Election Reflections and Results

 Noah BergerThe results of last week’s national elections are still sinking in. Trump’s inflammatory and offensive comments about people of color, women, immigrants, Muslims, and people with disabilities (to name a few) are not just upsetting — they embolden the worst elements in our society, already putting people’s lives in danger. His climate denial may put everyone on the planet at risk, especially the hundreds of millions of the most vulnerable who may lose their homes to rising seas, or lives to hunger from drought. We shudder at what this means for future generations.

TransForm unequivocally rejects the hate, lies, fear, and division that Trump has amplified and exploited in his rise to power. We stand in solidarity with all of our communities who will be made more vulnerable by a Trump presidency, even more committed now to ensuring that they and all people have safe and affordable places to live and ways to get around that support the health of people and the planet. We’re going to take the time to reflect and consider how we need to adjust our priorities, our approach, and our partners to meet this moment.

We also know that hate crimes and harassment often happen to people walking or on public transportation. We pledge to work harder to address this problem, to make our streets and transit systems truly safe places for women, people of color, people of faith, and other vulnerable communities.

Now more than ever, it is critical for states and local governments to lead on climate, social equity, and affordability. We will not throw up our hands in defeat; we will roll up our sleeves to keep California on track as a leader for climate justice and a beacon of hope in the US and the world. We will double down for just and sustainable transportation, housing, and land use solutions that serve and connect our diverse communities so that no one — neither urban nor rural working families — is left behind.

At the same time, we have a lot to be proud of in California and the Bay Area. The strong support for public transportation and affordable housing measures across the state in this election shows a willingness to invest in more inclusive, sustainable communities. It’s worth savoring and celebrating these successes as sources of hope to fuel us through the hard times to come. This commitment is especially heartening since federal funding for many of the programs we care about may shrink or disappear over the next four years.

We won’t let that stop us.

Great places to walk and bike, vibrant public spaces, affordable homes and transportation can bring people together and foster a more inclusive society. That should be a unifying vision for our future, and we will keep bringing people together to move it forward.

Now, more about those local victories! It wasn’t quite a clean sweep for the issues we worked on and took a position on, but there is a lot to celebrate here.

Yes on Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties Measure RR (⅔ needed): PASS
(Yes: 70.1%, No 29.9%)

Voters in three counties strongly supported investments in the safety and reliability of the BART system we all rely on. They saw through the political attacks to the urgent need to maintain BART for working people, families, and our economy. The passage of Measure RR sets BART up to finally do what we’ve been calling on them to do for years — focus on improving the core system and serving existing riders better. See our op-ed in support of Measure RR.

Yes on Alameda County Measure C1 (⅔ needed): PASS 
(Yes: 81.4%, No 18.6%)

Alameda and Contra Costa County voters overwhelmingly voted to continue supporting AC Transit bus service, which so many people depend on to get to work, school, health care, and wherever they need to go. AC Transit is a lifeline for low-income residents, communities of color, working people, the disabled, and seniors. With so many tax measures on the ballot this year, it’s encouraging that so many people realize that dependable transit service is worth investing in. See our blog post in support of Measure C1.

Yes on Alameda County Measure A1 (⅔ needed): PASS
(Yes: 72.3%, No 27.7%)

The housing crisis in Alameda is serious, and Measure A1 is going to provide serious relief. Alameda County voters recognized this and voted yes. The affordable housing programs in this measure are critical to creating connected and sustainable communities where long-time residents can stay in their homes and close to their families, neighbors, and history. See our blog post in support of Measure A1.

Yes on Santa Clara County Measure A (⅔ needed): LEANING PASS 
(Yes: 67%, No 33%)

This one is still a little close to call, but assuming it holds on to more than 66.6%, Measure A will provide meaningful relief to the people most heavily affected by the housing crisis in Santa Clara County — namely the homeless, seniors, disabled people, students, veterans, and low-income families. Measure A alone won’t solve our housing affordability problem, but it’s a major step in the right direction. See our blog post in support of Measures A and B.

Yes on Santa Clara County Measure B: PASS
(Yes: 70.9%, No 29.1%)

Measure B will give Santa Clara County the resources it needs to improve public transportation, repair our crumbling roads, and make walking and biking safer, more popular transportation options. Moving forward, we’ll be pushing to make sure the money for roads benefits all road users and results in meaningful congestion reduction without impacting our climate. See our blog post in support of Measures A and B.

Yes on Oakland Measure JJ: PASS
(Yes: 73.9%, No 26.1%)

It’s gratifying to see such strong support for Measure JJ, and not too surprising given the housing affordability crisis in Oakland. Measure JJ will protect renters against unreasonable rent increases and evictions with fair, common-sense solutions to keep Oaklanders in their homes and neighborhoods. Like with all the housing measures we supported this year, it’s not an absolute fix on its own, but it’s an important step in the right direction. See our blog post in support of Measures JJ and KK.

Yes on Oakland Measure KK (⅔ needed): PASS 

(Yes: 82%, No 18%)

This one passed by a landslide! Measure KK will bring the percentage of Oakland streets in good repair from 25% to 70% in 10 years — that’s good for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders. KK will also fund upgrades to city parks, libraries, and fire stations, plus it includes $100 million for affordable housing programs to prevent displacement. Thanks to Oakland voters for stepping up for this “fix it first” measure. See our blog post in support of Measures JJ and KK.

Other measures we took a position on:

No on California Proposition 53, Statewide vote for bond measures: FAIL
(Yes: 48.6%, No 51.4%)

Neutral on Contra Costa County Measure X, Transportation sales tax: FAIL
(Yes: 62.5%, No 34.9%)

Yes on San Francisco Measure J, Transportation and housing sales tax (⅔ needed): Will fail if Measure K fails
(Yes: 66.4%, No 33.6%)

Yes on San Francisco Measure K, Charter amendment to enact Measure J (⅔ needed): FAILING
(Yes: 34.9%, No 65.1%) (Measure J must pass too for this to go into effect)

No on San Francisco Measure L, Restructuring SFMTA governance: FAIL
(Yes: 44.5%, No 55.5%)

Yes on Oakland Measure HH, Soda tax: PASS
(Yes: 60.7%, No 39.3%)

Yes on Berkeley Measure U1, Business license tax for property owners: PASS
(Yes: 74.1%, No 25.9%)

No on Berkeley Measure DD, Landlord-sponsored gross receipts tax: FAIL
(Yes: 29.2%, No 70.8%)

Yes on Albany Measure N1, Parking requirements: PASS
(Yes: 64.3%, No 35.7%)

Yes on Albany Measure P1, Parcel tax for sidewalk repairs  (⅔ needed): PASS
(Yes: 77.7%, No 22.3%)

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About This Blog

TransForum is the blog of TransForm, California's leading transportation advocate. For more about our work, including ways you can take action and contribute, visit TransFormCA.org.