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  • For working-poor homeowners, nearly 25% of their household income is consumed by housing and commuting expenses compared with just 15.3% for other households. 28% of public transportation users have incomes of $15,000 or less and 55 % have incomes between $15,000 and $50,000.  Households earning $20,000 to $35,000 annually and located far from job centers spend 70% of their incomes on housing and transportation combined.[x] A family making $35,000 a year, living in walkable neighborhoods with good transit can save $5,000 dollars each year.[xi]The cost burden of commuting for the working poor is 6.1% compared with 3.8% for other workers.  By 2012, nearly two-thirds of the 100,000 federally assisted affordable housing units located near public transportation will have disappeared.[iii])Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) African Americans lives in a household where no one owns a car and 13.7% of Latinos live in households without a car, while only 4.6 % of white Americans live in a household without a car..  Nearly two-thirds of all residents in small towns and rural communities have few if any transportation options: 41% have no access to transit; and another 25% live in areas with below-average transit services.[ix] The Benefits of Complete Streets 6: Complete Streets Fight Climate Change!  National Complete Streets Coalition. Retrieved from . (Accessed 07-14-2010).[x] Barbara Lipman, A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens of Working Families (Chicago, IL: Center for Housing Policy, 2006).[xi] “Where You Live Impacts Affordability.” Reconnecting America. 2007.  Retrieved from: (Accessed 07/07/2010).[iii] Reconnecting America and National Housing Trust, Preserving Opportunities: Saving Affordable Homes Near Transit (Oakland, CA: Reconnecting America, 2008). Cities included in the study were: Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, New York City, Portland, St. Louis, and Seattle.Brookings Institution and UC-Berkeley, Socioeconomic Differences in Household Automobile Ownership RatesAmerican Public Transportation Association. “Mobility for America’s Small Urban and Rural Communities.” Retrieved from: (Accessed 07/28/2010).
  • Public transportation is a lifeline to opportunity. And yet, at a time when transit ridership in our country has reached a record high the mobility of countless Americans has been stymied as transit agencies, confronted with sky-rocketing deficits, are forced to slash services, raise fares and lay-off hundreds of workers.According to the Amalgamated Transit Union, several additional sets of service cuts or fare hikes have been announced:In Oakland, CA: 7% of service will be cut (on top of previous rounds of cuts)In Pittsburgh, PA: 35% of service will be cut and fares will be raisedIn New York City: door-to-door service for seniors and people with disabilities will be eliminatedIn Charleston, SC: All bus routes were eliminated.In Denver, CO: Fares will be raised for the 3rd time in four years.In Atlanta, for example, nearly half of the 100,000 commuters who use MARTA to get to work each day say they don’t have access to alternate transportation options. This is a national crisis—another dimension of how the recession is effecting everyday Americans.The impact of these hikes and cuts are creating further hardship for many people already struggling with mounting costs of housing, healthcare, education, and other expenses. But for low-income people and communities of color hit first and worst by these harsh economic times, the effects are even more severe.
