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News about the EJ movement, environmental issues and relevant political devlopments

Free Muni rides for kids plan gains speed

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 02/16/2012 - 11:59am

Muni riders under the age of 18 may be allowed to board for free by summertime.

The idea could land at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency governing board as early as March 6.

"In one form or another, free or reduced Muni for youth seems likely," San Francisco Transportation Director Ed Reiskin said Friday.

His agency has not pushed for the program but is responding to the drumbeat by youth advocacy groups and their supporters in elective office to make the city's transit system more accessible to youths by removing the economic barrier.

"In this economy, paying for transportation is a hardship for many families," said Supervisor David Campos, who has taken the lead in championing the proposal at City Hall.

BART Would Provide Access to Jobs in Livermore

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 02/08/2012 - 12:48pm

Extend BART to Livermore in order to transport people to jobs there, a number of speakers argued.

Many declared that fairness should be honored, since Livermore residents have been paying for BART for almost 50 years. Health issues provided another theme, since pollution caused by traffic continues to impact the quality of life in the Tri-Valley.

Coalition criticizes spending plan for Alameda County sales tax

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 01/25/2012 - 1:23pm

By Denis Cuff

OAKLAND -- Plans for a November ballot measure to double Alameda County's sales tax for transportation to 1 cent are being rocked by a debate over allocating $400 million of the money to a BART extension to Livermore.

A coalition of social justice and public transit advocates said Tuesday the tax proposal needs an overhaul because it gives too much to expanding BART to Livermore and not enough for maintaining and operating public transit systems like struggling AC Transit.

"When you don't have enough money to take care of your existing systems, it doesn't make sense to make them bigger," said Jeff Hobson, deputy director of TransForm, a transit advocacy group. "This draft plan doesn't cut it, but it's not too late for the Alameda County Transportation Commission to get it right."

The Tea Party, Planning and Democracy (Part One)

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:28am

Editor's Note: This is the first part of a two-part news analysis which explores some unexpected synergies between Tea Party protesters and progressive opponents of planning policies which are perceived as anti-democratic. Part 2 will appear on Friday.

Most people regard meetings about regional planning, if they regard them at all, as soporific, PowerPointed affairs frequented by policy wonks. But on January 11, I attended a regional planning workshop in Dublin that was anything but dull. That’s because protesters from the East Bay Area Tea Party showed up along with some “fellow travelers” and nearly took the evening over. Their appearance was no surprise.

For over a year, members of the Tea Party have descended on planning events around the country. The Dublin event, sponsored by the lead regional planning agencies in the Bay Area, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), was the Alameda County installament of the second round of county-based Plan Bay Area public meetings [] about the forthcoming Sustainable Communities Strategy/Regional Transportation Plan (SCS/RTP) mandated by the 2008 legislation, SB 375. The Tea Party also weighed in at the first round, held last May, as well as at all of the second round workshops that have been held so far.

APIs Urged to Let Voices Be Heard in Redistricting

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 01/18/2012 - 10:59am

Whether Little Tokyo will remain in the 9th Council District or Koreatown will be united into one district will depend on the redrawn map of the Los Angeles City Council. A 21-member citizens commission is seeking input from the public and Asian Pacific Islanders are urged to get involved.

Several members of the Redistricting Commission attended a press conference on Wednesday in Little Tokyo, including Arturo Vargas, chair of the redistricting commission, and commissioners Robert Ahn, Helen B. Kim and David Roberts.

“Redistricting means many things, it means empowerment and having the opportunity to have an equal voice and equal representation,” said Kim, an attorney and board member of the Korean American Coalition.

Pleasanton Rezones Sites For High Density

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 01/12/2012 - 10:30am
The Pleasanton City Council voted to rezone nine properties for high density housing. The council also approved a supplemental environmental impact report (SEIR) for the new housing element and climate action plan at a special meeting held on Wed., Jan. 4.

The 73 acres will accommodate affordable high density housing units in Pleasanton. In total, 2,326 units are planned. That is 238 units over the required 2088. A new extremely low income category was included. The city also committed to adopt a density bonus ordinance and standards for multifamily housing.


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