Join us on June 2 to celebrate the people who do BIG STUFF!

Please join us to celebrate and share an informal dinner in honor of some of the people we really like working with—in part because they do big stuff, and because they're willing to work together with others until they win. Join us at the Boomtown Brewery in DTLA's Arts District at 700 Jackson St.! Register below!

These are some of the very important people we are honoring—in no particular order. We deeply appreciate having been able to work with them all.

Chanell Fletcher, Deputy Executive Officer of Environmental Justice for the California Air Resources Board, worked with us while director of ClimatePlan, a statewide coalition of organizations interested in climate, clean air, sustainability, affordability, and the importance of transit, walking and biking. Chanell understands the value and power of a diverse statewide coalition and at CARB she is emphasizing the need to address California’s history of inequity and racism and the effect of air pollution and climate change on low-income families, communities of color, and other communities that are marginalized. 

Alan Greenlee is Executive Director of the  Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH) and has partnered with Move LA for many years on finding new ways to build more affordable housing as soon as possible. Most recently and importantly SCANPH helped us gather the 62,000 signatures needed to put the United to House LA measure on the November ballot, which would build enough housing to accommodate everyone who needs it in the City of LA. But we actually gathered 98,171 signatures—obviously a lot of people care about this—and 150 organizations have joined us in support!

Joan Ling is a long-time colleague, real estate adviser and policy analyst in urban planning, teaches at UCLA Luskin, and serves on Move LA's Board and Executive Committee: She and Denny worked on affordable housing together in Santa Monica back when Denny was mayor and Joan headed up the Community Corporation of Santa Monica, a nonprofit affordable housing agency. Then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed her to the Board of Commissioners of LA's Community Redevelopment Agency. She and Denny have continued to brainstorm about ways to build more affordable housing ever since, and she was an important advisor during the months of discussion about how to create United to House LA.

Ron Miller, (Retired) Executive Secretary at Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council and Move LA Leadership Board/Executive Committee member: Ron has served on our Board of Directors for many years. He made it possible for us to ally ourselves with this very powerful trade union—on Measures R and M and SB 1 to cite just a few examples—and to create an "LA Labor Dialogue on Just Transition" with labor unions around the world. At this table we are talking about how LA County can transition to a non-fossil-fuel economy that provides good jobs for more people, and we are focusing on a hydrogen hub in LA.

LA County Supervisor and Metro Boardmember Hilda Solis helped bring the Fareless System Initiative into existence—an idea that we'd helped grow county-wide following the success of a pilot program Denny Zane helped organize at Santa Monica College way back in 2012! As Chair of the Metro Board last year Supervisor Solis built support among conflicted board members to make fares free for all K-12 and community college students. This success has encouraged us to work with Asm. Chris Holden on creating a similar statewide fareless pilot program this year.

Join us Thursday, June 2, at the Boomtown Brewery, 700 Jackson St., in the Arts District in DTLA, to celebrate people who do big stuff! There will be drinks and an informal dinner, and stories will be told! REGISTER HERE! 

(If you bought a ticket for our event last December—before COVID made us cancel—your ticket will be honored on June 2!)

Join us and the people who do BIG STUFF on Thurs., June 2!

COVID made us reschedule our annual party at the Boomtown Brewery in the Arts District last December, but that's not going to happen again this year so PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: Thursday, June 2! And if you bought tickets previously we will honor them now!

Help us celebrate some of the people who make big stuff happen by addressing our transit, climate and clean air challenges, lack of affordable housing, and the good jobs, jobs and more jobs needed for all the people who want/need to work! We will be honoring:

  • LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Member of the LA County Board of Supervisors and Chair of the Metro Board of Directors;
  • Ron Miller, (Retired) Executive Secretary at Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council and Move LA Leadership Board/Executive Committee member;
  • Joan Ling, Move LA Leadership Board/Executive Committee member and long-time affordable housing ally;
  • Chanell Fletcher, Deputy Executive Officer of Environmental Justice for the California Air Resources Board; 
  • Alan Greenlee, Executive Director of the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH).

And we'd like to mention some big stuff we're working on right now, including:

  • a voter initiative to raise the funds needed to prevent homelessness and develop affordable housing in the City of LA;
  • fare-free transit passes statewide for everyone under the age of 25;
  • a climate and clean air voter initiative to push back on climate change by funding cleaner cars and trucks and preventing wildfires;
  • a roundtable with the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council to ID climate strategies that yield good-paying jobs through the development of hydrogen infrastructure.


