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State Agencies to Hold Joint Discussion on Equity

8:13 AM PDT on November 3, 2021

City of Commerce by Ken Lund

This Thursday starting at 9 am, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the California Transportation Commission (CTC), and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) will meet online to coordinate their diverse agency actions and goals.

That's the plan, at least, as called for by state law, which requires the three agencies to meet at least twice a year "to coordinate implementation of policies that jointly affect transportation, housing, and air quality."

These meetings have not always been super productive, with board members and commissioners sometimes talking past each other- but they have, over time, at least helped create relationships between the agencies, which was at least part of the point of the effort.

This week's meeting will focus on equity. The topic has long been neglected and, while lately risen to the attention of many, is not always well understood nor effectively incorporated into plans, policies, and actions from these and other state agencies.

Speakers will include staff who are leading equity efforts in each of the agencies. The agenda does not yet offer specifics, but agency staff is slated to discuss ways the three agencies are coordinating their actions on increasing housing and reducing driving, and how equity plays into those issues.

Also on the agenda is a presentation from Fresno-based Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability on recent community-based initiatives in the Central Valley. Leadership Counsel will discuss how agencies can deepen and improve community engagement, ensure that state transportation investments prioritize the needs of existing and under-served communities, and refrain from causing more harm in terms of displacement and other potential adverse impacts from state transportation programs.

City Heights Community Development Corporation and the Thrivance Group will offer similar examples of successes and challenges in their work to improve community leadership on investments in affordable housing and low-carbon transportation.

Also on the agenda is a report from another state agency, the Strategic Growth Council, on the California Transportation Assessment. This report is required Assembly Bill 285, which calls for an assessment of state progress, or lack thereof, on reducing greenhouse gas emissions through investments in transportation and housing.

More information about the meeting can be found here, and agenda details will be posted on Thursday morning.

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