Tuesday, February 28, 2012


March 31 is the end of the latest SAFETEA-LU extension. This means that if there is no federal transportation bill moving forward by the end of the month Congress will have to extend the previous bill for the ninth time in two years. Given that the House is delaying consideration of its long-term reauthorization bill, getting a bill in and out of conference committee will be tough. Below is Congressional Quarterly's report on the House bill.


By Richard E. Cohen and Nathan Hurst, CQ Staff

House Republican leaders are delaying action on a downsized multi-year surface transportation reauthorization bill even after Speaker John A. Boehner was forced last week to abandon his signature longer term bill that also links infrastructure programs with energy production.

House leaders will not, as expected, bring to the floor a two-year extension of transportation programs that expire at the end of next month, leadership and committee aides said Tuesday. One factor is the continuing intraparty divisions about how to advance even the more limited version. The Senate continues to debate its two-year, $109 billion authorization (S 1813), although leaders have not yet reached a deal on amendments to the measure.

Boehner, R-Ohio, and other House Republican leaders set aside the Speaker’s five-year, $260 billion surface transportation bill (HR 7) after some Republican conservatives balked at the proposed spending on infrastructure programs.

Instead, the House plans to take up next week a leadership-crafted measure being touted as a job-creation measure. Leaders declined to specify how and whether the House would extend transportation programs, which expire March 31.

The move has created a split between House leaders and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John L. Mica. The Florida Republican lashed out Tuesday against the GOP leadership’s plan to significantly shorten the length and scope of the five-year transportation that he unveiled Jan. 31.

Mica, who has for months pushed for a longer-term bill than the two-year version House leaders had been considering and that the Senate is debating (S 1813), dismissed leadership hopes of winning a better long-term bill after the fall elections. In a speech before the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Mica said leaders and stakeholders who make such assertions are “smoking the funny weed,” because federal spending will be even tighter at that time.

Mica’s comments came a day after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood panned the House GOP’s approach to transportation programs and advocated on behalf of the Senate’s version.

House Republicans have returned to the drawing board to find new ways to pay for their shorter-term highway bill, after abandoning plans to vote on the package before Presidents Day.

The delay is a recognition that GOP leaders have more work to do in persuading reluctant members of their caucus to support even the short-term package, which — like Boehner’s larger measure — link a reauthorization of surface transportation programs to an expansion of oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and off U.S. shores (HR 3408) and approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Both the longer-term and shorter-term bills have been the target of criticism from left and the right, with Democrats and moderate Republicans railing against its proposed reductions in mass transit spending, which depends on a 20 percent set-aside from the Highway Trust Fund for public transportation. Fiscal hawks also have voiced concern about the cost of the bill.

GOP aides said last week that by shortening the duration of the bill to between 18 and 30 months, keeping intact the Mass Transit Account and lowering its overall costs, they hoped to garner more Republican votes after House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said earlier this month prospects for the legislation’s passage were looking bleak.

The internal dispute over the program has dampened Boehner’s efforts to intensify the GOP’s rhetorical focus on rising gasoline prices and the nation’s energy policy. The Speaker has cited the rising price of gasoline as more evidence that President Obama needs to “lay his cards on the table” for a national energy policy.

“The president says that he’s for an ‘all of the above’ energy plan,” Boehner said Tuesday. “I haven’t seen it.” Raising his voice, he added, “It’s damn time we have a national energy policy.”

GOP leaders contend that the Obama administration is to blame for rising gasoline prices because of excessive regulation and insufficient energy supply. Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the president’s lack on leadership on the topic “frustrates the American people.”

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Feb. 23, 2012 – 4:13 p.m.
House GOP Drops Long-Term Transportation Bill, Changes to Transit Funding
By Kathryn A. Wolfe, CQ Staff
House Republicans will abandon their five-year, $260 billion surface transportation authorization and try instead to pass a shorter bill that drops changes to transit funding that have drawn strong opposition, including from within their own party.

According to a senior House GOP aide, the House bill will be shorter than the bill (HR 7) that was supposed to move to the House floor next week. How much shorter is unclear; the aide said it would still “provide plenty of time for a new Congress and new president to enact a long-term reauthorization.”

The aide also said the changes to transit funding that the bill had originally contained — primarily, getting rid of its funding link to the Highway Trust Fund — will be “postponed.”

Additionally, since the bill’s duration will be shorter, funding may be reduced below current levels. This could potentially help the GOP deal with the fact that $15.5 billion worth of the bulk of the pension changes they had planned to use to offset the bill’s spending are now gone.