  • Civil Rights Movement in 1960sBasic human rights – equal human beings.Voting AccessEqual EducationEqual HousingJobs without discriminationAccess to quality Health FacilitiesFor decades, advocates for low-income people and communities of color have pushed to reform our nation’s transportation policy. Whether it was Rosa Parks being arrested on a Montgomery bus, the Freedom Riders who challenged state segregation laws by riding public transportation in the South, or the role that busing played in school desegregation—transportation has long been a fundamental arena for civil rights and economic justice advocacy. Plessy vs. Ferguson challenged the Separate Car Act of the Reconstruction period.The challenges persist today…
  • Some communities bear disproportionate burden from transportation system.ProblemNovember 2000 - West Harlem Environmental Action, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, filed a complaint with the federal Department of Transportation against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority: locating most of Manhattan's diesel bus facilities in minority neighborhoods constitutes racial discrimination.75% of children had visible traces of a substance indicating exposure to dangerous diesel fumes in their bodies. Twenty-five percent of children under the age of 13 in Central Harlem have asthma—more than five times the national rate.The level of diesel pollution in the air was directly related to bus traffic, with the highest levels of found around the Manhattanville Bus Depot. SolutionMTA will replace the existing depot with a new green building that has environmentally friendly features.  The new depot will be a three-story, 70-foot above-ground structure built to accommodate 150 buses – 25 more than the current depot.  All buses will use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, and many of the buses will be hybrid-electric vehicles or other low-emissions technology buses. They will work toward LEED certification as they build the depot.  The US Green Building Council created LEED, Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design to set guidelines for construction that benefits the ecosystem
  • Our transportation system must move people and goods. ProblemMany of our nation's port communities are in face dual challenges:Traffic congestion from high volumes of trucks moving good from ports to highways.Poor air quality due to trucks high truck volumes, outdated vehicles and idling trucks  The EPA estimates that 87 million Americans live and work in regions near major port facilities that violate federal air quality standards. Each day they are exposed to toxic diesel exhaust from polluting port trucks, which are contributing to deadly diseases like asthma, heart disease, and cancer.  Solution  The Port of Los Angeles' Clean Truck Program put 8,500 new clean diesel and alternative fuel vehicles into service, and emissions were reduced by 80 percent in the surrounding communities. If Los Angeles can do it, there is no reason other port communities can’t combine clean air with quality jobs.   There are groups that are working at the intersection of transportation justice and environmental justice.  Over 100 + organizations have joined the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports and endorsed the Clean Ports Act of 2010.
  • In early 2010, the Collaborative garnered initial funding from the regional transportation agency to launch a $40 million fund that will support property acquisition for 1,100 to 3,800 new affordable homes located near rail or bus stops. The Great Communities Collaborative is a unique cooperative relationship between four Bay Area nonprofit organizations – Greenbelt Alliance, the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California, TransForm, and Urban Habitat – and the national nonprofit Reconnecting America. The East Bay Community Foundation, The San Francisco Foundation, and The Silicon Valley Community Foundation are also part of the collaborative.Members of the collaborative are combining their respective expertise and working with partners around the region to:Shape plans for specific transit-oriented developments in Bay Area communities and encourage resident participation in planning for those developments. Create tools that will help community leaders make better decisions about transit-oriented developments across the Bay Area and help citizens better understand, participate in, and influence plans for TOD. Secure increased private and public funding that will help to catalyze sustainable and equitable transit-oriented development in the Bay Area.
  • King County Equity and Social Justice Ordinance Launched in February 2008Directs:The integration of social justice practices into the county’s strategic, operational, and business plans;; management and reporting systems; and budgetsEstablishes an inter-branch team to include all agencies and branches of county government to facilitate accountability for and collaborate on equity and social justice work across county government; and,Reporting annually to King County elected leadership, employees, and the public on status and trends in equity and results related to the implementation of the ordinance.Implementation measures have included:Three Town Hall meetings with elected officials, county officials, community members and community leaders to move towards a common understanding of equity and social justice and jointly searching for solutions and held a dialogue about the underlying causes of inequities;Development of Equity Impact Review ToolTransportation Department actively engaged with community organizations, schools, businesses, and residents to elicit feedback about possible changes to bus routes in southeast Seattle and SW King County in light of the new light rail