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.


  • Gloria Ohland
    published this page in Blog 2022-02-14 10:48:32 -0800

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