Measures R, M, H, No Prop 6, and Vision 2020
MOVE LA HAS BUILT a successful civic engagement model resulting in smart, transformative solutions to complex problems in LA County. Since 2007 Move LA has worked with a wide range of civic leaders and organizations to “dream big” and identify strategies that address fundamental community challenges by forming alliances and coalitions that champion viable solutions to LA County's problems. To date we have focused on the need to fund transit and affordable housing in neighborhoods near transit, and the success of our work has served as a model for community advocacy in other cities and counties and has been celebrated around the U.S.! Read about our victories over the last decade below. And then read about our goals for 2019 and 2020, and our Vision 2020 campaign, which is already underway!
There is so much more we want to do. And at Move LA we like to say, "When you are on a roll, keep rolling."
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Move LA's Most Significant Accomplishments, 2008-2018:
This has been a decade of remarkable success in LA County and California as a whole,
and we have played a notable role in it, beginning with:
Measure R, 2008: Move LA built the business, labor, environmental coalition that sponsored Measure R, a 30-year 1⁄2 cent sales tax measure for transportation placed on the ballot by LA Metro in November 2008. It is fair to say we tee’d it up for Mayor Villaraigosa to bring it home. Measure R was approved by 67.4% of LA County voters and would raise $36 B over 30 years for primarily transit investments.Measure M amended R to continue until voters choose to change or end it.
SCAG's Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (RTP/SCS), 2012: Move LA was a founding member of the ClimatePlan coalition that convened environmental, environmental justice, housing and transit advocates to champion ambitious GHG reduction goals in the first RTP/SCS at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG).
California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, 2014: Move LA was a founding member and the only Southern California participant in the Sustainable Communities For All (SC4A) coalition, which won continuous appropriations of significant cap-and-trade funds for transit capital (the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program), transit operations (the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program), and affordable housing near transit (the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program). By the beginning of 2019, more than $8 billion dollars were appropriated by the legislature to state agencies implementing GHG emission reduction programs and projects.
Measure M, 2016: Move LA continued building a coalition that would convince LA Metro to place Measure M on the ballot in November 2016. It is fair to say we tee’d this measure up so that Mayor Garcetti could bring it home. Measure M had no sunset and extended Measure R with no sunset. Together Measure R and M will generate an astounding $160 B for transportation investments in LA County over the next 40 years, and more in the years following—until voters choose to change it. More than 70% of funds will be invested in an expanded rail transit system, enhanced bus service, and active transportation projects. Significant funds were earmarked for enhanced transit services for older adults and persons with disabilities as well.
Metro Student Transit Pass Program, 2016: Move LA worked with LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to gain Metro's support for a universal student transit pass program, which has already significantly grown student transit ridership in LA County.
Measure H, 2017: Working closely with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Move LA helped launch and win Measure H in 2017, a sales tax measure approved by LA County voters to raise $350 M/year to provide services and housing to end homelessness.
SB 961 (Allen), 2018: In 2018 the legislature approved and Governor Brown signed SB 961, authored by Sen. Ben Allen and sponsored by Move LA, into law. The bill enables cities to create tax increment financing districts within 1⁄2 mile of major transit service. Districts will be required to use 40% of the tax increment for affordable housing, 10% for urban greening and active transportation investments, and the remaining 50% for transit capital projects and other neighborhood improvements.
No on Prop 6, 2018: In November 2018, working in partnership with labor, we were the primary organizers of the LA County-based opposition to Proposition 6 which sought to repeal SB 1, the legislature’s major transportation infrastructure bill, which provides about $5 billion/year for transportation statewide. Happily, voters rejected Prop 6 and preserved funds to ensure a state of good repair for local streets and highways, with a 15% set aside for investments in transit capital and operations and in active transportation.
Move LA's 2019-2020 Agenda (not in order of priority)
1) Move LA will work to ensure that Measures R and M are successfully implemented, guided by a commitment to justice and fairness especially to low-income communities of color that rely most heavily upon our transit system. Move LA will be selective about participation with individual projects and work to keep a countywide and regional focus. Our priorities will include:
- Creation of a truly universal Student Transit Pass program in LA County: LA Metro will need ideas from our community to succeed in rebuilding our bus ridership. Move LA will seek legislation to provide $25 M/ year from California Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to encourage implementation of a fee-based and truly universal student transit pass program. Programs around the country shows that, if structured right, such programs can gain 20-40% student transit ridership. This would mean more new transit riders than now the total riders on the Red Line - without spending billions of dollars.
- Ensuring the commitments made in Measure M to provide a minimum investment in expanded transit service for older adults and persons with disabilities are fully realized: Promises made must be kept. Big opportunities exist for innovative services that can make LA County a model for flexible mobility and access for our seniors and our neighbors with disabilities.