The revamped bill will retain such provisions as project expediting and environmental streamlining. Additionally, the bill is expected to continue to link infrastructure funding to an expansion of energy production. Procedurally, the aide said the truncated surface transportation bill is expected to be attached to the energy production bill the House passed last week (HR 3408).

“Leaders are working with Chairman Mica and other members to determine the specific path forward,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, in a reference to House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John L. Mica, R-Fla.

Source: CQ Today Online News
Round-the-clock coverage of news from Capitol Hill.
© 2012 CQ Roll Call All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Come and talk with us about this map at Move LA’s 4th annual transportation conversation, “LA On the Verge of a Transit Breakthrough.” The final agenda is below. And if you don’t take transit, also below are directions to parking in the Metro Headquarters.

But how do you get to the event? It’s in Union Station in the Main Concourse room (the old ticket lobby at the front of the building) just inside the front door off Alameda Street. We encourage you to take transit to Union Station (hub for the Red, Blue, Gold and Metrolink lines, and the Flyaway bus from LAX), but if you are coming by car, parking is in the Metro Headquarters parking structure ($6/day) to the east of Union Station, which you can enter off Cesar Chavez (as it approaches Vignes) or off Vignes. Whether you arrive by transit or by car you can enter Union Station through the pedestrian tunnel from Metro headquarters or the rail lines.

Directions to parking:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Register here to attend Move LA's 4th annual Transportation Conversation.

This is where discussion starts at Move LA’s 4th annual Transportation Conversation: the map above shows the existing transit Metro and Metrolink systems plus new lines (dotted) that will be built with 30 years of Measure R sales tax funding. This is what we want to talk about: Where we go from here? What’s the latest news about the federal transportation bill? What could we achieve by extending Measure R? Do we focus on ensuring that we can build 30 years of projects in 10 years (the “30-10” plan)? Or do we add new projects to the list? What if we made the goal 50-15, or 60-15? What other funding/ financing sources can help build out the system? Cap-and-trade funding? Public-private partnerships?

In the afternoon we will talk about TOD: Can we redeploy redevelopment tools such as tax increment financing around stations to ensure robust community-building with housing that’s affordable and first-mile/last-mile bike and pedestrian connections to stations? Can existing infrastructure district law help us? What fixes are needed? What other opportunities are pending to help ensure we get development that ensures high ridership? What are the lessons learned from redevelopment around three subway stations in the revitalized Hollywood?

Register here if you haven’t. Friday, Feb. 24, 8 am-3 pm! Speakers include state legislators, agency and nonprofit leaders, advocates. Also, international TOD and urban planning guru Gordon Price from Vancouver, and former CA Assemblymember and LA City Councilmember Jackie Goldberg, was so instrumental in Hollywood’s stunning comeback.


But how do you get to the event? It’s in Union Station in the Main Concourse room (the old ticket lobby at the front of the building) just inside the front door off Alameda Street. We encourage you to take transit to Union Station (hub for the Red, Blue, Gold and Metrolink lines, and the Flyaway bus from LAX), but if you are coming by car, parking is in the Metro Headquarters parking structure ($6/day) to the east of Union Station, which you can enter off Cesar Chavez (as it approaches Vignes) or off Vignes. Whether you arrive by transit or by car you can enter Union Station through the pedestrian tunnel from Metro headquarters or the rail lines.

Directions to parking:


WELCOME (8:30 am)

Denny Zane, Executive Director, Move LA
Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer,
LA County Federation of Labor
Gary Toebben, President & CEO, LA Area Chamber of Commerce

How Great Things Get Done
Art Leahy, CEO, LA Metro

Status of Federal Transportation Bill and 30-10
Yvette Martinez, Deputy State Director/Senior Advisor,
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

Finding New Resources for Transit
Denny Zane & Gloria Ohland, Move LA

Getting the 30-10 Plan Done
• Where are we now in terms of accelerating the Measure R transit program? Will Congress create the programs necessary to implement the 30-10 Plan?
• Can the State of California create financing tools to fill any gaps left by Congress?
• What opportunities would be created if we extend Measure R for several decades?