service—activities included more than 12 sounding board meetings, mailings, multi-lingual hotline, questionnaires and materials translated in seven languages, numerous community discussions, public speaking engagements and other intensive community outreach activitiesInternal education and training of county staff about equity, social justice—focusing primarily on the underlying causes of inequities and spurring conversations amongst staff on how best to solve these problemsDept of Transportation is currently developing a tool to prioritize non-motorized transportation improvements based on transportation, health, air quality, and equity outcomesDept of Transportation is working to expand the supply of affordable housing within close proximity to transit, housing, recreation, and employment centers through public/private partnerships for TODEstablished ORCA fare card (can be used for light rail and bus in the region) as a response to community interestsWhat makes it different/innovative: recognizes that equity needs to be addressed through multiple channels within the Department of Transportation, from prioritizing inclusive and meaningful community engagement in diverse communities to adopting policies and procedures that prioritize transportation infrastructure and spending on modes that serve low income communities and communities of color to providing extensive internal training and education about the causes of inequity and providing places for employees to discuss how they might address these inequities in their own work
  • In response to a stakeholder process led by the Transportation Equity Network, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) used apprentice programs, project labor agreements, and contractor incentives in the reconstruction of several bridges, interchanges, and highway lanes on Interstate 64 in St. Louis, Missouri. MoDOT allocated $2.5 million of the project budget for contractor incentives and a workforce diversity program, including a new Construction Preparation Center that was operated by MoDOT, local contractors and contractors of color, union representatives, and community groups. The project was completed three weeks early and $11 million under the original budget estimate of $535 million. 27 percent of work hours were completed, performed by people of color and women. In addition, 90 apprentices gained highway construction training and 80 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises received contracts with MoDOT, exceeding MoDOT’s goal of 16 percent participation by disadvantaged businesses.
  • BackgroundPolicyLink is working with two organizations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area (ISAIAH and Take Action Minnesota) to conduct a health impact assessment of proposed land-use changes related to a new light-rail transit line that will connect the Twin Cities. For significant transportation investment like these,  we should ask ourselves How will local residents --particularly those in disadvantaged communities --be affected by decisions associated with this investment?   The low income communities  of color that surround the proposed light rail line have received more of the burdens of transportation investments (highways, splitting communities, etc.) than the benefits. Goals of the project:Assess the impacts of the proposed re-zoning plan on underlying conditions that determine health.Maximize positive health benefits in the decision making process.Empower local communities to effectively and meaningfully engage in the re-zoning process. Definition of health impact assessmenta process to systematically judge the potential effects of a policy, plan, program or project on the health of a population and the distribution of those effects within the population. HIA identifies appropriate actions to manage those effects.    - International Association for Impact Assessment, 2006 In conducting this HIA, our core values include: Equity Racial justice Community empowermentCollaborationAccountabilityScientific integrity What we found in our analysisHealthy EconomyNumber of jobs likely to significantly increaseLimited employment/income relief for those with limited educationPotential increase in customer base for small and minority-owned businessRisk for displacement as corridor redevelops and commercial rents riseAffordable HousingHousing affordability is likely to decrease as property values riseIncreased housing cost burdens may result in displacementIncrease in gentrification of neighborhoods as redevelopment occursSafe and Sustainable TransportationIncrease in households in the corridor will increase access to transit and increase demand for and usage of public transportationMore people will be walking through unsafe intersections, potentially increasing the number of injuries and fatalities What policies we recommended for the re-zoning planInclusionary Zoning PolicyDensity BonusInterim Commercial Parking on Vacant LandInclusion of Goals and Objectives Related to Community GoalsFirst Source Hiring
  • New way of thinking of civic engagement
  • Smarter transportation investments can unleash the under-realized economic power of communities across America. If 20 of our nation’s metropolitan areas shifted 50% of their highway funds to transit, they would create over 1.1 million new transit-related jobs over 5 years—without a single dollar of new spending. (Transportation Equity Network, 2010) Every $1 billion invested in public transportation capital/operations creates or supports: 36,000 jobs $3.6 billion in business salesNearly $500 million in federal, state and local tax revenues (Economic Development Research Group) Repair work on roads and bridges generates 16% more jobs than construction of new roads and bridges. (Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Mass.)  
