Last year, Josh Newman cast an essential vote in support of SB 1—a critically important package of taxes and fees to maintain our transportation systems. SB 1 is already generating billions of dollars putting Californians to work repaving and rebuilding critical infrastructure. It’s making our communities safer by eliminating dangerous potholes and upgrading biking and walking infrastructure.
Nevertheless, his opponents are attacking him to send a message against transportation taxes and fees. We can’t let them win. Here’s why.
Your California Bicycle Coalition worked very hard for two years as the leader of a coalition of more than 80 groups fighting to improve SB 1. We won some important concessions.
- The two largest programs in SB 1 are for maintenance of state local highways, streets, and roads, and every single project is supposed to prioritize bicycle and pedestrian safety. It’s not the mandate we would ideally prefer, but we’re finding that projects built with SB 1 money very often in fact improve safety.
- The state’s bike and pedestrian funding program was increased by $100 million/year. Even though that represents only 1.9% of the total package, it’s a step in the right direction. The call for projects using SB 1 money was just announced and Orange County could see some important projects built with that money.
- Public transit improvements like better Metrolink service receive $750 million per year from SB 1, or 14% of the total funding.
Overall, the SB 1 funding package is fairly conservative. It does not represent a radical departure from our current transportation system, nor does it double down on previous generations’ mistakes by funding massive expansion of our highway system. It is a no-nonsense program to maintain what we currently have so that it doesn’t crumble dangerously into disrepair, and to improve it in the process.
In Newman’s Senate District 29, the SB 1 project website shows 69 projects that benefit his constituents. Here are just a few that matter to us.
- Temple Avenue between Walnut and Pomona is getting new bike lanes.
- Purchase of the right-of-way for a half-mile of new bike trail in La Habra
- Safety and access improvements at the Grand ve/Golden Springs intersection in Diamond Bar.
- Miles and miles and miles of repaving for a smoother ride.
Josh Newman is a responsible legislator who sees that transportation is a community resource and not just about highways for cars. Yet, opponents of SB 1 paid signature gatherers to put a recall of Newman on the ballot in order to make a statement against paying to maintain our transportation system and improve its safety. It is irresponsible, and must be stopped.
Vote No on the recall.
Click here for more information about Josh Newman and the campaign against the recall.