Assemblymember Michael Feuer, Los Angeles
Richard Katz, Metro and Metrolink Boards, former Chair, Assembly Transportation Committee
Raffi Hamparian, Director of Federal Affairs, LA Metro
Kevin Norton, Political Organizer, IBEW Local 11
Michael Turner, LA Metro

New Resources for Transit
• What are the best bets for new sources of transit funding? What are the prospects for an indexed gas tax, or new fuel or VMT fees at the state or national level?
• Why not seek voter approval for a new regional sales tax or other taxes to fund regional infrastructure including commuter rail and goods movement projects?
• Will we forever require voter approval for significant new funding for transportation? Should we lower the voter threshold to 55 percent so a small minority can’t block all proposals? How do we do this?
• How big a role can public-private partnerships play in meeting our infrastructure needs and for which projects?
• Can the new Cap-and-Trade program for implementing AB 32 create new transit revenue? Operating or capital?

Senator Alan Lowenthal, Long Beach (invited)
Assemblymember Julia Brownley, Santa Monica
Councilmember John Fasana, City of Duarte, LA Metro Board
Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments
Anupom Ganguli, Public Advisor, SCAQMD
Mike Schneider, Managing Partner, InfraConsult
Stuart Cohen, Executive Director, Transform
Kristin Eberhard, Legal Director Western Energy and Climate Projects, NRDC
Julie Snyder, Housing California

LUNCH KEYNOTE (11:45 am)
TOD Vision and Lessons from Vancouver, BC
Gordon Price, former Councillor for the City of Vancouver, BC; Director of the City Program, Simon Fraser University

Transit Expansion and Community Building: Lessons from Hollywood
Jackie Goldberg, former California State Assemblymember and LA City Councilmember

TOD Local Initiatives & State Policy
Denny Zane & Beth Steckler, Move LA

The Future of TOD and Lessons
Learned in Hollywood
• In Hollywood, tenants, business people, property owners, social service providers and churches came together under the leadership of the City of LA to revitalize one of LA’s most historic and downtrodden neighborhoods. How well has it worked? What were the smartest ideas underlying Hollywood’s success?
• What are the lessons learned for neighborhoods around new transit lines and stations? What are the lessons learned from concerns being raised about density in Hollywood?

Joan Ling, Boardmember, LA Community Redevelopment Agency
Alan Bell, Deputy Director, LA City Planning Department
James de la Loza, Senior Vice President, AECOM, former Director of Planning, LA Metro

A 2012 Transit and TOD Legislative Agenda
• Last year SB 310 (Hancock) was approved and signed into law. Does this new law make infrastructure financing districts and equitable TOD possible? Can AB 485 (Ma) plug the holes and fulfill the promise? What more can the Legislature do?
• Can equitable TOD and first-mile-last-mile infrastructure issues be addressed locally? What can Metro, the City of LA and other Southern California communities do to address these needs?

Assemblymember Fiona Ma, San Francisco
Assemblymember Mike Eng, Monterey Park
Tunua Thrash, Executive Director, West Angeles CDC
Jay Kim, Planning and Land Use Bureau Chief, LA DOT
Mott Smith, Co-founder, Civic Enterprise, CA Infill Builders
Adrian Martinez, Attorney LA Urban Air Program, NRDC
Alexis Lantz, Planning and Policy Director, LA County Bicycle Coalition
Julie Snyder, Policy Director, Housing CA
Autumn Bernstein, Founding Director, ClimatePlan

Denny Zane, Executive Director, Move LA

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


WASHINGTON DC — Wednesday morning, Speaker Boehner announced that he would delay a vote on the House transportation bill (HR 7) until after the Presidents Day recess. Make no mistake; this move means they didn't have the votes to pass it and is a direct result of all of your hard work in opposition to the bill!

At the same time, debate is beginning on the floor of the U.S. Senate on their version of the transportation authorization bill, S1813 or "MAP-21." Critical policies still hang in the balance. Yesterday, we sent an alert out to our entire email network asking them to call their Senators and urge them to support the bipartisan amendment #1549 offered by Senator Cardin from Maryland and Senator Cochran from Mississippi. This amendment would give local governments a say over a small share of their state’s transportation dollars in MAP-21 which can be used to promote bicycling, walking and Safe Routes to School, revitalize main streets and make streets safer for everyone.

Many of you have been working hard on the Cardin-Cochran amendment for the past few weeks, and we can’t thank you enough for all your hard work, but we have to redouble our efforts. We expect the Senate to vote on the amendment in the next 48 hours.

Please call your Senator’s staff and ask them to support the Cardin-Cochran Amendment (#1549). To help guide your conversation, we’ve uploaded talking points and a fact sheet to the partner website (Username: t4apartner ; Password: tea4usa08).