  • Chaired by PolicyLink, the Equity Caucus is a broad, diverse coalition of over 80 national, state and local organizations including leading civil rights, community development, racial justice, economic justice, faith-based, health, housing, labor, environmental justice, tribal, public interest, women’s groups and transportation organizations.   Together, these groups are: driving transportation policies to advance economic and social equity in America. informing decision-makers of the shared interests and diverse benefits of a reformed transportation system that ensures economic and social opportunity for all people and communities. lifting up the voices of low-income people and communities of color advocating for reforms that are necessary to create communities of opportunity through federal transportation policy. 
  • Update and add member slide
  • Notes? Check old presentations for notes, if any
  • Transportation provides access to good-paying jobs both in the construction of all types of projects—highways, transit, roads, and bridges—and in the operation of the system. Proactive policies are needed that establish and uphold job quality protections and standards, provide resources for affordable job training and career pathways for all people (including women, people of color, low-income individuals, and youth), and open up opportunities for disadvantaged businesses to access contracting opportunities in the transportation sector. Several ideas include:Establish a construction careers program for the transportation sector that would:Target jobs to local, low-income workers. Contractors receiving federal transportation dollars would have to ensure that a percentage of project work hours are worked by local, low-income employees (This would build upon and strengthen the “Sense of Congress” on workforce development that was part of the last transportation authorization (SAFETEA-LU Section 1920); Ensure quality job training opportunities by maximizing use of registered apprentices toincrease opportunities for disadvantaged workers to get a foothold in the industry;Support quality pre-apprenticeship training programs and recruitment by dedicating a certain percentage of federal highway, transit, and rail dollars to creating a pipeline of workers ready to step into apprenticeship programs and construction careers. (This would build upon an existing workforce investment provision (US Codes, Title 23, Section 140) which allows ½ percent of all federal highway dollars to be used for the recruitment, training, and retention of underrepresented workers.);Use Community Workforce Agreements to connect all the dots. Projects achieve timely delivery and meet targeted hiring and training goals when transportation agencies and contractors establish uniform labor standards through community workforce agreements. A similar proposal was included in the HR 2454: American Clean Energy and Security Act and HR 4929: Enhancing Opportunities for Main Street Act of 2010.Create a Youth Transit Job Corps toretain, recruit, and prepare young adults from underrepresented segments of the population for jobs in public transportation. (This is consistent with the proposal that Rep. Jerrold Nadler introduced: HR 929, The Transportation Job Corps Act of 2011 to create a career-ladder grant program within the Federal Transit Administration at the US Department of Transportation.) Enhance the USDOT On-The-Job Training Program to applyto transit, railways, and all other surface transportation projects in order to increase the workforce available to efficiently complete these projects and increase the participation of women, minorities, and disadvantaged individuals. (Currently the program only applies to Federal Highway Administration-funded projects.)
  • Complete Streets A Complete Streets policy ensures that transportation corridors are designed with all users in mind—drivers, public transit passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The next transportation authorization should require states and local governments to adopt Complete Streets policies and use Complete Streets practices in federally-funded projects (as proposed within current legislation under consideration in Congress and as supported by a policy statements by the USDOT) Safe Routes to School Program The last transportation bill created the Safe Routes to School Program that provides school-age children safe, accessible, and healthy ways to get to school. In 2009, this program received $183 million. With demand for safe walking environments increasing in communities across the country, the next transportation bill should preserve and/or increase funding (some early proposals have recommended $600M); expand eligibility to include high schools; and dedicate a percentage of funding to create safe routes to bus stops, as the current legislation under consideration in Congress proposes.“Fix it First”Target transportation spending toward maintenance and repair of crumbling transportation infrastructure in existing communities to ensure that it is safe and well-maintained, prior to spending money on road and bridge expansion projects. Health impact assessments Establish a pilot program using health impact assessments to evaluate the individual and community health outcomes of transportation projects in urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities.Green, Clean Safe PortsRequire and fund a greener and cleaner freight system in ports, on rail, and via truck, to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and support local solutions to freight transportation challenges.
