The Center for Transportation for Excellence in Washington DC monitors transportation sales tax campaigns across the U.S.—the successes, failures and lessons learned. When interviewed earlier this year Director Jason Jordan stressed that the first lesson is that success requires a “great, broad and deep coalition." Jordan said that coalition has to engage the public early, stick together, and keep talking about the value of the transportation investment—that it has to wage what is essentially a “permanent campaign.”
See some of the members of that big coalition below, and join them at Move LA's 8th Annual Transportation Conversation—REGISTER HERE—which is the wind-up and the pitch for LA County’s next sales tax measure, likely to be on the ballot in November 2016. At the LA Cathedral's Conference Center in downtown LA next Monday with lunch beginning at 11:15 a.m.
Don’t miss out. It will be a provocative conversation about what is in Metro’s proposed expenditure plan, and what isn’t—but should be. With LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Professor Dr. Manuel Pastor from USC, and a great, broad, deep coalition including (in alphabetical order):
Art Aguilar, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277
John Boesel, CalStart
Tamika Butler, LA County Bicycle Coalition
Darrell Clarke, Sierra Club (and formerly Friends of Expo)
Andre Colaiace, Access Services
Mike Eng, LA Community College District Board
Nidia Erceg, Coalition for Clean Air
Cecilia Estolano, ELP Advisors
Chris Hannan, LA/Orange County Building & Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO
Rusty Hicks, LA County Federation of Labor
Zach Hoover, LA Voice
David Kersh, Carpenters/Contractors Cooperation Committee
Mary Leslie, LA Business Council
Romel Lopez, ASU President of East LA College
Dr. Joseph K. Lyou, Coalition for Clean Air
Jessica Meaney, Investing in Place
Jerilyn Lopez Mendoza, SoCal Gas
Hilary Norton, FAST (Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic)
Brandi Orton, St. Barnabas Senior Services
Erika Thi Patterson, Jobs to Move America
Jonathan Parfrey, Climate Resolve
Joyce Perkins, LANI (Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative)
Ron “Halisi” Price, African American Sheet Metal Workers Association and LA Black Worker Center/Black Labor Construction Council
Tracy Rafter, LA County Business Federation
Kevin Ramsey, SoCal Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors
Sergio Rascon, Laborers International Union of North America Local 300
Alberto Retana, Community Coalition
Eric Stockel, One LA and Leo Baeck Temple
Taylor Thomas, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice
Tanua Thrash-Ntuk, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation)
Gary Toebben, LA Area Chamber of Commerce
M C Townsend, Regional Black Chamber of Commerce San Fernando Valley
Thomas Yee, LA THRIVES
Last March LA Metro released a stunning proposal for the expansion of LA County's rail transit system (click here to see the map). The system that is envisioned will provide robust rail transit service to all parts of LA County, creating a dramatic alternative to the doomed-to-be-congested future we face now.
This proposed measure will even invest significant funds in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, whereas Measure R in 2008 provided no bike/ped investments at all.
YES! And here's how:
• Metro can expand the bike-ped program by making a clear commitment to invest in first-last-mile connections and complete streets.
• Metro can expand transit services for older adults and people with disabilities.
• Metro can create a robust student transit pass program that will turn many young adults into lifetime transit riders.
• Metro can invest in clean alternatives to diesel trucks and finish the job of cleaning the air.
REGISTER for Move LA's 8th Annual Transportation Conversation at the LA Cathedral on Monday, May 23, beginning with lunch at 11:15 a.m., and talk with us about your priorities!
With LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, chair of Metro’s Board, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, USC’s Dr. Manuel Pastor, and leaders from our big and broad coalition, which represents the interests of business, labor, environmentalists, faith-based groups, social justice organizations, affordable housing advocates, students, seniors, and people with disabilities.
(Photo courtesy Streetsblog LA.)
In 2008 LA County voters knew that reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, revving up our economy by putting thousands of people to work, and also reducing household transportation costs was a challenging agenda that could only be addressed by a bold program. Voters approved Measure R by 67.9%, in part because they saw a program bold enough to address the challenges. Metro learned an important lesson: Fortune favors the bold.
In 2016 Metro's draft measure for November is bolder. The new measure will fund new rail transit lines that can reduce the need to drive; improve bus operations, expand service and help keep fares affordable; fix freeway bottlenecks and keep roads and bridges safe; build more and better bike and pedestrian connections; and help improve air quality. If approved by voters the new ballot measure will generate more than $120 billion over 40 years for transportation investments. And yet it will increase taxes by less than 10 cents per day per resident.
In the most recent Student Survey of Los Angeles Community College District campuses (fall 2014): 83.6% of students reported that “low cost” was important or very important in their decision to enroll in college; 58.5% reported that “availability of public transportation” was important or very important in their decision to enroll, and 54.7% reported that “financial factors” are a moderate or major problem in reaching their academic goals. With this in mind the Student Advisory Committee of the LA Community College District voted for a resolution last December to support the development of a discounted student transit pass program for the LACCD, working with their Associated Student Organizations/Unions/governments. Read more HERE.
