Hold onto your helmets – May is National Bike Month! That’s 31 days to celebrate the two (or three) wheels that help you leave the car at home, get some exercise, and keep you moving freely. There are Bike Month events happening throughout California all month (including Bike to Work / School Day on May 12), so check out our events calendar to find a bike-friendly event near you.
Speaking of bike-friendly events, we’re just two weeks away from our Transportation Equity Summit in Sacramento on May 16, which we’re proudly hosting with the California Bicycle Coalition. There’s still time to register, so get your ticket today! Together we will strategize and advocate for real transportation choices and a more connected, affordable California. You’ll connect with community leaders from across the state, hear from inspiring speakers (like Genoveva Islas, director of Cultiva La Salud), and put your brains together during interactive breakout sessions. And you can take your message directly to the State Capitol during our optional Advocacy Day on May 17.
TAKE ACTION TO SUPPORT TRANSIT PASSES FOR STUDENTS
Students in California face a lot of challenges - getting to school shouldn't be one of them. That's why we are co-sponsoring AB 2222, a bill that would invest $50 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund in transit passes for K-12 and college students across the state. Your support helped the bill pass unanimously out of the Assembly Transportation Committee last month, and now we need you to take action again! Please email the Assembly Appropriations Committee and urge them to support AB 2222 and affordable public transportation for all students.
HOW SHOULD SANTA CLARA COUNTY SPEND $6 BILLION?
On Earth Day last month, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) Board of Directors drafted a plan for how to spend money raised from Santa Clara County's next transportation sales tax. The half-cent sales tax, which is planned for this November's ballot, is expected to generate over $6 billion over 30 years to fund transportation projects across the county. That's a lot of money!
TransForm is concerned that VTA’s proposal gives too much funding to projects that encourage more driving and negatively impact our climate, traffic, safety, and air quality. We believe that more money should go to projects that help reduce traffic, curb pollution, and make our roads safe for all. Read our full letter to VTA on what we think the best use of the money is, and why.
The VTA Board is expected to make a final decision on this proposed expenditure plan at their June 2nd Board meeting - so there's still time to make your voice heard! You can attend one of the upcoming public meetings near you, RSVP to attend/speak at the big June 2nd VTA Board meeting, or sign our petition.
SILICON VALLEY SUMMIT THIS SATURDAY
We’re just a few days away from the Let’s Get Moving! 2016 Summit in Mountain View on May 7 – but you can still get your ticket! Whether you're a planning expert, a student who rides the bus, or someone who cares about the future of this region, there's a place for you at our Summit. From self-driving cars and high speed rail, to grassroots organizing and displacement, we’ll be talking about it all. Stick around after the sessions for live music and cocktails from 5 – 7 pm. Check out the list of sessions and speakers, and buy your ticket today to join us on Saturday!
TELL LAWMAKERS: DON’T TAKE MONEY FROM OIL COMPANIES
Who do your elected officials answer to? Are they working for the people of California – or for the oil company executives and others who pollute for profit, at the expense of the environment and our health? Californians want more transportation choices, better public transportation, and safer conditions for walking and biking; but if oil company lobbyists are footing the bill, it can drown out our voices. That’s why TransForm is joining our allies across California to oppose oil companies and stand up for voters.
Join us and tell your lawmaker: you represent us, not the oil industry.
WE WON: OAKLAND PASSES A HOUSING IMPACT FEE
Last month, the Oakland City Council passed its first housing impact fee - finally! For the past two years, TransForm and our allies in the Oakland Community Investment Alliance have been advocating and organizing to pass a housing impact fee to raise money from developers to build and protect permanently affordable homes in Oakland. It was a long road to get to this point, and while the impact fee is just one of the many strategies we’ll need to deal with the housing crisis, we are proud to have helped move the needle towards a more affordable, inclusive Oakland for all.
TRANSFORM TO BE HONORED AS AFFORDABLE HOUSING CHAMPION
Everyone deserves an affordable, safe, and stable place to call home – especially in the Bay Area, where rising rents and displacement are driving low-income and communities of color out of the places they’ve long called home. That’s why we are proud to partner with East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) during their 20th annual Affordable Housing Week (#HomesAndHope), and grateful to be honored as a 2016 Affordable Housing Advocacy Champion at the kickoff celebration on May 13.
BART’S GOLDEN MOMENT
Bay Area sports are feeling pretty golden right now...shouldn't our #1 regional transportation system be an MVP too? Instead, regular BART riders have had to endure weeks of unpleasant conditions, from mystery electrical glitches to sardine-like commutes. Fortunately, the current BART Board of Directors wants to put a funding measure on the 2016 ballot that would raise $3.5 billion to be invested in repairing, maintaining, and improving BART’s existing service.
Tell your BART Director that you’re on board with their plan for a better BART.
HONORING VETERANS WITH AFFORDABLE HOMES IN LONG BEACH
When the City of Long Beach broke ground on Anchor Place last month, they were celebrating more than just new housing. Funded by cap-and-trade money from the Affordable Homes and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program, Anchor Place is a unique development that will provide affordable homes, transit access, and comprehensive support service for veterans.
As TransForm’s Climate Policy Manager and Navy veteran, Ryan Wiggins, writes: “The Anchor Place project epitomizes the beauty of California’s climate program. We are eliminating our dependence on resources that threaten national and global security and put our service members in harms way.”
COMING SOON: EQUITY CONSIDERATIONS FOR A SECOND TRANSBAY CROSSING
At a recent forum, our own Joel Ramos joined other regional leaders to discuss preliminary ideas for a second rail crossing between San Francisco and the East Bay (often referred to as a second transbay tube). The Bay Area may need a second transbay crossing, but if we do, we should do it right. Our new report, coming soon, will highlight what we think our transportation agencies need to do in order to ensure fairness in planning, designing, funding, and building a second crossing.