March 5, 2013

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

Happy Women’s History Month!

Women have been making waves in transportation for generations – from Amelia Earhart’s solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932, to Rosa Parks’ act of defiance that added fire to the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, to Jane Jacobs’ seminal book The Death and Life of American Cities in 1961.

So we are dedicating this Women’s History Month e-news to two visionary women promoting sustainable transportation and equitable growth as a way to tackle our climate crisis.

We’re thrilled to be presenting Angela Glover Blackwell as our spring speaker in San Francisco on April 16. Founder and CEO of PolicyLink, Angela is a national leader on social justice and equity and will speak on the theme of “Creating a Climate for Equity.” Click here for more details on what we know will be an inspiring and lively event.

And we’ve just confirmed that Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, will be the keynote speaker at our Transportation Choices Summit in Sacramento on April 23. Chairman Nichols has worked tirelessly to implement the California’s landmark climate change program which is a major focus of TransForm’s state advocacy efforts in 2013. Click here to learn more and register for the Summit.

Now on to the rest of the news:

Final call for scholarships to the Transportation Choices Summit in Sacramento

We’re gaining momentum in our campaign to leverage California’s new cap-and-trade program to win real transportation choices that cut carbon emissions and create healthier, more affordable communities. But to truly succeed, we will need to bring the full force of our growing movement to Sacramento and show legislators and agency staff the depth and breadth of support for using cap-and-trade revenues to make California healthier and more affordable to all.

That’s why we need you to join us for the second annual Transportation Choices Summit on April 23 in Sacramento. The Summit will bring together transportation, environmental, housing, equity and other advocates from around the state to learn, network and strategize, and features high-profile speakers including Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. Then on April 24, we’ll take our message to the Capitol for an optional and free Advocacy Day. We want as many community voices as possible, and with the help of the California Community Foundation and the California Endowment we’re offering a significant number of scholarships – but the deadline is this Thursday, March 7, so apply now!.

Click here for more information about the Summit and to register or apply for a scholarship.

First-ever Silicon Valley Transportation Summit a hit

“Let’s Get Moving, Silicon Valley” on Saturday, February 23 was a great success, with 16 co-sponsors, speakers from over 35 organizations and 200 people in attendance. We can’t wait to do it again! Click here to learn more about what took place at the Summit and how you can get involved in this growing movement for a more interconnected and sustainable Silicon Valley.

Just two weeks until you can read the draft “Plan Bay Area” Sustainable Communities Strategy

If you’ve been biting your nails in anticipation of MTC’s draft Plan Bay Area and Environmental Impact Report, relief is just around the corner. These important next steps for the Bay Area’s Sustainable Communities Strategy are scheduled to be available on March 22.

TransForm is already preparing for to dive into the draft documents and provide an analysis on our blog, in time for the first public hearings in April. Among other things, we'll look at how the Environment, Equity, and Jobs scenario performed, the impacts of MTC's proposed road pricing, and whether plans will achieve the regional target of reducing the transportation and housing cost burden on low-income families.

MTC plans to hold public workshops throughout April. When details are available, they’ll be posted on MTC’s website and on TransForm’s events calendar.

Combining affordable homes with affordable transit: GreenTRIP at the Housing CA conference

Truly affordable housing doesn’t involve paying hundreds of dollars a month at the gas pump – yet working families can spend more than a third of their income on transportation. This year’s Housing California conference in Sacramento from April 16-18 will include a discussion on promising strategies to create great affordable homes with less parking and free transit passes.

TransForm’s own Ann Cheng will present on the success of GreenTRIP in a discussion led by Linda Wheaton, of the CA Housing and Community Development with presentations from LA Metro, First Community Housing and more. Click here to learn more and register now.

We’re looking for a temporary Transportation Organizer through July

TransForm is seeking a temporary Transportation Organizer to work on several regional campaigns through July. These campaigns will include efforts to ensure equity, choice, and innovation in plans for high-occupancy toll lanes and the adoption of the Bay Area’s first Sustainable Communities Strategy.

