ECOS Climate Committee Meeting 1/19

Thursday, January 19th, 2023 – 6:00pm-7:30pm

Zoom link: ECOS ZOOM 6656164155 or call: 1 669 900 6833, Mtg ID: 665 616 4155

6:00 Welcome from Ralph Propper, Climate Committee Chair, and Susan Herre, President of BoD

6:10 Featuring: Meg Cederoth, Director of Planning and Sustainability, CA High Speed Rail Authority; Annika Ragsdale, formerly Climate Analyst for CA HSR, currently Lead Resilience Consultant for WSP

  • Overview of the California High-Speed Rail program and current construction activities
  • CA HSR’s Award-winning Sustainability Program: greenhouse gas mitigation and tracking, construction requirements, criteria air pollutant reductions, habitat conservation, and climate adaptation

6:40 Transportation Team Discussion, continued from previous night’s meeting

  • Continue discussion of “green” transportation for Sacramento region. What changes will be needed to meet the State’s climate goals by 2030, 2050? Is it greater than we are imagining?
  • How to make this new transportation team come to life. Where will it focus its energies?

This meeting is open to everyone interested in addressing one of our region’s most pressing challenges.

Widening Highways Doesn’t Fix Traffic. So Why Do We Keep Doing It? NY Times, Jan 6, 2023

By Eden Weingart | The New York Times | January 6, 2023

When a congested road is widened, travel times go down — at first. But then people change their behaviors. After hearing a highway is less busy, commuters might switch from transit to driving or change the route they take to work. Some may even choose to move farther away.

Click here to read the full article.

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.

Vote No on Measure A

Dear ECOS Community,

Please share this message with your neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Measure A, on the ballot this November, is presented as a “citizens’ initiative” and therefore requires only a 50.1 percent majority to pass. It is critical that you vote NO on Measure A.

Measure A circumvents the Sacramento BLUEPRINT, California’s climate targets, and federal transportation planning law. It contains roadway capacity expansion projects and a new rural expressway that will induce car travel and sprawl development and pull resources from transit and transit-based development.

Under Measure A, SACOG concluded in its May 2022 analysis, “the region would likely fall short of meeting its state-mandated 19 percent per capita greenhouse gas reduction target by nearly 2 percent,” which is a ten percent shortfall. SACOG also found that failing to meet the mandate “would jeopardize the region’s ability to compete for state transportation and housing funding programs.”

If Measure A passes, the region will take a disastrous step backward, worsening existing economic inequalities and prospects for climate adaptation.

The Measure A proponents falsely say the measure will combat climate change.

• Bill Magavern, Policy Director of the Coalition for Clean Air summed it up: “Don’t be fooled. Despite promising to reduce congestion and improve air quality, Measure A will have the opposite effect by spending taxpayer dollars on the construction of numerous highway expansions throughout the region. The Coalition for Clean Air opposes Measure A because it is a threat to the air quality of the Sacramento region, which already suffers from unhealthy levels of air pollution, and would also result in increased congestion, global warming impacts, and sprawl.”

• In CARB’s October 10, 2022 letter to Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Sing-Allen, Steven Cliff, the CARB Executive Officer, wrote “The combined set of projects in this $8.5 billion measure would be inconsistent with the statewide effort to lessen the impacts of climate change.”

• Mike McKeever, former Executive Director of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), commented, “The most recent mailer from the Measure’s proponents, which claims that Measure A fights climate change, is the exact opposite of the truth. Measure A proponents are so desperate for their $8.5 billion tax that they are spending millions of dollars to spread falsehoods.”

The League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, Sacramento Taxpayers Association, United Latinos, Sacramento Sister Circle, Save the American River Association, and dozens of other organizations oppose Measure A. For more information and a complete list, see MeasureANotOK.org.

VOTE NO ON MEASURE A

Additional references:

• Oct. 27, 2022: Backers of a Sacramento sales tax hike are lying to voters. They should reject Measure A. By Marcos Breton of The Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board. https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/article267915392.html

• Oct. 20, 2022: How special interests exploited a loophole and put a Sacramento County tax hike on the ballot. By Yousef Baig of The Sacramento Bee. https://www.sacbee.com/article267335212.html

• October 10, 2022: Essay: Sacramento journalist breaks down why Measure A would fund new suburban highways, increase greenhouse gases and super-charge sprawl. By Sacramento News & Review Staff, Brad Branan

• Oct. 10, 2022: Sacramento County voters must reject Measure A, an $8.5 billion gift to special interests. By Sacramento Bee Editorial Board. Also Video on Measure A with former SACOG CEO Mike McKeever, Sierra Club Sacramento Chair Barbara Leary, Sacramento Taxpayers Association President Bruce Lee. https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/election-endorsements/article266980846.html

Sincerely,

Susan Herre

President of the ECOS Board of Directors

Vote No on Measure A – Watch Tim’s and Mike’s Video

Tim Irvine of Environmental Democrats of Sacramento County, and Mike McKeever, former CEO of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) react to a new flyer released about Measure A.

Measure A would cause sprawl development to surge by funding roadway capacity expansion projects (including a new expressway); this would prevent our region from meeting State and federal air quality and climate mandates — thereby making us ineligible for their transportation and housing funds. Measure A represents the opposite of the SACRAMENTO BLUEPRINT principles of affordable, transit-served infill development and natural resource protection, for which our region has received national acclaim. VOTE No on Measure A.