Additionally, we’re asking all of our partners send alerts to their member lists on this amendment. You can link to our alert that we sent out yesterday. Here, they can send an email or call their Senators' offices directly. We need your help to make sure Senators take this opportunity to strengthen the provisions that directly affect walking, bicycling and community revitalization in their transportation bill.

Transportation for America has been working together with a diverse range of organizations in support of this amendment, including the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the American Public Health Association, the American Heart Association, America Bikes, the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership, Rails to Trails Conservancy and the National Rural Assembly.

Please help us strengthen the Senate transportation bill by contacting Senate offices about the Cardin-Cochran amendment and spreading the word about the amendment.

James Corless
Director, Transportation for America

Monday, February 13, 2012


MORE ON THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET FROM LA METRO: President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget, which includes a proposal to fund a six-year $479 billion surface transportation bill, includes a number of organizational reforms, seeking to consolidate nearly five dozen existing U.S. DOT programs into just five programs.

The budget includes a proposal to provide $50 million for the Westside Subway Extension and $31 million for the Regional Connector in Section 5309 Capital Investment Program funds. The President’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget is a non-binding document that serves to inform Congress of the Administration’s fiscal priorities. Later this year, Congress will consider the transportation appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013. Metro will be working with members of both the House and Senate to advance our Board-approved legislative priorities.

For the federal highway program, the Budget includes $41.8 billion, an increase of approximately $2.7 billion over last year’s Budget. The President’s Budget includes a request of $10.8 billion for the Federal Transit Administration in Fiscal Year 2013, an increase of over $230 million over last year’s Budget. Of note is that nearly half of the Administration’s proposed $479 billion surface transportation bill would be paid for by the savings from America’s reduced defense expenditures in both Iraq and Afghanistan.


THIS JUST IN FROM LA METRO: Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa welcomed the inclusion of $50 million in President Obama’s proposed FY13 Budget for the Westside Subway Extension and $31 million for the Regional Connector Project, calling the actions a vote of confidence for two high-priority regionally significant transit projects that will bring improved mobility, jobs and economic development to the Los Angeles region. The proposed funding in the President’s Fiscal year 2013 budget – if approved by Congress later this year – can be combined with L.A. County’s voter-approved Measure R sales tax revenue and could jumpstart construction of both projects in 2013.

Funding for the subway would go toward extending the Metro Purple Line to Westwood, and the Regional Connector would link several rail lines in Downtown L.A. “President Obama’s proposed budget makes it more likely than ever that shovels could soon break ground on these transit improvements that will greatly expand connectivity throughout the L.A. region,” said Mayor Villaraigosa, who also serves as Metro Board Chair. “The President has come through for Los Angeles County. Now it’s Congress’ turn: the House and Senate should pass the New Starts transit funding in the President’s budget so we can put people back to work.”

The Mayor and other Metro Board members will be back at the White House and Congress this year to secure multi-year federal full-funding grant agreements for both the subway extension and Regional Connector. Before that can happen the Federal Transit Administration must work with Metro to complete final review of the environmental documents for the projects, a process that is underway.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, in its analysis of local, state and national economic impacts for Measure R, projected that the Westside Subway Extension and Regional Connector would create nearly 60,000 jobs and $10 billion in business revenues. Regionally, the Westside Subway Extension is projected to create 44,800 jobs and generate $2.81 billion in labor income. It would also generate $7.67 billion in business revenues. The Regional Connector is projected to create 13,770 jobs, $864 million in labor income, and $2.36 billion in business revenues. Additional jobs and economic benefits would be generated nationally.

The long-awaited $5.6 billion subway extension will provide a high-capacity, high-speed, dependable transit alternative for those traveling to and from the Westside — L.A.’s “second downtown.” More than 300,000 people travel into the Westside every day for work from areas throughout the county and beyond. The new funding proposed by the President would help Metro extend the Purple Line subway from Wilshire/Western. Metro is continuing to pursue the necessary funding to complete the project to Westwood and accelerate the pace of construction.

Once built, riders will be able to travel from Downtown Los Angeles to the Westwood/UCLA station in 25 minutes. More than 78,000 daily project trips are projected to use the seven new stations. The $1.367 billion Regional Connector is a 1.9-mile fully underground light rail line that will connect the Metro Gold Line to the Metro Blue Line and future Expo Line, enabling passengers to travel from Montclair to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica as a “one seat ride.”

By providing continuous "through service" between these lines, the Regional Connector will improve access to both local and regional destinations and greatly improve the connectivity of the regional transportation network. The project will minimize the need for transfers, reducing one-way light rail trip times across the county by 10 to 20 minutes or more. The project includes three new downtown stations and would provide access to 88,200 passengers, including approximately 17,700 new transit riders.