  • Federal transportation funds should be distributed in a manner that is transparent, accountable, democratic, and with a focus on achieving clearly articulated outcomes that ensure the economic prosperity, health, and vitality of all communities. This can be accomplished by establishing criteria and aligning federal funding to national transportation outcomes such as improved mobility for people and goods, access, transit ridership, health and safety, as well as reduced household costs, carbon emissions, and vehicle miles traveled. It is also important to actively enforce civil rights provisions to ensure fair and equitable access to the benefits of our transportation system; utilize new revenue to expand or improve mobility and access for underserved communities; and improve accountability and public engagement in decision making about transportation projects.
  • Talking points:  This is the FOURTH national summit in Detroit This is an urgent, pivotal moment for the Equity MovementIt is a signature event for PolicyLink One of the most diverse policy gatherings in the countryWill bring together thousands of advocates, organizers, policy makers, funders, public officials, and more Thousands from the Equity Movement will gather to learn, share, and connect Healthy Communities, Strong Regions, A Prosperous AmericaFor more information, please visit  

SSC2011_Anita Hairston PPT SSC2011_Anita Hairston PPT Presentation Transcript

  • Transportation and Equity
    Anita Hairston, Senior Associate
    Solutions for Sustainable Communities 2011 Learning ConferenceWashington, DC
    September 27, 2011
  • About PolicyLink
    PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®.
  • What Is Equity?
  • Transportation Equity in America
    Inadequate Transportation Access and High Costs
    Stifle Access to Opportunity:
    • Transportation is the second largest expense for households in the United States, costing more than food, clothing, and health care.
    • The poorest fifth of Americans spend 42% of their annual household budget on automobile ownership—more than twice the national average.
    • Nearly two-thirds of all residents in small towns and rural communities have few if any transportation options: 41% have no access to transit; and another 25% live in areas with below-average transit services.
  • Transportation Equity in America
    Fewer Economic Opportunities Associated with Building Our Nation’s Infrastructure:
    In the transportation construction industry, only 6% of employees are African American and 2.5% are women, far below their shares of the U.S. workforce.
    Of the $48 billion in Recovery Act funds that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) awarded to states for highway construction in 2009, only 2% went to people of color owned or disadvantaged businesses, well below the USDOT goal of 10%.
  • Transportation Equity in America
    Communities Struggle to Provide Affordable, Reliable Public Transit:
    In more than 110 cities, public transit routes that residents depend on to get to work, shop, or take their children to school are at risk.
    According to the American Public Transportation Association, more than 80% of the nation’s transit systems are considering or have recently enacted fare increases or service cuts, including reductions in rush-hour service, off-peak service and geographic coverage
  • Transportation Equity in America
    Past Transportation Practices Have Created Disproportionate Health Impacts on Disadvantaged Communities:
    Nationwide, 61% of African American children, 67% of Asian American children, and 69% of Latino children live in areas that exceed air quality standards for ozone, compared with 50.8% of white children.
    Hispanics suffer a pedestrian death rate 62% higher than non-Hispanic whites, and African Americans have an even higher rate at almost 70% compared to non-Hispanic whites.
  • Transportation: A 20th Century Civil Rights Issue
    Critical Role of Transportation in Civil Rights Movement
    • Rosa Parks & Montgomery Bus Boycott.
    • Freedom Riders – challenged state segregation laws by riding public transportation into the South.
    • Busing as vehicle to promote school desegregation.
    • A. Philip Randolph– organized African American rail road workers.
    • Plessy vs. Ferguson
  • Toward a More Just and Equitable Transportation System -- Bus Depot
  • Clean and Safe Ports
    Source: USDOT
  • Great Communities Collaborative
    The goal of the Collaborative is for all people in the Bay Area to live in complete communities, affordable across all incomes, with nearby access to quality transit by 2030.
  • Seattle/King County
    “Our economy depends on the ability of everyone to contribute, and we should remove barriers that limit the ability of some to fulfill their potential. When all can participate, we can have true competition that leads to excellence.
