Help Us Defeat Plans to Widen US-50!

Do You Want More Traffic, Noise, and Pollution in Your Neighborhood?

Local Sacramento residents are taking action on a serious threat to our neighborhoods – CalTrans intends to WIDEN Sacramento’s US-50 through Downtown Sacramento from I-5 to Watt Boulevard. We must act now! Our quality of life and our climate are at stake.

WHY NOT WIDEN THE HIGHWAY?
As concerned citizens, we want Sacramento to be a Green City and a Livable City.
Widening highways makes us just another dirty city because it:
1. Increases noise and air pollution (including greenhouse gases)
2. Induces demand (encourages people to drive more who wouldn’t otherwise). Expanding our freeways won’t decrease congestion.
3. Other local needs should take financial priority.

WHAT ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING?
Bigger freeways and more cars increase our emissions, making it impossible to do our part to halt global warming. Fact: we cannot meet our regional goals for GHG reductions unless we develop real alternatives to driving.

ISN’T THIS A CARPOOL LANE?
CalTrans is disingenuously calling this project “green” under the guise of a carpool lane. Carpool lanes have been shown to not significantly increase the number of people who carpool or the throughput of people. We support turning an existing lane into a carpool lane, or even turning this proposed lane into a transit only lane.

WE’RE CHALLENGING CALTRANS
With this lawsuit we are demanding that CalTrans acknowledge and compensate for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions and traffic impacts that will result from more cars and more car trips on a wider freeway. We want to stop these projects in our area and have the money spent on transportation that keeps our streets livable and unclogged, gives us transit that gets us where we need to go, and helps reverse climate change.

WE NEED MONEY TO WIN
We must raise $11,000 to take this stand to cover our legal fees. You can take the stand with us by contributing online on our “gofundme” page, or by donating to ECOS directly via our website (www.ecosacramento.net) by clicking the donate button. (Just be sure to mark your donation for “Highway 50 litigation” – donations are tax deductible.)

WITH YOUR HELP – WE CAN WIN!

Click here to read more about the project on the Caltrans website

Click here to read our July 2017 press release.

Click here to read the article published by the Sacramento Bee about this lawsuit.

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Jonathan K. London at ECOS Board Meeting – highlights

Professor Jonathan K. London of the Center for Regional Change at UC Davis spoke to ECOS at our September 18th Board Meeting about their work on Environmental Justice. The Center for Regional Change has grown into a well-known policy-oriented research organization that aims to create linkages between the university and the region of which it is a part.

Professor London presented several tactics for how an organization such as the ECOS coalition can do more to help improve social equity in the Sacramento region. London directed us to get to know the Center for Regional Change’s report called “Capitalizing Environmental Justice in the Sacramento Region.” The report assesses the dire conditions of environmental injustice confronting low-income communities and communities of color in California’s Capital Region. However, local residents and regional leaders have begun to develop a cohesive framework for action to improve conditions in their communities, and to contribute to the region’s burgeoning Environmental Justice movement.

London reminded us of the plethora of information offered by CalEnviroScreen, including some analyses done by the Center for Regional Change on mapping pollution levels and drinking water contamination in the Sacramento region.

London also highlighted a tool called “IVAN” (Identifying Violations Affecting Neighborhoods). IVAN is an Environmental Monitoring System that connects the community with real people that can help solve local environmental problems.

The presentation emphasized the importance of environmental injustices to people living in rural areas and engaging them in environmental advocacy work. Connecting with neighborhoods, working to help bolster affordable housing options and joining food justice efforts are all also effective.

ECOS members in attendance were appreciative of the presentation, its cutting-edge research and the new tools for advocacy with which we left. Thank you to Jonathan K. London!

You can suggest future speakers to present to ECOS by emailing our office at office [at] ecosacramento [dot] net.

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Volkswagen emissions fraud sleuth chosen to head Sacramento air agency

By Tony Bizjak

May 25, 2017

The Sacramento Bee

Alberto Ayala, a state air pollution executive who helped uncover Volkswagen’s massive diesel cheating scandal, has been named head of the Sacramento region’s air quality efforts.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District board voted on Thursday morning to name Ayala its executive director, replacing retiring executive Larry Greene.

Ayala, a deputy executive officer at the California Air Resources Board, launched the state’s initial review of diesel engines in 2012 that lead to the discovery that Volkswagen had illegally programmed millions of its vehicles internationally, including in California, to pass emissions tests.

Read more here.


Bizjak, Tony. “Volkswagen emissions fraud sleuth chosen to head Sacramento air agency.” Sacbee. SacBee, 25 May 2017. Web. 26 May 2017.

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