Two Action Alerts to Improve Stimulus Package for Transit Today

Bus_or_Truck.jpgWhich one gets the stimulus money?

NACTO Action Alert

We’ve all been disappointed with the tiny margin of transit funding in the $825 billion Obama stimulus package, what amounts to only 1% of the total, despite the fact that 80% of us live in metropolitan regions and transit ridership is booming.  Meanwhile highway expansion and maintenance projects will get three times that amount in the stimulus plan, speeding us down the road to business-as-usual American oil dependence and ever longer commutes.

Fortunately a House amendment has been introduced to committee by Representative Jerry Nadler of New York City (PDF) that would add $3 billion in transit capital investment.  Shamefully, there is pressure to keep this amendment from reaching the floor for a vote.

The National Assoctiation of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has urged Obama to make the right decision to fund transit (PDF) and now requests all interested parties to call congressional leadership today before 3 pm EST (House Rules Committee vote) to voice support for the Nadler amendment. 

Two important targets represent us in the Bay Area and need to hear your voice:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – (202) 225-4965

Appropriations Committee Member Barbara Lee – (202) 225-2661 (will Barbara Lee Speak for Me??)

Also important to call Rules Committee Chair Louise M. Slaughter (202) 225-3615

Can you help us generate at least 20 calls to each today?  Please leave comments below and let us know how they responded.

Talking Points:

* Transit is the future of our nation’s metropolitan regions which represent 80% of the US population.  Public transit ridership has been surging over the last year, but instead of capitalizing on the public demand for more and better transit, cities are being forced to curtail service and cut jobs. 

* The Nadler amendment should be allowed to reach the House floor for a vote.  It is a chance to truly strengthen the Recovery bill, which has overlooked the economic and energy benefits of transit infrastructure which currently will only see 1% of the stimulus investment funds. 

* Discuss the transit need in your city and the fact that federal resources for transit can absolutely be spent within the time frames set out by the bill.  House leadership in particular need to hear the case for transit.  The white house is pushing them to make no changes.  The leadership needs to hear from the cities about why these amendments are critical.

TransForm Action Alert

As you know, President
Obama is working with Congress to quickly pass a Federal Economic
Recovery Bill. Tragically, neither the Senate nor House versions of the
bill include funding for transit operations.

We have a tiny window of opportunity to change this – with your help.

The
Senate is still taking proposed amendments until the end of the day today, January 27.  That means you need to call Senators Boxer and
Feinstein by 2pm Tuesday, Jan 27 (5pm Eastern time).

It’s easy – we even wrote a script for you.

Senator Boxer: (202) 224-3553,  followed by 1 to leave a comment

Senator Feinstein: (202) 224-3841  

Sample script:

"Hello,
my name is _______. I’m calling to urge Senator ____ to include funding
for transit operations in the Senate’s economic recovery bill so that
we protect good, already-existing jobs and ensure people have
affordable transportation choices."

Thanks for helping to win world-class public transportation and walkable communities!

If you want more info on this campaign, visit http://transformca.org/campaign/federal-transportation-bill

Sincerely,

Carli

Carli Paine, Transportation Program Director
TransForm
(Formerly TALC, the Transportation and Land Use Coalition)

Flickr photo: Thomas Hawk

  • Ian Leighton

    left a message for Pelosi and Boxer (Feinstein’s line was busy, didn’t have time). Worried though, Overhead Wire said DeFazio already got pulled but a bigger amendment might come from NY…

  • Donovan b

    called Pelosi and left message. automated answering service once you get past the front desk. Will try Lee’s office…

  • Sprague T

    I was able to call the three representatives and Sen. Boxer (Feinstein’s system seemed to be swamped and there was no way to leave a phone message). Thank you for promoting this and thanks for this great blog! With continued action SF’s streetscape will improve for the non-motorized public.

  • Aron H

    just called… results below:

    nancy pelosi
    left message about transit problem in SF and importance that she supports the nadler amendment

    louise m. slaughter
    went great! talked to someone, said i was in support of the Nadler amendment and its reaching the house floor. “sounds great!” was the response

    barbara lee
    “thank you so much for calling, i’ll pass it along”

  • Left a message on a voice mail box for all three, but its later than 3pm est. hopefully it will get through.

  • I called all 3 before I left the house for work…also posted a call to action on the blog and people responded! some posted comments and others sent in emails saying they too called in.

    Thanks for the tip, it’s good to find ways we can positively influence our electeds, in a time when things have been grim. Ultimately, if we let these folks get away with nonsense, we have only ourselves to blame. They DO work for us and WE own the transit system…

  • steve shearer

    i called, and the receptionist was not familiar with the nadler amendment. does it have another name?

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

The Work That Needs to Be Done

|
The first day of the Obama Administration is here at last. So it’s time to get down to work, right? The Midwest High Speed Rail blog (we love their super-realistic slogan, "Improving Amtrak, Incrementally") has used some of the data collected by Transportation for America to put together a pretty nifty map showing rail projects […]

Onward to the Senate

|
Yesterday was a good day on Capitol Hill for the Streetsblog Network, as an amendment to the stimulus bill allocating $3 billion for public transit was passed by a voice vote on the floor of the House. Transbay Blog reminds us, though, that it’s no time to rest on our laurels: One chamber down, one […]

Less Than One Percent of Transpo Stimulus Money Paid Out So Far

|
The New York Times reports this morning that the Obama administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus package has hit a few snags: Some states and cities are beginning to complain that the money has yet to reach them. Others have been slow to get their paperwork to Washington; Virginia has yet to send the Transportation Department […]

Call to Action: Win Back Stimulus Funding for Transit Service

|
There’s a sense of urgency on the Streetsblog Network this morning. Transportation for America, using media reports of projected cuts to transit services across the country, has put together a map that dramatizes just how painful those cuts could be: The far-reaching and broad cuts will directly affect transit employees and riders who are among […]

Senate Stimulus Action Leaves the Network Cold

|
Last week, the Streetsblog Network was tentatively hopeful about the way the stimulus package was shaping up in the House, as members of that body voted to approve an amendment from Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, to add $3 billion for transit. How long will transit riders have to wait for some help? Photo by Oran […]