Move LA is helping organize students around opportunities to win discounted transit passes at LA Metro and in the state Legislature. Toward that end we are hosting a Student Transit Pass Summit at LA Trade Tech in downtown LA next Friday the 13th (!) from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Could you help get this message out to students? We have contacts with student leadership at community colleges but need help reaching out to state universities and UCLA!
LINK to registration: http://www.movela.org/student_transit_pass_advocacy_summit
SAMPLE TWEET: There's one posted now that you can retweet if you search for @movelatransit on twitter, follow us, and then retweet!
DRAFT FB POST OR EMAIL BELOW:
Want to get deeply discounted student transit passes when you register for classes? So you can ride any line, any time—bus or rail? Come to LA Trade Tech on Friday the 13th and talk to student leadership from across LA County about a countywide/statewide campaign to reduce the cost of transportation and make getting an education more affordable! This is a free event, but registration is required & space is limited (need a head count for food!).
Come talk with: Alex Galeana/SSCCC, Romel Lopez/East LA Community College, Jesse Randel/Santa Monica College, Chase Frederick/SW College, Lorena Aguilar/Mission College+CCASA, Saleem Moimuddin/Valley College+CCASA, Milo Anderson/Pierce College, and Isaac Medeiros, Gerson Liahut-Sanchez, Clarissa Casillas, and the CCASA crew.
With LA Metro Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins, Nick Liedtke from Asm. Chris Holden's office, author of AB 2222 to provide $50M/year for student passes, LA Trade Tech President Larry Frank, Move LA Executive Director Denny Zane and more!
Register here: http://www.movela.org/student_transit_pass_advocacy_summit
Move LA is involved in 2 parallel processes in the California Legislature to win funding for discounted student transit pass programs, and now is the time to generate letters of support for both:
- We are working a bill by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)—AB 2222—to provide $50 million/year out of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) for student transit pass programs statewide. The bill won a unanimous vote in Assembly Transportation on April 11 and has been put on suspense in Appropriations—like all bills with an annual cost of more than $150,000.
- We are also working with Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), chair of Assembly Budget Subcommittee #3 on Natural Resources and Transportation, on the continuous appropriation of $50 million/year out of the GGRF.
We need 2 letters of support, one of them immediately.
- The first should be sent ASAP, faxed to Governor Brown, and cc’d to the chairs of the Senate and Assembly budget committees and to the leadership of both the Assembly and Senate, and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can keep track of the letters. A sample letter can be downloaded HERE.
- The second should be sent to Appropriations Committee Chair Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and emailed to email@example.com. The sample letter can be downloaded HERE.
- There are talking points that you can use to write your own letter HERE.
Join us and Move LA's big and broad coalition in support of LA’s transit transformation at our 8th annual Transportation Conversation! Let’s gear up to celebrate the rainbow that now criss-crosses LA County—see the video below!—with more lines to come! Click here to register.
Yes LA's convoluted permitting process is party to blame, wrote Eddie Kim in the Downtown News in August 2014—a long time ago, yes, but good to know now that all these buildings are coming out of the ground!—in which he quotes SCI-Arc Director Eric Owen Moss saying DTLA's aesthetics is damaged by this homogenous look. “It trivializes architecture and planning and makes the art of creating buildings all about superficial decoration,” Moss said. “It’s pathetic, considering the amount of stuff being built.” The problem is these new buildings are Type V wood-frame construction; anything taller than 7 stories requires a steel frame, raising costs considerably (and meaning projects less than 20 stories didn't pencil out in the aftermath of the Great Recession—when many of them were financed). The upside: They won't last long and will get torn down as the value of land climbs, making taller buildings more financially feasible. Until then, recommends Gensler's Rob Jernigan, the priority should be buildings that engage the public and create a neighborhood. “Green space, bicycling, open air, green roofs, more operable windows—we don’t deliver on this stuff enough,” Jernigan said. “We really need to push the street experience, too. This is a city where you can eat and play outdoors 12 months a year. That’s the character we need to promote." Read the story here.Read more
AB 2222, our student transit pass bill, passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee with a unanimous vote largely because of all the support from educational organizations, colleges and universities, and students, as well as others. UCLA Professor Donald Shoup, who has published reports about the success of these programs, wrote about UCLA’s student pass program in his letter of support, pointing out that offering fare-free public transit to reduce parking demand was far cheaper than spending $47 million to add 1,500 new parking spaces!Read more
My name is Romel Lopez I am the student body president of East Los Angeles College,
which services 38,000 students who, for the most part, commute to the school. Discounted transit fares will not only benefit the students who are already enrolled but will also increase the rate of retention by lifting the financial burden of getting to and from school, and also encourage more people from the community to attend college because there's affordable transportation.
The discounted transit fare must be available to part-time students—Metro's current student pass is only available to full-time students—because part-time students are the "nontraditional" students who cannot go to school full-time because they may have to take care of their parents, or because they are single parents—which means they may have to work a full-time job and don't have the privilege of attending school full-time.
As a single father of 3 children I know the financial strain that comes with seeking a higher education. But I believe that by going to school I'm not only securing my own future but also the future of my children, which not only benefits my family but also benefits my community.
Attending East Los Angeles Community College for the past couple of years has made me realize that education is a great equalizer, and that affordable transportation is big step toward improving life in all of LA County.