By Jim Murphy, Special to the Sentinel
In addition to choosing a new president, this year’s election gives us the power to dramatically improve, or neglect, critical transportation needs in our community through Measure D.
Since Earth Day 1970, Ecology Action has helped communities make simple yet profound changes that have big environmental impact. By doing so, our work not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions today, but opens minds to the possibility of bigger, bolder changes tomorrow. That same push for practical, achievable results is clear in Measure D’s paradigm shift from car-centered funding to investments in various sustainable transportation strategies the majority of us can readily support.
For perspective, consider that an average of 80 percent of federal transportation projects go to highways and roads. However, Measure D dedicates 60 percent of funding to sustainable transportation improvements that will reduce single-driver car trips, reduce our carbon footprint, protect wildlife and fund biking, walking, bus and carpool projects.
The news that Tom Steyer has endorsed Measure D this week for its environmental benefits represents huge validation of the measure. As founder of NextGen Climate and a nationally recognized climate activist, Steyer’s mission is to support political engagement to avert climate disaster and build prosperity for all.
“Measure D is a balanced plan that will reduce pollution, cut traffic congestion and provide good-paying jobs. It’s that kind of plan that is going to make California a more just and pleasant place to live,” said Steyer. His endorsement should lend confidence to environmental advocates to vote yes on D.
Steyer is not alone: Measure D has an unprecedented list of local environmental supporters including Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, Bike Santa Cruz County, Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County, Friends of the Rail & Trail and Monterey Bay Electric Vehicle Alliance.
Ecology Action was an early supporter of D because the measure invests heavily in new modes of transportation and makes practical progress toward a transformed transportation future. Please join me in voting Yes on Measure D for investments that will put the power in people’s hands to build a better community.
Jim Murphy is chief executive officer of Ecology Action.