details and online registration. If you are interested in co-sponsoring, volunteering, or hosting a session at the summit, please email TransForm’s South Bay planner Chris Lepe or call (408) 406-8074.

California State Rail Plan Webinar and Open Houses
Webinar Tuesday, February 26th, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; Various open houses throughout February

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is pleased to host a series of open houses for the California State Rail Plan. Caltrans will be presenting the Draft of the CSRP, which establishes a statewide vision, sets priorities, and develops implementation strategies to enhance passenger and freight rail service in the public interest.

Click here to register for the webinar or to find an in-person open house in a city near you.

National Bike Summit
March 4-6 in Washington, D.C.

Join more than 800 advocates, government staff, and cycling enthusiasts of all types in the nation's capitol to celebrate cycling, exchange strategies, and tell Congress about the benefits of bicycling. This year's theme is "Bicycling means business." Women are invited to come early for the National Women's Bicycling Forum during the day on March 4; everyone is encouraged to stick around until March 7 for the annual Congressional Bike Caucus ride.

Click here for more information and to register for the Summit.