Join us and Asm. Holden Tuesday 3/22 to hear about his NEW fare-free transit pass program !

We have exciting news—Asm. Chris Holden of Pasadena, Chair of the Appropriations Committee and long-time advocate for student transit passes, has introduced AB 1919—the California Youth Transit Pass Program!

This program would provide fare-free transit passes for everyone 25 years old and under who is living in California, regardless of immigration status. The goal is to remove socioeconomic barriers to reliable transportation and make it easier for students to get to school and work and other activities, meantime reducing absenteeism and greenhouse gas emissions and increasing access to opportunity and quality of life!

Join us and Asm. Holden Tuesday, March 22, at 9 a.m. and we will tell you more!

And we encourage you to register here to automatically track the bill and any amendments—we expect one this week that will create a reimbursement scheme for transit agencies—and it will enable you to know when committee hearings are scheduled. 

Again RSVP for the AB 1919 Coalition Launch Zoom this Tuesday, March 22, at 9am when we will be joined by the bill author, Asm. Holden!

We were very happy to read this online yesterday: "Streetsblog L.A. Endorses United to House L.A. Initiative"

Streetsblog Los Angeles is pleased to endorse United to House L.A., the ballot initiative that would build and preserve affordable housing in the city of Los Angeles. Using a new tax on high-end property sales, the initiative would generate an estimated $8 billion over ten years, which proponents are calling “the largest long-term housing funding ever considered in the city of Los Angeles.”

Similar to recent provisions in Culver City and a number of cities in the Bay Area, a one-time, 4 percent tax would be levied on sales of properties valued between $5 – $10 million; sales of properties valued over $10 million would be taxed at 5.5 percent.

The authors of the L.A. measure estimate that while the tax would affect just 3 percent of the properties sold in the city, the benefits would be widespread. Funds would be directed towards essential but underfunded programs to build new affordable housing (as many as 26,000 units), preserve existing affordable housing, and provide emergency assistance to help nearly half a million low-income renters and people at risk of homelessness remain housed.

In recent years, the county’s unhoused population has grown to more than 65,000 individuals. More than 40,000 of those folks reside in the city of Los Angeles. L.A.’s unhoused population includes disproportionate numbers of people of color who have long been discriminated against in housing and in building generational wealth.

Unfortunately, the visibility of the problem has increased pressure on elected officials to deploy more punitive solutions, further destabilizing an already destabilized population. Our unhoused neighbors are suffering and dying at unprecedented rates. It’s time for the city to close its financing gaps and invest in making L.A. more livable for all.

Streetsblog Los Angeles hadn’t endorsed ballot measures before they qualified for the ballot, but two initiatives – this and Healthy Streets – present big opportunities for improving livability for Los Angeles. Like Healthy Streets, United to House L.A. doesn’t have the kind of big-money donors to pay signature gatherers to stand outside of grocery stores and public events, so they, too, are relying on a grassroots signature-gathering drive powered by lots of volunteers. With a deadline looming at the end of April, and a goal of 65,000 signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot, there’s no time like the present to volunteer to gather signatures. And if you can’t volunteer, consider donating.

For information on how to volunteer, visit the United to House L.A. website.

Action alert! Let's ask Gov. Newsom for $2.5 billion for transit operations!

California has a massive budget surplus this year—thanks in part to Silicon Valley, the stock market, and the state's progressive income tax—and the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill will provide the state with even more funding.

We believe a significant share of this windfall should become flexible funding for public transit including service and operations, because transit agencies are struggling as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent loss of ridership, farebox revenues, bus drivers and other transit workers—and they're cutting back service as a result. Click the graphic above to join us and our partners in this budget ask.

Move LA and nearly 50 organizations from around the state have sent a letter to Gov. Newsom and legislative leaders, including Senate Budget Chair Nancy Skinner and Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (pictured above), asking for $2.5 billion so people can get to their jobs, students can get to school, and people who don't have cars can get to wherever they need to be on time.

Our funding request also asks that $500 million of the $2.5 billion be made available for free and affordable fares for transit riders and youth. We need to get the economy up and running again and believe that promoting ridership as well as adequately funding transit operations is essential given the state's concerns about climate change, equity and environmental justice.

A larger nationwide movement is coalescing around these issues, and we have been joined by transit advocates across the country who are also urging state legislators and local Departments of Transportation to follow new federal guidelines when spending federal infrastructure funding. These guidelines set clear expectations for how to prioritize new investments in a way that makes  communities safer, more accessible, sustainable, and equitable.

