When it rains in Los Angeles , as public opinion goes, we get thrown for a loop. People forget how to drive, cancel best-laid plans…the whole region seems confused.
Our welcome March rains may have contributed to a spotty turnout at this month’s Metro Policy Advisory Council (PAC) meeting. There was also a room change and schedule change that switched up the monthly routine. But the participants that did attend couldn’t help but wonder: are PAC members not showing up for other reasons?
In its first 12 months, the PAC has tackled complex and tedious tasks, such as developing guidelines for the $10 billion Multi-year Subregional Programs (MSP) and Measure M itself. The group has also led spirited discussions on the importance of subregional autonomy balanced with regional goals.
These issues are of particular importance to the “Jurisdictions” PAC members, who are mostly represented by the subregions and Councils of Government (COGs). COGs almost exclusively control MSP decisions and spending, which represents money for goods movement and the largest pot of discretionary funding in Measure M for active transportation. And these two issues are of particular importance to the “Consumers” PAC members, who are mostly represented by advocacy organizations that represent communities most impacted by active transportation and goods movements policies. We saw the most engaged PAC discussions around this time.
This spring the Metro, and therefore PAC, agenda has shifted to finalizing various agency and Measure M policies and programs, such as Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) and 2% Active Transportation. While these issues continue to be important to PAC “Consumer” representatives, are they perhaps less relevant to the COG representatives or “Jurisdiction” members? And how do the “Providers” (or transportation and public agencies) see themselves within all of these discussions?
Members discussed how a one-year anniversary is a good check-in point for reassessing the representation and relevance of the PAC. Ideas ranged from collecting a survey from existing members to gauge relevant agenda items to sending “ambassadors” for PAC member seats to diversify and refresh the representative voice. Stay tuned for further development about making the PAC relevant for both participating members and for influencing Metro policies with diverse perspectives and considerations.
Our rockstar partners at USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) presented “Measures Matter,” their comprehensive primer on Measure M and Measure A, which total a combined nearly $1 billion annually to invest in the Los Angeles built environment.
Prior to the March PAC meeting, Investing in Place hosted the #JustGrowth work group to discuss these two policies with our partners. This helped to prep PAC members to discuss any competitive funds to come out of 2% Active Transportation and what this would mean for smaller and less-resourced jurisdictions. Metro staff also committed to hosting a 2% Active Transportation PAC subcommittee meeting, which has been scheduled for April 5. We encourage PAC members to participate and for our external partners to reach out to discuss other considerations for this program that will provide approximately $17 million annually from Measure M.
The draft TOC policy will be presented at the April 3 PAC meeting, which will return to the Metro headquarters 3rd floor boardroom at 1:30p.