With the doors closed on 2020 and the 'train' for 2021 already leaving the station, we meant to share with you—our biggest supporters—the vision and long-term goals for Move LA. But January was just so darn busy that the 'train' has already arrived at February!
In January we started laying the tracks for our 2021 agenda by leading a successful Zoom call on the challenges and opportunities of pursuing a climate and clean air funding initiative to clean the air and curb climate change. We chatted with experts and advocates about the need to address the often overlooked Super Pollutants (methane, black carbon, HFCs and tropospheric ozone), and how and why they have fallen off the climate agenda.
And then we hustled to help rally transit advocates and riders and convince the Metro Board to reallocate at least $24.3 million to fund the restoration of transit service in this fiscal year, to vaccinate transit workers, and to provide more affordable, accessible, frequent, safe and reliable service for LA riders. Most of these riders are essential workers from low-income households in disadvantaged neighborhoods compromised largely of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color currently bearing the brunt of the COVID surge.
As the vaccines roll out and we see positive signs from a new Administration that shares our priorities on transit, housing, clean air, climate change, sustainability, and equity, we look to 2021 as an opportunity to make significant gains. As a coalition-building organization, we also recognize that this requires building—and flexing—community-driven power.
This is where you come in—can you join our monthly donor program and help to sustain Move LA’s work in 2021 and beyond? We are sustained by people just like you who believe deeply in our mission and our results.
Want to read more about our 2021 Work Agenda? Check out our recently updated website or keep reading for a summary of what is to come.
2021 is shaping up to be a critical year. Not only will there be more federal stimulus dollars flowing to public transportation, but Congress must re-authorize the Surface Transportation Bill, which funds transportation projects over the next 5 years. Move LA has already held dozens of meetings on this subject (including some with the new Administration) advocating for equity and sustainability in how we fund transportation and public transit in particular. We even held a Transit Justice Forum that outlined a community-driven agenda.
In 2021, we will advocate for state and federal recovery funding to rebuild our transit system and transit ridership by funding capital projects that prioritize low-income and essential workers, mainly in communities of color. We need transit to be the connective tissue for our community because it can ensure we all can get to work, to grocery stores, doctor’s appointments, school, and more. Without it, we will see more than just a shortage of beds in our hospitals.
From advocating for a more equitable, sustainable, and progressive budget that ensures better bus service and customer experience at Metro to aggressively going after federal and state stimulus funds for transit operations, our 2021 Agenda is clear: we want better public transit now. We will also be working with our partners in the Aging and Disability Network to advance access to public transit for older riders and riders with disability and the South LA Promise Zone (SLATE-Z) to advance transit access in South LA.
In 2021, we will continue to support the development of more affordable housing near transit, especially along what we have been calling “Boulevards of Equity and Opportunity.” We define these streets as underutilized commercial corridors that would enable the development of mixed-income, mixed-use housing; encourage pedestrians and bicyclists and improved bus service (particularly bus rapid transit); and provide for urban greening and street trees. We have a lofty set of policies and legislation (signed into law by Gov. Brown) that will allow for multi-family housing on commercial corridors; legislation for a tax-increment financing district near transit that creates a framework for city, county, and state matching funds for affordable housing; and City of LA and Santa Monica voter initiatives to raise funds for affordable housing.
In 2020, we created Move CA, a project of Move LA, to provide a vehicle for us to find and build partnerships statewide in order to develop strategies, and perhaps ballot measures, that will help us address the existential challenge of climate change and air pollution in California. In 2021, we will advance our Climate and Clean Air Initiative as we expand our coalition and seek BIG and BOLD initiatives.
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."
Thank you for rolling with us!