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MTC Public Participation Plan Comment Letter

Submitted by News Desk on Tue, 08/24/2010 - 2:25pm

The Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission's (MTC) draft Public Participation Plan will set the framework for major decisions that it will make over the next three years in planning for over $200 billion in transportation investments.  MTC is required by SB 375 to implement a Sustainable Communities Strategy, or SCS, that will integrate transportation and land-use planning in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.

The Public Participation Plan will shape how well the SB 375 process will address the needs of the region's low-income communities and communities of color - communities at greatest risk from the impacts of climate change.  A just and equitable Public Participation Plan that actively empowers low-income communities of color in these important decisions would be an important step in moving the Bay Area toward greater inclusion.

The decisions ahead will help determine:

- How our region will invest more than $200 billion in public funds over 25 years;
- Whether that massive investment will create a world class transit system for all and reduce vehicle miles traveled by cars and light trucks;
- How much affordable housing local governments will accommodate near jobs and transit;
- Whether we will prevent additional sprawl and reduce lengthy commutes;
- Whether our air will be clean and healthy for our children; 
- Whether our investments will boost the creation of quality jobs; and
- Whether investment in under-served communities will benefit the residents of those communities, rather than result in their displacement to the region's fringes.

Much is at stake, particularly for low-income communities and communities of color, yet MTC's draft Participation Plan is inadequate.

Our  sign-on letter makes recommendations for a positive vision and constructive changes that will move the entire process toward greater fairness, transparency and inclusiveness. 
 
To sign on, please contact Colin Miller (colin@urbanhabitat.org) or Parisa Fatehi (pfatehi@publicadvocates.org) by Friday, September 3rd.

Public Participation Plan for the RTP and SCS

Scott Haggerty, Chair
Jon Rubin, Chair, Legislation Committee
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
101 Eighth Street
Oakland, California 94607

Dear Chair Haggerty and Commissioner Rubin:
The adoption of a Public Participation Plan for the process that will culminate in the
adoption of the Bay Area’s next Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and its Sustainable
Communities Strategy (SCS), is one of many key decisions that MTC and ABAG will
make in the course of implementing SB 375 over the next two to three years. The Public
Participation Plan will shape the extent to which SB 375 addresses the needs of all Bay
Area residents, especially the region’s low-income communities and communities of
color – its “Environmental Justice” or EJ Communities.

These communities are at greatest risk from the impacts of climate change. They also
face the risk – if we do not address the cumulative impacts of past decades of inequality
institutionalized at all levels of government – that we will not only perpetuate the existing
exclusion of these communities from opportunity, but will re-segregate the Bay Area in
frightening new ways. A just and equitable Public Participation Plan that actively
empowers low-income communities of color in these important decisions will mark an
important step in moving the Bay Area toward greater inclusion.

The undersigned organizations and individuals write not just to comment on
shortcomings in MTC’s draft Public Participation Plan, but to offer a positive vision and
constructive changes that will move the entire process toward greater fairness,
transparency and inclusiveness. With the changes we propose, the Plan will facilitate
robust public participation in decision making at every key decision point in the process,
through the final adoption of the RTP/SCS in 2013. The Plan we envision will begin by
prioritizing the critical transportation needs of the region, including those of its most
under-served communities. It will make clear the nature and importance of each of the
intermediate decisions along the way. It will describe how a full range of alternative
choices will be offered up for public comment at each decision point, after having been
evaluated against criteria based on how well each alternative meets the critical needs of
the region as a whole, and of its most under-served residents. And it will ensure that
MTC lives up to its commitment to evaluate the social equity impacts of each alternative...

 

 Reverend Daniel Buford, Prophetic Justice Ministry
ALLEN TEMPLE BAPTIST CHURCH
Titi Liu, Executive Director
ASIAN LAW CAUCUS
David Levin, Staff Attorney
BAY AREA LEGAL AID
Aaron Lehmer, Network Development Director
BAY LOCALIZE
Rhianna Babka, Network Coordinator
BAYWALKS
Page 7 of 30
Carl Anthony and Paloma Pavel, Co-Founders
BREAKTHROUGH COMMUNITIES
Joshua Arce, Executive Director
BRIGHTLINE DEFENSE PROJECT
Martin Martinez, Policy Director
CALIFORNIA PAN-ETHNIC HEALTH NETWORK
Bob Planthold, Chair
Wendy Alfsen, Executive Director
CALIFORNIA WALKS
Dawn Phillips, Program Director
CAUSA JUSTA: JUST CAUSE
Malcolm Yeung, Public Policy Manager
CHINATOWN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Nile Malloy, Program Director
COMMUNITIES FOR A BETTER ENVIRONMENT
Aaron Ableman, Co-Founder
COMMUNITREE
Ruth Morgan, Executive Director
COMMUNITY WORKS
Adam Kruggel, Executive Director
CCISCO (CONTRA COSTA INTERFAITH SUPPORTING COMMUNITY ORG.)
Reginald T. Shuford, Director of Law and Policy
Eva Paterson, President
EQUAL JUSTICE SOCIETY
Victoria Jimenez-Morales, Vice-Chairperson
GENESIS
Stephanie Reyes, Policy Director
GREENBELT ALLIANCE
James Zahradka, Supervising Attorney
LAW FOUNDATION OF SILICON VALLEY
Page 8 of 30
Gen Fujioka, Senior Policy Advocate
NATIONAL COALITION FOR ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT
Chione Flegal, Senior Associate
POLICYLINK
Richard A. Marcantonio, Managing Attorney
Parisa Fatehi, Equal Justice Works Fellow
PUBLIC ADVOCATES INC.
Mary A. Pittman, President and CEO
PUBLIC HEALTH INSTITUTE
Robin Salsburg, Senior Staff Attorney
PUBLIC HEALTH LAW & POLICY
Michael Rawson, Co-Director
PUBLIC INTEREST LAW PROJECT/
CALIFORNIA AFFORDABLE HOUSING LAW PROJECT
Anne Kelsey Lamb, Director
REGIONAL ASTHMA MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION (RAMP)
M. Williams
REGIONAL ALLIANCE FOR TRANSIT (RAFT)
John Holtzclaw
SIERRA CLUB
Dave Room
TAKE BACK THE MIC BAY AREA
David Schonbrunn, President
TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND
(TRANSDEF)
Jeff Hobson, Deputy Director
TRANSFORM
Juliet Ellis, Executive Director
URBAN HABITAT
Nancy Holland, Coordinator
WALK & ROLL BERKELEY
Page 9 of 30
Brian Beveridge, Co-Director
WEST OAKLAND ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS PROJECT
Tuere Anderson, LCSW, Director of Health Services, Youth Radio
Jonathan Bair, Chair of Oakland's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Summer Brenner
Will Dominie
Gaby Miller
Sarah Peters
Roberta Spieckerman