FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Zack Deutsch-Gross
February 9, 2024
Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo Introduces Bill to Bring Transparency and Accountability to California’s Transportation Investments
SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo announced the introduction of the Transportation Accountability Act, AB 2086, which will create needed transparency and accountability in California’s transportation investments, paving the way for a more efficient and equitable transportation system. The Greenlining Institute and TransForm are co-sponsors of this vital legislation.
California is experiencing climate disasters with more and more regularity. The transportation sector is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in our state. Yet, legislation designed to address these emissions has been undermined by a lack of transparency about where California’s transportation budget goes and whether those investments are serving our climate goals.
The Transportation Accountability Act requires the state to set targets, track, and regularly report to the legislature and the public how transportation dollars support state and federal mandates.
“Our state’s transportation system impacts the daily lives of every Californian, as well as the state’s ambitious climate, equity, economic, and safety goals. Yet the legislature and public have no meaningful way of tracking the impacts of California’s transportation investments and how they are supporting or hampering progress toward our goals. The Transportation Accountability Act will lay the foundation for transforming the way California invests in transportation to ensure future transportation initiatives improve mobility and help us meet state and federal goals while advancing equity for all,” said Assemblywoman Schiavo.
State and federal agencies that impact California’s transportation system include:
● CalSTA’s Core Four Priorities of Safety, Equity, Climate Action, and Economic Prosperity
● California law under AB 32 (Pavley, 2006), which requires the state to reduce climate emissions by at least 40% by 2030
● The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s new requirement for state departments of transportation and metropolitan planning organizations, and more.
“California has historically failed to align its transportation investments with state and federal goals; we need our transportation agencies to be transparent and show that they are meeting these goals,” Schiavo continued.
“Decades of inequitable transportation policies and investments have burdened communities of color and low-income communities with worse health and economic outcomes. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Transportation investments have the potential to yield more economic opportunities by creating high-quality jobs, increasing options to get people to work, and improving local economic activity. Our communities deserve transparency and accountability to ensure we don’t replicate harms, and the state needs this information to target resources and maximize taxpayer dollars,” said Alvaro Sanchez, Vice President of Policy at The Greenlining Institute. “The Transportation Accountability Act is essential to those goals.”
“Despite spending billions of dollars annually on transportation, California is failing to meet our own climate and safety goals. The Transportation Accountability Act is an essential step to ensure everyone can safely and conveniently access what they need and enjoy fulfilling lives without the fear of climate catastrophe,” said Zack Deutsch-Gross, Policy Director at TransForm.
“The Transportation Accountability Act helps ensure benefits promised to the Californians, state, local, and regional governments, and the public are transparent and can be fulfilled. By understanding the impacts and gaps, the state can make more effective, responsible, and fair transportation investments for decades to come,” said Schiavo.
Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo was elected to the California State Assembly in November of 2022 to represent the 40th Assembly District, representing the Northwest San Fernando Valley and the Santa Clarita Valley. Upon her election, she was appointed as Assistant Majority Whip by the Speaker of the Assembly and now serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs. Prior to her election, Assemblywoman Schiavo was a Nurse Advocate and Small Business Owner who worked in the labor movement for more than 20 years. Throughout her career, Assemblywoman Schiavo helped deliver healthcare, including reproductive healthcare, to more than one million people and fought to put critical dollars in the pockets of workers. In the Northwest San Fernando Valley, she co-founded an organization that helped secure housing for Veterans experiencing homelessness, co-founded an organization that delivered more than 50,000 meals to people in need, and increased resources to help keep our communities safe. Assemblywoman Schiavo lives in Chatsworth with her daughter Sofia, and they love to hike in the Santa Susana Mountains.
The Greenlining Institute works towards a future where communities of color can build wealth, live in healthy places filled with economic opportunity, and are ready to meet the challenges posed by climate change. To learn more, visit greenlining.org.
Transform works to ensure that people of all incomes thrive in a world safe from climate collapse. We envision vibrant neighborhoods, transformed by excellent, sustainable mobility options and affordable housing, where those historically impacted by racist disinvestment now have power and voice.