Is Southern California getting closer to developing a policy definition for social equity in transportation investments? We think so. In last month, over 100 people attended our Investing in Place partner meeting to discuss prioritizing investment areas for the potential 2016 Los Angeles County Transportation sales tax measure based on social equity and public health metrics.
And this month we were inspired by our partners:
- California Walks
- Communities for a Better Environment
- Leadership Counsel for Justice & Accountability
- Safe Routes to School National Partnership
- Move LA
- Natural Resource Defense Council
- Physicians for Social Responsibility
- Public Health Association of Southern California
- SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy)
These groups led the way in developing recommendations for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Environmental Justice Analysis for the pending 2016 Regional Transportation Plan for the 6 county region. 33 organizations signed on to their recommendations letter to SCAG, and Investing in Place is pleased to be one of those supporting organizations. Read the comment letter here. We are inspired to see growing support for creating a mapping of high need/opportunity areas at the census/UZA level area to prioritize public resources like the Bay Area Metropolitan Planning Organization MTC does in its Communities of Concern program.
And over the past week SCAG has been holding Environmental Justice focus groups with regional stakeholders for feedback on their Draft Proposed Technical Approach for the 2016 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategies (click here for their draft strategy). – which maps out several iterations of prioritizing investment areas based on data, and State and Regional best practices.
These conversations have the potential to inform Los Angeles County transportation expenditure plans – it’s exciting to see the growing synergy between Regional and County efforts to take this concept towards implementation.