June 21, 2011
Mark Green, Chair, and Members
ABAG Administrative Committee
Adrienne Tissier, Chair, and Members
Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Dear Chairs and Members:

We join several of your members and two of your advisory bodies – MTC’s Policy Advisory Council
and the RTP/SCS Equity Working Group – in urging you to add a scenario that maximizes social
equity to the set of alternatives that MTC and ABAG will develop and analyze this summer. The list
of scenarios before you today, which has not changed since it was released to the public less than
three weeks ago, will be incomplete without such a scenario. Including one in the analysis is critical
to your informed decision making and the public’s meaningful participation.

Instead of voting to accept the set of five alternatives before you today, we ask that you direct staff
to include for analysis an additional scenario that maximizes social equity — the Equity,
Environment, and Jobs Scenario (see attached) — and to ensure that all of the scenarios
advance social equity outcomes. Staff should then present you with an updated slate of
alternatives at your July meeting.

The best Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) and Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) will be
the one that most strongly promotes all of the “three Es”: equity for low-income communities and
communities of color, economic vitality, and environmental health. None of the five proposed
Alternative Scenarios before you today offers that choice.

Key components of a proposed Equity, Environment, and Jobs Scenario are summarized on the
attached sheet and include maximizing the funds needed to operate local transit service while
providing affordable housing in job-rich suburban communities as well as in the urban core. We
believe that this scenario will outperform the five currently before you, not only in terms of social
equity performance measures, but also in terms of GHG reduction, local job creation, housing, and
other important regional goals. Hard facts support our view: research shows that transit operating
expenditures create 40% more jobs than spending on capital projects, and that affordable housing
near entry-level jobs improves access to economic opportunity. Similarly, investing in robust local
transit operations is the most cost-effective way to maximize GHG reductions, and affordable
housing near jobs directly reduces driving.

The failure to include and analyze an equity scenario will not only deprive the public and decision
makers of important information about the range of choices available, but also contradicts requests
expressed at the June 10 joint meeting of the MTC Planning Committee and ABAG Administrative
Committee. At least four members of these committees – Jake Mackenzie, Tom Bates, Rose Jacobs
Gibson, and Mark Luce – expressed some support for adding an Equity, Environment, and Jobs
scenario, and asked staff to address this issue.

Instead of accommodating the requests of these members, the latest staff report from Executive
Directors Heminger and Rapport leaves the scenario definitions unchanged in any way from those
proposed on June 3. The staff report only offers explanations about why it believes that “the key
components of the advocates’ proposed equity scenario will be adequately addressed in all the staff proposed scenarios.”

But staff does not explain how the presence of “equity elements” in some performance targets, or a stand-alone equity analysis of all the scenarios, will result in a scenario that combines the land-use and transportation features that will maximize equity. Nor does staff address the consequences of prematurely removing from consideration this distinctly different combination of land-use and transportation elements at this early stage, without any study.

This response also shuts out the meaningful input of advisory groups whose work is not yet
completed. The work of your Housing Methodology Committee and Equity Working Group,
bodies you created to advise you on the Sustainable Communities Strategy, is ongoing and not
reflected in the five scenarios now before you. These bodies should have a meaningful opportunity
to inform the scenarios. Rather than voting on an incomplete set of alternatives today, we request
that staff be directed to present an updated set of scenarios, including an equity-focused scenario, at
your meeting next month.

Finally, we urge you to ensure that the transportation network staff models properly accounts, in
every scenario, for the region’s financial ability to operate and maintain the region’s whole
transportation network. This means recognizing the effect of operating and maintenance shortfalls
on transit as well as on the local streets network that our buses rely on.

We look forward to working with staff to develop the specific details of the Equity, Environment
and Jobs Scenario, and of the other staff-outlined scenarios.


ACCE Riders for Transit Justice
Albany Rollers & Strollers
Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
Bay Area Healthy 880 Communities
Bay Area Legal Aid
Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII)
Bay Localize
Breakthrough Communities
Breathe California
Brightline Defense Project
California Affordable Housing Law Project/Public Interest Law Project
Causa Justa :: Just Cause
Center for Progressive Action
East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO)
Ella Baker Center
Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin
Green Youth Alliance
Greenbelt Alliance
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Public Advocates
Public Interest Law Firm, a project of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
Regional Alliance for Transit (RAFT)
Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP), A Project of the Public Health Institute
SF Bay Walks
SF Council of Community Housing Organizations (CCHO)
SF Walks & Rolls
UFCW Local 5
United Seniors of Oakland & Alameda County
Urban Habitat
Walk&Roll Berkeley

Enclosure: Equity, Environment and Jobs Scenario features
cc: MTC Commissioners and ABAG Board Members
MTC and ABAG staff

Equity, Environment and Jobs Scenario

MTC and ABAG should put an “Equity, Environment, and Jobs” scenario on the table for
consideration. We recommend the scenario include the following key features.

Land Use Components of the Scenario:

• Distribute a substantial proportion of the region’s overall housing growth to highopportunity
communities based on the presence of jobs, high-performing schools, transit
service levels, and other indicators of opportunity.
• Allocate to cities with disproportionately low numbers of lower-income residents a
proportionately higher percentage of extremely-low, very-low, and low income housing

Transportation Components of the Scenario:

• Maximize existing and new funding for local transit operations, and prioritize
operating assistance for those communities in which lower-income populations are
concentrated or for job centers which commit to more lower-income housing growth, with a
goal of increasing transit operating funding substantially.
• Prioritize capital funds that cannot be shifted or swapped to transit operations for
maintenance of the existing transit system rather than capital expansion.
• Include only the most cost-effective transit expansion projects, including those
prioritized in CBTPs (Community Based Transportation Plans), in communities that protect
existing low-income residents from displacement.
• Prioritize capital projects that will improve health and safety, especially in

Communities of Concern, that equalize mortality rates by race and income.

• Set aside a portion of Local Streets & Roads (LSR) and other funds to reward local
jurisdictions that accommodate, and provide local funding to build, a significant portion of
the region’s lower-income housing need and/or enact strong policies to protect existing
extremely-low, very-low, and low income residents from displacement.
We look forward to working with staff to develop the specific details of the Equity, Environment
and Jobs Scenario, and of the other staff-outlined scenarios.


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