- Working with LA Metro on the NextGen Bus study: Given the dramatic decline in bus ridership since roughly 2010, it was essential that LA Metro undertake a major review of its bus systems to find ways to enhance the system and service and increase ridership. Move LA is participating in that study. We will eagerly work with Metro CEO Phil Washington on a proposed congestion pricing + free transit program.
2) Move LA will work to create essential tools for community development near transit.
- Improve and implement SB 961 (Allen) and work for new funding for affordable housing: Tax increment financing was the most powerful tool of redevelopment for cities all over California and the primary source of funding for affordable housing. When it was dissolved, cities lost their most powerful tool for economic and community development. Move LA sponsored SB 961 (Allen) focuses the tax increment financing tool to districts around transit system with 40% dedicated to affordable housing, 10% to urban greening and active transportation, and the rest to other infrastructure investments essential to community development. Other worthy housing proposals are also expected during the 2019 legislative session.
- California Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds (GGRF): Continue successful coalition efforts in Sacramento to direct cap-and-trade funds to investments in transit, affordable housing, community development and new investments in student transit pass programs.
- Grand Boulevards program: Move LA will work with LA Metro and local cities to create new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems and service. Boulevards should be selected not simply for near-term ridership growth or ease of implementation but also for opportunities to achieve significant community development with affordable housing. Coordinated efforts for system development and community development will ensure the greatest level of success.
3) Move LA will work to develop and support a State Constitutional Amendment to lower the voter threshold to 55% for local measures to raise taxes, fees or bonds for transit, affordable housing, emission reductions and other purposes.
- Build a coalition in support of a constitutional amendment to lower the voter threshold to 55% for local measures to raise, taxes, fees or issue bonds for transportation, water, wastewater infrastructure, for projects and programs to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, to enhance climate resilience, build and operate housing affordable to low and moderate income households and to provide operating revenues for K-12 public schools and community colleges.
Vision 2020: Our Next Big Campaign
We will work with the South Coast Air Quality Management District to develop a regional ballot measure to finish cleaning our air, make dramatic reductions in GHG emissions, modernize and electrify Metrolink and enable county-level investments in transit expansion. We will need to build a regional coalition to champion it—we propose calling this coalition Move SoCal.
Our transportation successes in LA County need to be matched by parallel successes regionally. We have been discussing this with board and staff of the SCAQMD whose boundaries include LA, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, excluding the high desert areas. The Governing Board has voted to seek authorizing legislation to pursue such a measure and to conduct polling. Our priorities for such a measure will include:
- Achieve clean air with full implementation of the Mobile Source Plan of the 2016 AQMP: Diesel emissions are by far the most pressing challenge to air quality in the Southland. Because it lacks regulatory authority over mobile sources, the 2016 AQMP adopted by the SCAQMD relies upon incentive strategies to accelerate deployment of zero-emission and near-zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. The scale of effort needed can only be funded by a regional ballot measure. We will support it vigorously.
Address climate change head-on: California is on a highly successful arc to replace fossil fuel power generation with clean renewable power. Now, our biggest GHG challenge is emissions from transportation.
- We will urge the Air District to include in their measure significant funds for incentives to accelerate deployment ofzero emission light and medium-duty vehicles on a scale not yet done anywhere. Cars, SUVs, and pickups powered by gasoline are now our primary climate change challenge. These vehicles emit more than half the greenhouse gases from transportation in Southern California. The goal will be to achieve a scale of deployment of zero emission cars such that we drive up manufacturing to achieve sufficient economies of scale to reduce their costs and make them cost competitive with gasoline and diesel vehicles and perhaps affordable everywhere.
- For heavy-duty trucks and off-road vehicles there are zero emission options for many applications. Still, long haul out of state trucking poses a significant challenge for electric technologies and we believe, if we are serious about ending use of diesel technologies, we must be open to near-zero mostly renewable natural gas (RNG) alternatives. Truck use of RNG from dairies, landfills, and water treatment facilities can redirect fugitive methane, a very powerful short- lived climate pollutant (SLCP) away from our atmosphere. Biomethane/RNG represents 80% of short-lived climate pollutants. Aggressive efforts to utilize biomethane/RNG rather than allowing it to escape as fugitive methane is a vital climate change strategy.
- Modernize and electrify Metrolink: Our regional commuter rail system represents a golden opportunity to create a zero- emission, high-capacity, high-efficiency and a higher speed regional transit service to link Union Station with the core communities and airports of all five Southern California counties. Such a system should be designed to be compatible with high speed rail should it reach Southern California. The scale of effort needed can only be funded by regional voters.
- Provide “local return” to county transportation commissions: Vision 2020 should include very significant funds for investments in expansion of clean local transit system and service and expansion of active transportation investments in each Southern California county. Funds directly to the county commissions and expenditure program at their discretion.
- Convening Move SoCal: To accomplish the above, Move LA will need to convene a regional coalition, Move So Cal, during 2019 to work for a measure for November 2020 within the boundaries of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. We have had positive discussions with our labor and industry partners and many environmental partners. Now it is time to take the discussion on the road.