In the early months of the pandemic, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission convened a Blue Ribbon Transit Recovery Task Force to stabilize and reimagine public transit in the face of a severe financial crisis. This month, the task force released its Transit Transformation Action Plan with 27 actions to reimagine transit and set the stage for new legislation, commission policies, funding and governance changes in upcoming years.
The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recession have made economic justice advocacy more urgent than ever before. As the Bay Area looks to rebuild and reimagine its economy, federal, state and local governments are hungry for policy interventions that will help people become economically secure. SPUR is committed to helping shape the conversation. We are pleased to announce the adoption of SPUR’s Economic Justice Platform for Advocacy.
Incoming San José Director Fred Buzo shares his goals and vision for SPUR’s work in the South Bay. Fred strongly believes that San José can achieve social equity as it continues to develop its downtown core and other areas. For this to happen, we must be willing to admit our past failings, struggle through our differences and work together to better our community.
SPUR is advocating for a number of pro-housing bills and regulatory reforms in Sacramento that would increase housing supply and reduce the time and cost to produce housing. A number of key SPUR-sponsored and supported bills continue to move through the legislative process. When the Legislature returns from summer recess a number of bills will face critical votes in the State Senate and Assembly.
Making sure everyone can afford clean water has long been an issue, but the economic hardships of COVID-19 have exacerbated the problem. SPUR addressed water bill debt in the wake of the pandemic in our January 2021 policy brief Keeping the Water On. Since the publication of the brief, state and local policy on water affordability and sustainability has made progress, which we discussed in a recent SPUR Digital Discourse.
Climate discourse has often relied on moral platitudes, abstract facts and figures, and an over-emphasis on the consequences of climate change to incite action. What if instead we turned to a framework of justice and equity? SPUR’s Ideas + Action 2021: Sustainability & Resilience symposium focused on how to create a climate movement centered on community and people. International climate experts, elected officials and environmental leaders discussed the perils, progress and path forward to creating a hopeful, sustainable future.
With the pandemic lifting and California re-opening, now is the time to commit to overcoming long-standing challenges made worse over the past year. If we really want to make progress on homelessness, traffic the climate crisis and more, we need a bold vision, a long-term strategy and solutions of a similar scale to the problems themselves. It’s time to start building the thriving, equitable Bay Area of 2070.
Remember the summer of 2021? Everyone was thrilled that COVID was largely contained and that California was reopening. But that sense of relief didn’t last long. Housing was too expensive. More people were falling into homelessness. Drought was everywhere. But that was then. By 2070, we turned a region on the precipice of dystopia into a sustainable, affordable and equitable place to live. Here's how we did it.
One of the barriers to restoring Bay Area transit ridership after the pandemic is the fragmented nature of our public transit system, which can discourage people from riding. To stimulate recovery of both the transit system and the economy, policymakers are now pushing for changes that will welcome riders back and make regional transit work for more people. To make the most of these opportunities, SPUR believes six principles should guide this work.
SPUR’s recently released Regional Strategy outlines a vision for the Bay Area of 2070 as an equitable, sustainable and prosperous region. The strategy provides a roadmap for building that future and centers deep regional cooperation as critical to transformational change. To celebrate the release of the project, four Bay Area civic leaders gathered on May 13 to talk about the role of regionalism in advancing a future where everyone thrives.