We encourage you to send your own letter supporting this important ask to Gov. Newsom and legislative leaders using this Action Alert created by Seamless Bay Area, a nonprofit advocating for a world-class transportation network.

Those of us who have been able to work at home and/or have cars may not be aware of the difficulty that service cutbacks pose for riders who have to get somewhere on time. These service cutbacks may mean they now have to leave very early—and get home very late—in order to catch a bus or train that gets them where they need to be.

Moreover, we all know transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.—California was the biggest emitter but in the last decade Texas has surpassed us—and yet we spend most of our transportation funding on building and widening highways to make room for more cars. We spend relatively little on transit, walking and biking—the modes that transport many people and families who can't afford cars.

That is beginning to change with the state's emphasis on climate change, equity and environmental justice—but this transition is very slow and if there was a time to invest in transit operations it is now—with all the money in Sacramento and more coming from the federal government. 

Join us in asking the Legislature to fund transit operations with $2.5 billion HERE and then read more about the National Campaign for Transit Justice HERE. 

What is this new national movement for transit justice?

Most of us understand that the U.S. has made inadequate investments in transit and the transit workforce for decades—even the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has maintained the old 80-20 funding split with the big money going to highways. In the meantime low-income riders and transit workers have been bearing the brunt of fare hikes, service cuts and shutdowns due to COVID.

Early in the pandemic Move LA began working with the TransitCenter, a foundation that works to improve public transit across the U.S., and then joined the National Campaign for Transit Justice, created in response to COVID and the resulting economic crisis. We wanted to help save transit by advocating for more transit funding in Congress and because LA Metro—like other agencies and their riders and drivers all over the U.S.—was bearing much of the brunt of this crisis.

It's important to remember that the well-being of transit and transit riders, drivers and other workers, helps power the economy, and the success of transit has a serious impact on the future of the planet. The new IPCC report on climate change released this week confirmed, once again, that the planet is warming at an ever increasing pace.

We also began working with the national Labor Network for Sustainability, which is building a powerful labor-environmental-climate movement to "secure an ecologically sustainable and economically just future where everyone can make a living on a living planet."

These organizations believe that abundant transit can unlock freedom of movement, which unlocks access to opportunity. But, as these organizations remind us, good transit is very scarce in the U.S. today, and recent cuts to Metro's transit service prove that as with agencies all across the country, transit is threatened at a time when—because of climate change—we need it the most.

The Labor Network for Sustainability and the TransitCenter together with the Alliance for a Just Society, another organization we've begun working with, released a report on Feb. 4, Transit Justice Day, explaining how inadequate investments in the transit workforce have resulted in service cuts across the country. These investments are urgently needed to boost economic opportunity and racial equity.

The inequities and pollution of a car-centric system requires real fixes. The infrastructure bill can help—depending on how the money is spent. The 80-20 split is problematic, but there are significant amounts of money that states and transit agencies can use for whatever they want. 

We believe that car trips must become trips that can instead be made via bus and train and walking and biking. More transit will get more workers to jobs, provide more employer access to the workforce, and more customer access to businesses. Making streets safer for walking and biking and building more housing adjacent to transit in neighborhoods with sidewalks, bike lanes and bus-only lanes is critical.

Move LA and 113 other organizations across the U.S. just sent a letter to President Biden and members of Congress on Feb. 22 asking them to do everything they can to deliver the infrastructure bill's historic investment in our transportation systems and infrastructure—especially the $39 billion earmarked for public transportation. We are concerned because procedural challenges are making it hard to deliver the money that transit agencies so desperately need.

Sadly, we are still a very long way from, as the National Campaign for Transit Justice points out, "achieving funding parity between the automobile and transit." And climate change won't wait.

Will billions in infrastructure funding for highways worsen climate change?

That was the headline in The New York Times earlier this week, and it's a big and very real concern because the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law gives states $273 billion for highways over five years with few strings attached. And, the Times wrote: "there are signs that even states with ambitious climate goals, like Washington, Illinois and Nevada hope to use federal funds to expand roadways..."

What is California is going to do with all that money? And how can we ensure funding will be used to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions? Join us to hear what our panel of experts say: 

U.S. Representative Jimmy Gomez voted to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law believing it will be transformational, delivering the President’s “promise of a cleaner, more resilient, more equitable future for working families in LA and across the country.” He represents the 34th Congressional District, one of the most diverse and culturally rich in the country. He is Vice Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, and serves as an Assistant Whip for the House Democratic Caucus. 

