FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TRANSPORTATION ADVOCATES: REAPPOINTMENTS PROVE GOVERNOR BROWN HAS FAILED TO APPOINT DIVERSE STATE TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
Gov. Signed Law Ensuring Diversity On California Transportation Commission Just Four Months Ago
February 22, 2018
Sacramento, CA—This week, Governor Brown reappointed to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) two incumbents with a history of neglecting the state’s climate, health, and equity goals. Transportation advocates from across California say these reappointments squander a critical opportunity to significantly transform the way the state plans, invests, and implements its transportation system to remedy long-standing injustices.
“We hoped the governor would take a stand in his last year in office to finally confront our historically discriminatory transportation system—or at the very least to properly meet his own climate, air quality, and equity goals,” said Jared Sanchez, Senior Policy Advocate for CalBike.
“While we’re disappointed at this missed opportunity, we hope that the next governor won’t share this governor’s blind spot and understand that changing transportation technology is not enough to meet our state’s goals; that we have to change the underlying structure, too,” Sanchez added.
The governor’s action comes in spite of his approval last fall of the California Transportation Commission Reform Bill, Assembly Bill 179, introduced by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona) in 2017 as part of a series of long-overdue efforts to reform California’s transportation decision-making bodies. The legislation requires the CTC to have “diverse membership” with specific mention that diversity include “socioeconomic background” and “experience working in, or representing, disadvantaged communities”. Sanchez says this week’s reappointments indicate the governor did anything but fulfill that mandate when he failed to consider any of the recommendations made by CalBike and a host of partners in a letter to Governor Brown in response to expiring appointments.
The CTC is responsible for allocating billions of dollars annually to transportation projects across the state. With recently approved new funding from the landmark transportation funding package Senate Bill 1 (Beall, 2017), the Commission has the potential this year to make progress toward redressing longstanding transportation injustices. Instead, critics charge, the reappointed Commissioners represent sprawling real estate interests and the construction trades, leaving no representation of sustainable or alternative modes of transport, expertise representing burdened communities, or the climate, equity, or health impacts of California’s transportation investments.
“CalBike and our partners and supporters fear that the CTC will continue to operate as one of the most well-funded, yet antiquated and opaque public agencies,” said Sanchez. “We will in the coming years continue to be committed to transportation and environmental justice. We look forward to continuing to encourage our public officials to democratize our transportation decision-making, and not to create an insular public body that practices groupthink above anything else.”