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Thank you for your commitment to transportation justice. We did it!

We signed petitions. We spoke at press conferences. We attended meetings. We talked to our neighbors about why our communities need AB805 -- the statewide bill to bring us one step closer to transportation justice in the neighborhoods that need access to transit and safe places to walk and bike most.

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And when Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law this month, we cheered and rejoiced at our community-earned victory.

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Thank you to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher for championing this effort and bringing our communities one step closer to transportation justice. We look forward to a new SANDAG – one that creates an equitable transportation system that works for all people in San Diego.

Congratulations. We could not have done this without you.

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On August 15, residents of Old Town National City joined us to demand National City Council prohibit pollution from local auto body shop Perry Ford.

Perry Ford has been operating without permits and against zoning requirements established by National City’s Westside Specific Plan, which passed in 2010.

Residents of the Paradise Creek Park Apartments approached City Council one by one to express frustration about Perry Ford operating close to homes and schools in the neighborhood.

Alicia Sanchez, a longtime community member who was initially involved in drafting the Westside Specific Plan, took a moment to remind everyone how imperative it is to prohibit pollution in communities if we truly want #healthyhoods.

Promotora Maria Villanueva testifies against Perry Ford

Thank you to National City Councilmembers Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, Mona Rios, Jerry Cano and Albert Mendivil made the right decision to uphold the Old Town National City Westside Specific Plan and prevent toxic businesses from contaminating where we live, work and play.

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Thank you to every community member who made this victory a possibility and put us one step closer to achieving our vision of environmental justice in National City.

To join our movement, please click here.

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Last month, our staff celebrated the introduction of their very own bikeshare program to promote transportation justice and healthy living in the workplace.

Now, you may spot EHC staff pedaling around National City for meals, meetings – or maybe just for fun.

By installing bike racks and working with the San Diego County Bike Coalition to teach safe biking to our team, we hope to slowly but surely reduce the number of cars the streets in our neighborhood and encourage our community to use alternative modes of transportation. Now, we’re talking the talk and biking the bike.

Want to learn what you can do to bring transportation justice to your community? Click here.

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Freeways can wait - people can't. Sign here to demand transportation justice, and read more below.

San Diego lags behind most major regions in California for an accessible, affordable and comprehensive transportation system. San Diego’s Transportation Planning Agency – SANDAG – has ignored the demands of the public for an effective system. SANDAG needs to be reformed.

Sign this petition to tell your legislator to support AB 805 (Gonzalez-Fletcher) to authorize the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the North County Transit Agency to raise revenue to create an equitable system that achieves:

  • Transportation justice: Investments in transit, bicycling, and pedestrian infrastructure in San Diego’s most impacted neighborhoods first.
  • Democracy: Voting authority based on population size to ensure fair representation.
  • Reduced air pollution and climate change resilience: Protect public health and the environment from toxic air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Accessibility: Better and more abundant transportation options and increased affordability give community member's greater access to jobs, housing and services.

Click here to learn more about AB 805 and how it make our communities healthier and safer places to live, work and play.

On November 8, we're voting no on Measure A to protect our children’s health. Executive Director Diane Takvorian explained in the San Diego Free Press why San Diego should say no to a deceptive 40-year tax increase that pays for freeway expansion and air pollution.

Click here to read her full article on the environmental justice argument against Measure A. 

Measure A Healthy Kids

Measure A is More Bad News for Low-Income Communities

Voters Should Reject Measure A – This year San Diego voters have an opportunity to take a critical first step towards bringing San Diego into the 21st century. Right now, San Diego has an outdated and obsolete transportation system. Measure A will perpetuate that system for another 40 years!

Two generations of San Diegans will be stuck with this backward system instead of clean and just transportation if voters don’t give a resounding NO to Measure A on November 8.

While all San Diegans suffer from this outdated and ineffective system, some people are much more affected than others. Measure A doesn’t do much good for anyone in the region but it is particularly bad for those communities that are already inundated by pollution and surrounded by freeways.

Measure A is Bad for South Bay Communities

More Pollution/More Disease – National City, for instance, is one of San Diego’s poorest cities, with a per capita income under $17,000 per year. Over 90% of the residents are persons of color. The community is highly polluted by heavy freeway traffic on I-5, I-15, SR 54, I-805 and its residents suffer multiple health problems caused by vehicle and truck emissions. As a result, CalEnviroScreen, the state’s tracking tool for pollution impacts, includes the west side of National City, Old Town, among the 10% most polluted communities in the state.

San Diego County remains among the top major urban counties in California for poor air quality. The countywide rate of asthma hospitalizations increased from 9 to 10.3 per 10,000 residents aged 0-17. The rate for National City children is twice as high as the county average.

SANDAG’s freeway expansion obsession doesn’t work! – Instead of using this data to inform transportation planning, SANDAG is ignoring it. Our region’s goal should be to avoid adding more pollution to San Diego overall but particularly in the most impacted communities. But no, despite the already high level of traffic pollution, SANDAG will use Measure A funds to expand the I-5 corridor through National City with four new lanes, one general purpose and one express lane in each direction. The agency’s forecast is that this will result in an average of 238,000 vehicle trips per day. While there are different data for current traffic levels, that is an increase of between 17 and 30%.

Moreover, freeway expansion doesn’t relieve congestion or reduce driving – two oft-cited goals of the regional transportation plan. In October 2015 UC Davis’ National Center for Sustainable Transportation reported that “Increased roadway capacity induces additional vehicle miles traveled in the short-run and even more in the long-run.” More roads mean more traffic in both the short- and long-term. Adding 10 percent more road capacity leads to up to 10% more vehicle miles over many years.

Local Infrastructure – Residents living in a low-income neighborhood in the City of San Diego are ten times more likely to be hit by a car than those that live in most other neighborhoods. Southern San Diego residents not only suffer from high levels of air pollution and correspondingly high rates of respiratory disease, these communities, including Barrio Logan, City Heights, National City, Chula Vista and Imperial Beach, live with crumbling infrastructure like broken or nonexistent sidewalks, a lack of crosswalks to safely navigate traffic and a lack of bike lanes common in many traditionally funded communities.

Well-maintained local infrastructure is a key component to an effective transportation system and should be included in transportation funding.

Finally – To be clear, transit and infrastructure funding are included in Measure A. That funding is badly needed and could benefit the most impacted communities and the entire region. But the price is way too high. Miles of freeways will be built in the worst locations before affordable and accessible transit becomes a reality. Measure A forces lower income San Diegans to subsidize use of our roads with higher taxes and damaged lungs. Measure A will increase disease, air and water pollution and traffic congestion.

Don’t support a tax measure that builds on a flawed plan that will not bring San Diego into the 21st century and will make climate change worse. We have come to the decisive moment when scientific reality must trump politics. We are out of time for half measures.

Our communities deserve better, our children deserve better – smart transportation investments that will ease traffic, address climate change, and reduce disease should come first.

Vote No on Measure A.