Thursday, April 6, 2017

5 Takeaways from the First Metro Policy Advisory Council Meeting

Metro’s newly formed Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) met for the first time yesterday to provide input on Measure M’s draft guidelines and the upcoming Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP).

Investing in Place believes this is an excellent step forward by Metro to begin to retool its engagement with diverse stakeholders and to strengthen regional public policy — and to ensure Measure M implementation is representative of current and future LA County needs.

Read more below what happened at yesterday’s meeting and how you can get involved.

Why was the PAC created?

The PAC was created to help implement Measure M — the transportation measure passed by LA County voters in November 2016 — and to help inform the creation of the Long Range Transportation Plan. It brings together 27 committee members (click here to see the list of committee members) spread across 3 groups of stakeholders (Jurisdictions/Council of Governments, Providers, and Consumers) to work together and provide recommendations to Metro staff and the Metro Board of Directors on policy. All committee members have an alternate, making this an impressive and diverse group of leaders.

Recap of Yesterday’s Meeting

Metro’s CEO Phil Washington kicked off the meeting, followed by an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the PAC and followed by a presentation on Measure M — both the ordinance (what we voted on in November) and draft guidelines.

The Ordinance and Expenditure Plan determined what Measure M will fund (what we all voted on) while the Guidelines spelled out how the measure will be implemented. The Measure M guidelines will be adopted in the June Board of Directors meeting.

In the second hour of the meeting, committee members discussed the challenges of this short timeline and mapped out a strategy on how to provide input to the Board on the draft guidelines by May. The committee broke out into the 3 categories (Jurisdictions/COGs, Providers, and Consumers) and each nominated an officer who will be responsible for developing the agenda for the May PAC meeting and coordinating with their respective members to gather their input and ideas in anticipation of a May report to the Metro Board of Directors.

The appointed committee officers are:

  • Jurisdictions/COGs: Cecilia Estolano, Westside COG
  • Providers: Roderick Diaz, Metrolink
  • Consumers: Jessica Meaney, Investing in Place

To all our partners and other advocates: we encourage you to submit your public comment (see our analysis for a sample) by the May 26th deadline to

5 Key Takeaways:

  1. From day one there is clear articulation of roles and responsibilities of each member (read them here).
  2. PAC members set the monthly meeting agendas, so the effectiveness and success of this group falls on the committee members — not Metro staff.
  3. The PAC will report directly to the Metro Board at Policy and Programming and Executive Management Committees.
  4. The PAC meetings are open to the public, providing transparency and inclusion for those not appointed but still involved and interested in weighing in on regional transportation policy decisions.
  5. The diversity and size of this group is inspiring. Something we’ve needed for a long time is convening Councils of Governments (COGs), municipal operators, users of the system (i.e. students, individuals with disabilities, environmental justice leaders, affordable housing experts and more at the same table every month to discuss transportation policy and implementation.

Next Steps

With the short timeline for feedback and implementation, tangible and well vetted recommendations from the PAC’s respective constituencies are crucial in the next 4 weeks. Recommendations and comments on the Guidelines need to be in writing — we encourage all our partners to do this. These can be submitted to Deadline for all feedback must be received by Friday, May 26th. Please feel free to email Jessica for any questions,

Investing in Place is excited to represent the consumer category — and we will present our analysis of the draft Measure M Guidelines for discussion and feedback at our next #JustGrowth Work Group meeting, Thursday, April 20th at 2:30pm. You can RSVP here. Hope you’ll join us and help inform our perspective and input at this committee.

If this meeting is a glimmer of what it can become, the PAC is extremely invested in working collaboratively to make great strides for LA County’s future. We are excited and looking forward to doing this good work together.

PAC meetings are open to the public. The next meeting is Tuesday, May 2nd, 10am-12pm, Metro Headquarters. But if today was any indication of what’s to come, get there early next month (it was standing room only today). If you had any questions, please feel free to reach out to Metro staffer Vivian Rescalvo

More reading:

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Our Analysis of the Measure M Draft Guidelines

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