The Westside Subway Extension as well as Regional Connector projects are both partially funded by Measure R and can be used to leverage federal “New Starts” matching funds. Metro’s Long Range Transportation Plan for Los Angeles County commits $4.2 billion (in 2009 dollars) over the next 30 years to building the subway extension project. It commits $160 million for the Regional Connector Project.

Metro continues to seek creative financing solutions that could potentially accelerate public transit projects in as little as 10 years through the 30/10 Initiative and America Fast Forward Program. This effort proposes using the Measure R revenue stream as collateral for long-term bonds and federal loans, which will allow Metro to build 12 key mass transit projects in 10 years rather than 30.

The Westside Subway project is now making its way through the final stages of state and federal environmental review, and is soon expected to be made available for public review before going to the Metro Board for approval. The Regional Connector’s final environmental document has already been made available for public review, and is scheduled to go before the Metro Board February 23. If approved and federal funding secured, both projects could begin construction next year.

Monday, February 6, 2012


• the opening of Expo to La Cienega and then Culver City, and the construction of Phase 2 to Santa Monica begins
• the Orange Line extension to the Chatsworth Metrolink station opens
• construction of the Gold Line to Azusa continues
• groundbreaking for the Crenshaw Line
• utility relocation for the downtown Regional Connector and the subway extension to Westwood
• President Obama’s new budget may include New Starts funding for the Regional Connector and the subway.

Move LA’s “Transportation Conversation 4” will be an especially exciting one — coming on the heels of legislation enabling an extension of Measure R.
Joining us are LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Senator Loni Hancock and Assemblymembers Mike Feuer, Bonnie Lowenthal, Fiona Ma, Mike Eng and Julia Brownley, and as well as leadership from key government agencies and nonprofits.

The talk is about possible new revenue sources for transit, TOD and affordable housing, from ballot measures to tax increment financing to public-private partnerships and the use of zoning as a value capture strategy. Our goal is to make the most of the public investment in transit and new stations — powerful public assets that create value that can be leveraged for community benefits. Feb. 24, at Union Station, see www.movela.org for details and registration information.


Assemblyman Michael Feurer authored the legislation that got Measure R on the ballot in 2008, and last month he introduced legislation (AB 1446) that sets the stage for extending Measure R with a second ballot measure in the 2012 election. This would allow LA Metro to bond against a longer revenue stream and raise more money upfront, thereby allowing the Measure R transit expansion program to accelerate construction of 12 Measure R-funded projects even if Congress doesn’t provide the low-interest loans and long-term bonds that would otherwise be necessary for the Mayor’s 30-10 plan (to fund all 12 projects in 10 years instead of over the 30 years of the sales tax).

Feuer told Move LA that while a lot of groundwork will have to be done in order for this measure to earn the support of voters, he believes there are few issues more important to LA County residents than improving the transit system. His legislation did not specify the length of the extension, which would be determined later.

Local voters first approved a half-cent sales tax increase for transportation in 1980 with 54 percent of the vote, and in 1990 they approved another half-cent sales tax increase with 50.4 percent. But nearly 20 percent more voters approved the Measure R half-cent sales tax - more than 67.8 percent of the vote — suggesting an increased willingness, not a reluctance, to tax ourselves for transit. Sales tax measure extensions (for transportation) were also easily approved in the counties of San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange:
• In 2002, an extension of Measure A was passed with 69 percent of the vote in Riverside County;
• In 2004, San Bernardino County voters extended the Measure I sales tax with 80 percent of the vote.
• In 2006 Orange County voters approved a sale tax extension with 69.7 percent of the vote.

This suggests that voters in Southern California, except in Ventura County, have consistently voted to approve new or extend transportation sales taxes by substantial and increasing majorities. Moreover, extensions are generally easier to pass than new taxes, and Move LA believes that local voters may offer a more promising opportunity than a contentious state legislature or Congress.

Feuer generally agrees, though he says that he believes it will be very challenging to get the consensus necessary because of the recession, because there is such a significant amount of money at stake, and because the 2012 ballot will be crowded with other funding measures. But he said he is hopeful because the 30-year Measure R sales tax was very specific about the improvements that will be delivered, which helps convince voters that the tax will be effectual — and that the vote will definitely be a measure of confidence in the ability of LA leadership to deliver on the Measure R promise.

