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Transportation Equity Summit Coming Up: April 24 and 25 in Sacramento

TransForm and the California Bicycle Coalition have announced that the speakers at their annual Transportation Equity Summit will include James Corless, the new CEO of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), and Air Resources Boardmember Diane Takvorian.

Corless recently began his new job at SACOG after eight years as director of Transportation 4 America, a national alliance of leaders that advocate for smart transportation investments.

In addition to being a staunch ally of environmental justice advocates as a member of the Air Resources Board, Takvorian is also Executive Director and co-founder of Environmental Health Coalition, an environmental justice organization based in San Diego/Tijuana.

The summit will feature a full afternoon of discussions about equity in transportation, including topics on funding and on fostering meaningful public participation. Organizers are hoping to facilitate conversation about how statewide advocates and local grassroots organizers can support each other to further everyone's work.

The agenda also includes the presentation of an award for Transportation Equity Advocate of the Year. Last year, the first Transportation Equity Awards were given to Assemblymembers Eduardo Garcia, Chris Holden, and Richard Bloom for their authorship of several transportation equity bills. This year, the award will go to an organizational leader or advocate working either in their local community or at the statewide level.

On the second day of the summit, participants will receive training on advocating in the halls of the Capitol, and they will spend the day visiting legislators and their staffs to talk about a package of bills that focus on transportation equity.

That package includes:

    • A.B. 1640 from Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella): Priority funding for transportation in low-income communities. The bill would require one quarter of regional transportation improvement program funds to provide a direct, meaningful benefit to low income communities, with Caltrans developing guidelines with the participation of low-income state residents.
    • A.B. 179 from Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona): More equitable representation on the California Transportation Commission. This bill would require that six of the eleven commissioners on the CTC, which makes major transportation funding decisions in the state, have expertise in sustainable transportation, public health, climate, and/or environmental justice. Currently there are no expertise requirements for commissioners.
    • A.B. 17 from Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) would provide free or reduced-fare transit passes to low-income California middle school, high school, and college students.

Participants will also discuss other key bills, including:

    • S.B. 150 from Senator Ben Allen (D-Redondo Beach), which aims to tighten requirements for regional transportation plans to include consideration of public health, social equity, and conservation issues.
    • S.B. 760 from Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), a “complete streets” bill which would require Caltrans to include bike and pedestrian facilities on projects funded by the State Highway Operation and Protection Program.

More information on the package and the bills can be found at CalBike's website here.

Register for the summit and get more details here.

For more information on why transportation equity is an important topic that needs to be raised in the California legislature, see this fact sheet.

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