This Monday, the state Assembly Transportation Committee approved a key bill, AB 1051, by a clear majority of 9-2. This bill, a top priority at last week’s Transportation Choices Advocacy Day, would put many of the recommendations of our Sustainable Communities for All platform into law, creating a new program to finance affordable homes in transit-oriented development, transit passes, expanded public transit, bicycle and pedestrian connections, and other critical transportation needs with projected revenues from the state’s new cap-and-trade program.
It’s clear our presence in Sacramento factored into this significant milestone. Many committee members mentioned that they’d had visits from TransForm allies on Advocacy Day, and everyone we’ve spoken with recently at the Capitol had heard of the issues due to our efforts. Thanks to the more than 100 advocates from all over the state who flooded legislative offices with our message, AB 1051 will now move to the next step, the Appropriations Committee. It’s by no means certain to make it through that committee, so your calls and emails are still very much needed.
Next week, the Governor will release his budget proposal to the Legislature, who will ultimately decide how to invest the billions of dollars expected from cap-and-trade in the coming years. It’s up to us to continue our advocacy, and urge state leaders to dedicate significant funding to real transportation choices and affordable homes that will most effectively cut climate pollution and also improve health and the economy for all Californians.
This is an exciting moment for the movement for real transportation choices. AB 1051, sponsored by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, and the Air Resources Board’s proposed investment plan are the result of many years of work from a broad coalition of housing, social justice, transit, and environmental activists. Today, we are making strides toward guaranteeing that revenues from cap-and-trade auctions will be used to build communities where everyone has safe and affordable choices for where to live and how to get around. In the next six weeks, we are poised to win funding and policies in Sacramento that could truly transform transportation, and set us on the path to a healthier, more prosperous future for all Californians.
At the close of the Transportation Choices Summit, Transportation for America director James Corless reminded us that what California does now will shape transportation, housing, and climate policy nationwide. We’re on the right track – but we’re still a long way from the station. It’s critical that we take advantage of this incredible opportunity to transform transportation in California and show the nation how safer, cleaner, and more affordable communities can benefit us all.
Help keep up the momentum for AB 1051 and sustainable, equitable communities. Call or email your legislators right now to ask their support for this important bill.