    Our recent Equity and Social Justice Ordinance ensures that equity and social justice are part of the very fabric of our daily work at King County, and it is the next step in advancing the efforts of county employees to remove barriers to equity."
    -- King County Executive Dow Constantine
  • Interstate 64/St. Louis, MO
    • MODOT allocated $2.5 million for:
    • Contractor incentives
    • Workforce diversity program
    • 27% of work hours completed by people of color and women
    • 90 apprentices gained highway construction training
    • 80 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises received contracts with MoDOT
    Missouri DOT
  • Transit Dependence in Central Corridor
    • 11-mile corridor linking Twin Cities
    • $1 billion ($957M) investment
    • Projected to have Weekday Ridership of over 40,000 by 2030.
  • Civic Engagement
    PolicyLink definition: Civic engagement consists of self renewing, collective efforts by residents, organizations, and communities aimed at improving lives and strengthening communities. Should reflect both process and results.
    Models of engagement
    • Resident engagement by mayors:
    • City’s master plans: Mayor Williams in Youngtown, Ohio; Cory Booker in Newark, New Jersey; Ron Sims in Kings County; Ron Dellums in Oakland, California.
    • Resident mobilization for grocery stores: West Fresno Food Max & Market Creek Plaza.
  • Transportation = Opportunity
    Every $1 billion invested in public transportation capital/operations creates or supports:
    36,000 jobs
    $3.6 billion in business sales
    Nearly $500 million in federal, state and local tax revenues
    (Economic Development Research Group)
    Repair work on roads and bridges generates 16% more jobs than construction of new roads and bridges.
    (Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Mass.)
  • The Next Transportation Authorization: Working for Equitable Reform
    Transportation for America is the largest, most diverse coalition working for a bold new vision for transportation that guarantees our freedom to move however we choose and leads to a stronger economy, greater energy security, cleaner environment, and a healthier America for all of us.
    The Equity Caucus at Transportation for America — formed by the nation’s leading civil rights, community development, racial justice, economic justice, faith-based, health, housing, labor, environmental justice, tribal, public interest, women’s, and transportation organizations — drives transportation policies that advance economic and social equity in America.PolicyLink serves as Chair of the Equity Caucus at Transportation for America.
  • Members of the Equity Caucus at Transportation for America
  • Equity Caucus Policy Principles
    Create affordable transportation options for all people.
    Ensure fair access to quality jobs, workforce development, and contracting opportunities in the transportation industry.
    Promote healthy, safe, and inclusive communities.
    Invest equitably and focus on results.
  • Policy Idea #1
    Affordable Transportation Options for All People
    Preserve and expand resources for biking, walking, and public transportation
    Give local communities flexibility to use federal funds to help operate local public transportation systems
  • Policy Idea #2
    Job Access and Job Quality
    Establish a Construction Careers Program
    Create a Youth Transit Jobs Corps
    Expand On the Job Training Program
  • Policy Idea #3
    Healthy, Safe, and Inclusive Communities
    Complete Streets
    Safe Routes to School
    Clean and Safe Ports
    Health Impact Assessment Pilot Projects
    Sustainable Communities Funding
  • Policy Idea #4
    Invest Equitably and Focus on Results
    Strategic planning that leads to better outcomes and more accountable decision making
    Strengthen civil rights enforcement
  • Healthy Communities, Strong Regions, A Prosperous America
    November 8-11, 2011
    Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
    For more information and registration visit:
  • Resources
    (Publications : All Aboard!: Making Equity and Inclusion Central to Federal Transportation Policy;
    The Transportation Prescription: Bold New Ideas for Healthy, Equitable Transportation Reform in America; and
    An Engine of Opportunity: A User’s Guide to Advocate for Transportation Equity in the 2009 Recovery Act)
    Back of the Bus: Race, Mass Transit and Inequality
    Beyond the Motor City:
    Equity Caucus at Transportation for America
  • For More Information
    Anita M. HairstonPolicyLinkanita@policylink.org202-906-8034