Feuer has also introduced legislation that would add urban rail transit projects to the types of projects that would benefit from CEQA streamlining under a measure passed last year that creates expedited judicial review procedures for environmentally friendly projects including LEED-certified infill development, clean renewable energy project and clean energy manufacturing projects — and the proposed Farmers Field football stadium near the LA Convention Center.

Friday, February 3, 2012


THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your speedy and impassioned efforts this week to influence House members on the T&I and Ways and Means committees. We had an extremely limited timeline for action on what Secretary Ray LaHood has called "the worst transportation bill" he's ever seen.

In California as across the nation, we pulled out all the stops for an unprecedented response to ugly proposals before both committees. A few highlights:
Over 600 signers in less than 24 hours to a national letter opposing the Ways and Means proposal to move public transportation and CMAQ funding to the General Fund — 93 from the Golden State alone!
Dozens of phone calls to California Republicans on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of the Petri amendment to restore dedicated bike/ped funding.
An impromptu phone bank at the New Partners for Smart Growth conference generating 50+ phone calls to Reps. Herger and Nunes on the Ways and Means committee spearheaded by The Prevention Institute.
Participation from unexpected allies like the California Chamber of Commerce, strategic new allies in target districts like Mariposans for the Environment and Responsible Growth (Denham's district), and previously reluctant allies like Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearingen.

Unfortunately, as you've probably heard, both Committees approved their bills without changing the devastating cuts to transit, bicycle, and pedestrian funding that are clearly opposed by a groundswell of Americans. We are sorely disappointed in the House leaders who are pushing an extremely partisan policy package. The Transportation For America Executive Committee met today and decided to formally oppose the Ways and Means bill (H.R. 3864). Please stay tuned for ways you can help.

Our work is cut out for us in the weeks ahead. The next step: gathering sign-ons to our letter to Senator Boxer, with an accelerated deadline of this coming Monday, February 6 at 5pm. Click here to read the letter and sign on ASAP - and THANKS to the dozen folks who have signed on already!

We look to you for continued support as both the House and the Senate plan to hold floor votes on their transportation bills before the Presidents' Day recess. As we've seen this week, House leaders are not in the mood to compromise so we will need to leverage everything we've got to shore up support in the Senate and play defense in the House.

To that end, we will be providing updates on a new blog at
http://t4acalifornia.wordpress.com to spare you crazy email overload - and reserving urgent email blasts for critical actions and reminders about coalition phone calls. Please visit the blog to read our summary of the Ways & Means markup and "follow" us to know when we've added posts - and feel free to pirate off the blog to inform your supporters as well.

Do not hesitate to contact either of us with your questions or requests for further information. Again, thank you for all your work this week - we hope you have a wonderful and relaxing weekend!

-Shannon Tracey & Ryan Wiggins
Transportation for America Campaign


There's still time to call your representative on the House Ways & Means Committee — which is marking up its transportation funding bill this morning, and could end 30 years of providing dedicated funding for public transportation from the federal gas tax. Instead transit would have to fight for funding through the annual appropriations process. The national Transportation for America coalition yesterday gathered signatures from more than 600 organizations, elected officials and notable individuals decrying the move — including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AARP, the American Public Transportation Association, the National Rural Assembly, American Society of Civil Engineers, LOCUS (real estate developers), National Association of Counties, the governors of Oregon and Washington, several state DOTs, state and local Chambers of Commerce, and hundreds of state and local organizations nationwide.

There is a link to the sign-on letter and more info at the bottom of this page. This is the biggest and most dangerous move that the House has made against transit. There are phone numbers for some districts below, and the T4America website allows you to find your representative by zipcode and send a message.

Wally Herger, CA - Northern Central CA 202-225-3076, District 530-893-8363
Devin Nunes, CA - Fresno/Central Valley 202-225-2523, District 559-323-5235

Mike Thompson, CA - Northern CA: he doesn't need to be swayed...he just needs to get a lot of traffic on this so that he will push as hard as possible on this. 202-225-3311, District 707-226-9898

Also call:
House Ways and Means Committee
Dave Camp, Chair, 202-225-3625
Fortney Pete Stark CA 202-225-5065, District 510-494-1388
Xavier Becerra CA 202-225-6235, District 213-483-1425

In other news, both the Senate Banking Committee and the House T&I Committee passed their bills yesterday. The Senate bill was passed after a 30-minute markup, on a unanimous voice vote. The House bill, on the other hand, was passed by a party-line vote after an 18-hour markup in which 100 amendments were offered.

Next stop for both bills: the floor of their respective chambers.

The sign-on letter and more info is here.