This position is perfect for someone who is passionate about improving transportation and land use in the Bay Area, has experience running advocacy campaigns, and has strong communication skills. For the full job announcement as well as other currently job listings, click here.

High school students launch Carpool Parking Area in Pleasanton

As if to prove the point that today’s youth are shifting towards driving less, a group of high school students in Pleasanton convinced their school to convert 30 prime parking spaces in the student parking lot into a Carpool Parking Area for those who share a ride. Wielding cans of green spray paint and homemade stencils, students at Foothill High School labeled the new parking area on February 6 in celebration of Carpool to School Day.

Students led this effort with support from our Alameda County Safe Routes to School staff, motivated by the longstanding traffic problem in the student parking lot and high levels of air pollution in the Tri-Valley. You can check out photos of the new Carpool Parking Area here and read local news coverage here and here.

It’s not too late to join the TransForm Carbon Crushers

It's not too late to join us for Climate Ride – the nation’s largest environmental cycling event and ‘green conference on wheels’ this May – and enjoy an incredible five day bicycle tour while helping TransForm build a movement for transportation choices in California.

The TransForm Carbon Crushers team is now eight members strong and completed our first group training ride this past Sunday. We’re also working together to meet the team goal of raising $30,000 to support TransForm’s work to create healthy, affordable communities where everyone can choose to walk, bike, or take public transportation. We invite you to join us on this incredible adventure, May 18-23, 2013 – no biking or fundraising experience necessary!

Click here to learn more about our Climate Ride effort, and register to ride and fundraise with us this spring. If you’d like more information, please contact Shannon Tracey.

Upcoming events in the Bay Area and beyond

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

Smart Parking Symposium
Monday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m. – Tuesday, March 19 at 4:00 p.m. in Berkeley

For the first time, ITSA is bringing its Smart Parking Symposium to the West Coast. This event will cover the latest in smart parking technology, its application in the public space and the environmental and economic impact on the municipalities and private organizations that have implemented smart parking technology. This event aims to foster communication between the public and private sectors in order to facilitate the implementation of smart parking technologies and increase understanding of their impact on the community. Click here for more information and to register.

Lake Merritt BART Station Area Planning Public Hearings
Wednesday, March 20th and Wednesday, April 3rd at 4:00 p.m. in Oakland

TransForm is working with local stakeholders and the City of Oakland to unlock the Lake Merritt station area's strong potential as a new model for a transit-oriented, walkable community in the region. The Lake Merritt BART Station area currently hosts moderate density housing but has little in the way of character and identity.

There will be important public hearings at Oakland City Hall on Wednesday, March 20 and Wednesday, April 3 to consider the plan. Updated details and background documents will be available on the project website – contact Joel Ramos for more information.

Building the 21st Century City: Inclusion, Innovation, and Globalization
Urban Affairs Association Conference 2013
April 3-6 in San Francisco

The 43rd annual Urban Affairs Association Conference is coming to San Francisco! From racial and economic inequality to crime and inadequate housing, cities bear much of the brunt of society’s problems. However, discourse on urban areas has understated the relative success of certain cities in addressing many of these challenges. Taking San Francisco as an exemplary case, the 2013 conference will explore the ways in which governments, individual residents, neighborhood groups, non-profits, and others have improved urban areas across the globe.

TransForm’s own Chris Lepe will be speaking on a panel called “Race, Inequality, and Struggles for Social Justice in the Silicon Valley.” Click here for more information on the conference, including registration details.

Creating a Climate for Equity: An evening with Angela Glover Blackwell
Tuesday, April 16th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in San Francisco

Join TransForm for an evening with Angela Glover Blackwell, founder and CEO of PolicyLink and national leader on social justice and equity. Angela will offer her insights into how California’s cutting-edge climate policies hold the potential to redefine our communities as centers of equity as well as economic and environmental health.

In addition to a thought-provoking conversation with this inspiring speaker, this event will include food, drinks, and networking with the TransForm community. TransForm events tend to sell out, so click here for details and to purchase tickets now.