Chad Edison is Chief Deputy Secretary, Rail and Transit at the California State Transportation Agency, or CalSTA. He's been working on rail and transit for more than two decades, beginning at Amtrak in 1996 as a consulting manager and senior transportation consultant, then working at AECOM from 2001 to 2010. He served as a transportation industry analyst at the Federal Railroad Administration from 2010 to 2014, and began working at CalSTA as Deputy Secretary for Transportation at 2014. He was  appointed Deputy Secretary for Rail and Transit in 2019.

Beth Osborne is the Director of Transportation for America in Washington DC. Previously she was at the U.S. Department of Transportation, serving as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy and then Deputy Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy. At DOT, she managed the TIGER Discretionary Grant program, the Administration’s surface transportation authorization proposal, and the implementation of MAP-21. Before joining DOT, Beth was policy director for Smart Growth America.

Anne-Marie Otey is Communications Director for the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 140,000 skilled and trained men and women in 48 local unions and district councils. Otey oversees the Council’s monthly newsmagazine, “Building Trades News,” digital strategy and campaign outreach, and is a member of Operating Engineers Local 12. She began her career as a journalist but then return to her political roots to fight for income equality.

Katherine Perez integrates Arup’s services in the context of the city—advising on both strategy and economics, and on planning and finance. She also teaches at USC’s Graduate School of Policy, Planning and Development with a focus on transit-oriented development and in planning and development. She was a co-founder of Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors, which addressed problems experienced by government and businesses with a focus on sustainability, economic development, transportation, planning, housing and community engagement.

Zahirah Mann is President and CEO of SLATE-Z, leads the "Backbone Team" to guide partnership activities of the South LA Promise Zone, and has led several successful initiatives to advance greater opportunities for LA residents. Previously she worked in philanthropy for the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, overseeing grants to support vulnerable children and families, and as a public interest attorney, and has represented entities ranging from Legal Aid to NRDC.

Heather Repenning is the Executive Officer of Sustainability Policy at LA Metro and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at the Metropolitan Water District. She is also the former Vice President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works, overseeing the management of solid resources, wastewater, stormwater, urban canopy, streets and design and construction of public facilities. She previously served as Mayor Garcetti’s Director of External Affairs, managing intergovernmental and community advocacy for the city in Sacramento and Washington, DC. 

California’s transportation infrastructure is not meeting the needs of the state’s population and its economy. What can we do? Join us next Wednesday, Feb. 16, from 11am to 12:30 pm, to hear what the experts think, and what we should do. REGISTER HERE.


Join Move LA Feb 16: What does the infrastructure bill mean for SoCal?

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (once known as the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, or IIJA) is, as you probably know, a very big deal: Much has been written about how it’s the largest-ever 5-year surface transportation reauthorization—and about half the $1.2 trillion package will be spent on transportation. Some of the other investments include providing better access to clean drinking water and high-speed internet, upgrading our power and energy infrastructure, capping oil and gas wells, and much more.

There are concerns, of course. The money will be spent by federal, state, regional and local agencies, on short-term improvements as well as long-range plans, with investments in transit and passenger rail, bicycle and pedestrian projects, a national network of EV chargers, upgrades to our airports and ports, and the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak!

But it’s probable that the biggest investments will be in roads and bridges. And we all know what road expenditures can mean for climate change and greenhouse gas emissions: More road expansions lead to more cars on the roads which means more GHGs which are bad for the climate—because when it becomes easier to drive than to take a bus or train the people who can afford to will get in their cars and drive there.

The Georgetown Climate Center just released a report about the possible effects of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill investments and whether they will result in higher or lower emissions—which will depend on whether investments are spent on roadbuilding or on cleaner alternatives such as buses, trains and electric vehicles.

"Under the IIJA, hundreds of billions of dollars will flow directly to state departments of transportation to use as they see fit," wrote NRDC's Deron Lovaas in his post about the report. "Whether these funds are put toward climate-friendly, equitable transportation investments or plowed into the same car-biased, transportation system we’ve had for decades will determine the IIJA’s legacy."

The California State Transportation Agency, better known as CalSTA, is already on top of this and has been holding meetings with stakeholders from around the state—including transit agency staff and infrastructure experts, activists, environmentalists and EJ advocates—who are asking questions and sharing their opinions.

So please come and talk with us and some of the people who will be involved in the decisions about how California’s piece of this pie will be served up!

RSVP: Wednesday, February 16, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.! And come and talk with us about how we can ensure that investments will do what we want them to do.

