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.
* 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.
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
"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/
Carli Paine, Transportation Program Director
(Formerly TALC, the Transportation and Land Use Coalition)
Flickr photo: Thomas Hawk