Essay: Sacramento voters rejected Measure A’s giveaways and political patronage for a reason

ECOS Board Member Brad Banan wrote the following article published in the Sacramento News and Review on November 18, 2022.

By standard political measures, a proposed Sacramento County transportation tax should have won approval in this month’s election. Supporters had a truckload of campaign cash and the backing of the political establishment, among other things.

They spent more than $4 million on Measure A. Opponents spent less than $7,000.

And yet, just like voters nationwide rejected the narrative of an impending “red wave,” so it appears that local voters bucked conventional wisdom and nixed Measure A. As of Nov. 15, 54 percent of voters were opposed to the measure, leading by a margin of 22,000 votes. The measure would have added a half percent to the county’s sales tax for 40 years, raising it to 9.25 percent in Sacramento.

So why did the transportation tax fail?

Click here to keep reading.

Measure A, Not OK

November 1, 2022

Measure A is a 40-year half-cent sales tax increase that would cost Sacramento County taxpayers $8.5 billion — while failing to deliver on its basic promises. It was written by special interests, for special interests

What are the problems with Measure A? Check out the Measure A, Not Ok website at https://measureanotok.org/.

You can watch their videos on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCauvi5dp1idaph1cISHBZmQ.

Here are their social media accounts.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MeasureANotOK

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/measureanotok

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/measureanotok/

California Air Resources Board letter on Measure A

On October 10, 2022, the California Air Resources Board sent a letter to the Sacramento Transportation Authority regarding Measure A.

Below is an excerpt.

We write to share information regarding the impacts that several projects slated for funding under this measure, and the project portfolio as a whole, will have on climate change and air quality. As an oversight agency, including for the Senate Bill 375 program (Steinberg, Stats. 2008, ch. 728), and based on CARB staff’s analysis of the measure, we need to make you aware that if Measure A is approved, the region may face serious compliance challenges with State emissions reductions requirements.

Click here to read the letter in full.

Sacramento Transportation Authority Meeting Nov 10

Update: these two items of interest are postponed until November 10, 2022.

The STA Governing Board Meeting Agenda Packet for October 13, 2022 at 1:30 pm: https://www.sacta.org/calendar/bl7btgymcz858x5

Item 9 discusses a strategy for using Measure A Smart Growth Incentive Program (SGIP) funds as a local match for the 2022-2023 SACOG Community Design Grant Program. The SACOG Community Design Grant Program focuses in on infill development and reducing VMT.

Item 10 provides a draft work plan for implementation of the Citizens’ Initiative should it pass in November. The draft work plan discusses among other things the need for policy development in the following areas:

  • Federal Air Quality, Metropolitan Transportation Plan and GHG Reduction Targets (Program Wide Policy)
  • Geographic and Social Equity (Program Wide Policy)
  • Complete Streets

Residents Invited to View City’s Initial ‘Transportation Priorities Plan’ at These Two Meetings

August 17, 2022 – From the City Express, the news website for the City of Sacramento government

The City of Sacramento has reached phase two of its Transportation Priorities Plan and unveiled the initial project prioritization. Community members are invited to two virtual meetings on Aug. 24 and 27 to learn more and provide feedback.

The Department of Public Works in 2021 began working on the first-of-its-kind priorities plan and engaged communities to hear about their transportation values and gather input on recommendations.

“When it comes to investing in transportation, we wanted to know what matters most to Sacramento’s communities,” Transportation Planning Manager Jennifer Donlon Wyant said. “The input in phase one has allowed us to conduct the initial prioritization of the over 700 approved transportation projects in the City.”

Throughout 2021 and in early 2022, staff engaged communities through virtual gatherings, surveys, a youth-focused program and meetings with local organizations.

In March 2022, City Council adopted a set of criteria and process to prioritize the transportation investments based on those community values. This prioritization is needed because there are many transportation needs and the majority of transportation funding is from competitive grants, officials said.

It is estimated the City would need about $5 billion to complete all of the identified transportation improvements and maintenance projects.

The criteria approved by Council include: improve air quality, climate and health; provide equitable investment; provide access to destinations; improve transportation safety; and fix and maintain the transportation system.

Staff used this criteria to prioritize approved transportation projects. Projects that best meet community values are considered high priority projects. Medium priority are projects that meet some community values but not all. Lower priority projects do not align well with community values for transportation investment.

“As we move into phase two, we’re excited and ready to share the initial prioritization and hear from our communities,” Donlon Wyant said.

Residents can learn more about the initial prioritization and share input in many ways.

  • Register for a virtual gathering session (6 p.m. Aug. 24 or 10 a.m. Aug. 27)
  • Complete a comment form, available in multiple languages
  • Provide feedback on an online map, available in multiple languages
  • Meet the team at community events across the city throughout August

CLIMATE COMMITTEE: Focus on Transportation

July 14, 2022 6:00 – 7:45 pm

Featuring: Dan Leavitt of San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission on the Valley Rail Program

Also, Jim Allison of Capitol Corridor will discuss the addition of a third track between Sacramento and Roseville. Finally, ECOS will provide updates on and invite discussion of the City of Sacramento Climate Action Plan and the proposed transportation ballot initiative.

LINK to join: ECOS ZOOM 6656164155
Call: 1 669 900 6833, Mtg ID: 665 616 4155

6:00 Welcome and Introductions

6:10 Dan Leavitt, Manager of Regional Initiatives, San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, and David Lipari also of SJRRC
• Dan will give a general update on the Valley Rail Program, and Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) and San Joaquins services. Valley Rail will provide new rail service to Sacramento on existing tracks from San Jose, Merced, and Bakersfield.
• David will present Valley Rail station design guidelines and process.
• Q&A.

Valley Rail is a joint program that includes improvements and expansions of both ACE and Amtrak San Joaquins that is focused on improvements between Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley.

7:00 Jim Allison, Manager of Planning, Capitol Corridor JPA
• Jim will discuss the Capitol Corridor, including the addition of a third track between Sacramento and Roseville to enable increased rail service east of Sacramento.

7:20 Ralph Propper, John Deeter, and others
• City of Sacramento Climate Action Plan
• Transportation ballot initiative

7:45 Adjourn