Move LA honors the legacy of Rosa Parks on Transit Equity Day—transit is important for so many people!

Move LA is joining the Labor Network for Sustainability and many others today on Transit Equity Day—and we urge you to join us—in celebrating the courage of Rosa Parks and her legacy. Like many other organizations across the U.S. we are doing this out of concern about transit agency staffing challenges as well as service cuts.

When transit funding is cut, buses and trains don't show up when expected or don't show up at all. That means a lot of families can't get to work or school on time, or honor other commitments. We must remember that public transit is a lifeline for so many people—not only in LA but across the U.S. 

Moreover, investing in the transit workforce and expanded transit service provides important alternatives to driving, which is so important now given concerns about climate change. Moreover so many people in LA depend on transit and when bus service is reduced, life becomes so much more difficult.

new report released today by the Alliance for a Just Society, Labor Network for Sustainability, and the TransitCenter discusses the inadequacy of our investments in public transit and in transit job quality, and the degree to which the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced staffing levels so that public transit can't meet the needs of many riders.

In Los Angeles, for example, the need for public transit workers has already led to 12% temporary cuts to Metro service, and Metro canceled 42% of trips on the heavily trafficked Vermont Rapid Bus during December and January, leaving riders unable to get to where they need to go. 

We must remember that millions of people in Los Angeles rely on public transit every day. And if  teachers, nurses, grocery store clerks, and other frontline workers can’t get to where they need to be that’s a problem for all of us.

We have to invest in robust public transit and in our public transit workforce if we want to build an economically resilient and racially equitable Los Angeles. We urge our local leaders to use the federal investment from the bipartisan infrastructure bill to address this growing crisis. 

Read and share the full report and join Move LA as we recognize #TransitEquityDay!

And the winner is . . . Eli Lipmen and our partners!

Move LA's Eli Lipmen was on a roll this year working at the national, state and local levels, and his work was acknowledged by both the TransitCenter and The Mobility Fund, which decided to help fund this work.

The TransitCenter is a NYC-based foundation that works to improve transit in cities across the U.S., and The Mobility Fund is a project of the Global Philanthropy Partnership and supports community-based advocacy to increase access to and the use of transit and active transportation.

First, Eli worked with the TransitCenter and other advocacy groups across the U.S. to move the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill forward, discussing its importance with dozens of members of Congress. Congress passed and President Biden signed the bill.

Acknowledging this work, the TransitCenter presented Eli with their "Think Globally, Act Locally" award because during the pandemic, they wrote, he'd "been a key voice combining insight and action at the local, state, and federal levels." He was also recognized for his organizing work on the Transit Justice National Campaign and on "local campaigns to ensure that public transit continues to serve riders."

Eli (pictured with his kids riding on the 'E' Line) also won the TransitCenter's "Best Local Campaign" award, along with long-time Move LA partners ACT-LA, Investing in Place and a coalition of more than 20 other LA advocacy groups, after they together won a commitment from LA Metro to restore bus service to pre-pandemic levels.

Service cuts at the beginning of the pandemic meant essential workers were putting up with long waits and unpredictable bus arrival times. When Metro received billions of dollars in funding from the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) and CRRSSA Act (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act), advocacy groups brought so much pressure to bear that the Metro board voted to spend some of its money improving service. 

The TransitCenter wrote this was "a testament to the success of years of organizing for better bus service in the region, which led to the ability to mobilize quickly and effectively at the right moment."

Congratulations to our long-time partners ACT-LA and Investing in Place, as their organizing ability was also key to this success.

Unfortunately, once again, there are complaints about long waits and unpredictable service as Metro began collecting fares and Omicron surges, and Move LA is working with advocates and the Metro Board to leverage federal and state resources to prioritize the restoration and expansion of LA Metro bus service. This is where the Mobility Fund's support will be crucial, as well as supporting oversight on the implementation of Metro's Fareless System Initiative.

Move LA will also be working with the South LA Promise Zone (SLATE-Z) to advocate for capital projects that prioritize bus speed and active transportation that benefit low-income riders and communities of color, specifically in South L.A. The top priority for this geographically-based effort is to break ground on Metro's Rail-to-River Project, a 10-mile active transportation pedestrian and bicycle corridor that will connect Southeast and South LA with the Crenshaw 'K' Line, Silver 'J' Line, and Blue 'A' Line.

We are very grateful to these foundations for enabling us and our partners help bus riders during the difficult year of 2021, proving that bus riders and bus advocates can together help ensure a bright future that doesn't require all of us to own cars and contribute to climate change.

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