Big contractor money floods into Measure J

How interesting that the campaign for Measure J is being run out of Sacramento. Not what one might expect of a little local measure… These guys have gone big time! Follow the Money! As might be expected from a group headquartered in the State Capital, the Friends of Contra Costa Transportation, Yes on J Committee has been busy soliciting funds from big contractor groups. As is typical of transportation taxes and school bond measures like Proposition 13 on the March ballot, contractors are contributing big time to campaigns that will generate added business for themselves. The California Alliance for Jobs…

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Chronicle endorses J

The San Francisco Chronicle printed its endorsement of Measure J on January 29. While TRANSDEF was disappointed, we were pleased that the newspaper gave serious coverage to our rationale to oppose the tax: to avoid creating institutional momentum for decades of further sprawl development that will result in impassable highways. We believe that future development needs to be within walking distance of frequent transit, a model that doesn’t work in widely dispersed neighborhoods.

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TRANSDEF debates Measure J on TV

TRANSDEF’s President David Schonbrunn debated Newell Arnerich, a member of the CCTA Board and Danville City Councilmember on Contra Costa TV.  The highlight of the debate was the discussion of suburban sprawl at 18:00, culminating with a take-down of Contra Costa’s vaunted linkage of transportation and land use. The subject came up again, with a particularly good discussion of sprawl at 29:00, peaking at 31:00, with TRANSDEF’s statement that “Single-story ranch homes–that’s obsolete, in terms of new construction.” Moderator: “But people like that! That’s why they move here.” TRANSDEF’s response: “They may like all kinds of things, but when you…

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East Bay Times Editorial: Vote No on Measure J

In a strikingly comprehensive editorial, the East Bay Times described the flaws of Measure J and recommended voters say No. Here is a list of those flaws, as articulated by the Times: The ballot language doesn’t mention that Measure J would double the existing transportation sales tax. Measure J is not the promised “transformative plan.” We cannot pave our way out of the congestion crisis. Allocating nearly 20% of tax proceeds for local road maintenance bought support from local government, but duplicates existing funding. Asking county voters to pay for BART improvements makes no sense when BART has its own…

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Environmental debate at Sierra Club

TRANSDEF was invited to present the opposition position on Measure J at an endorsement meeting of the Sierra Club’s West Contra Costa Group. The text of the presentation captures the environmental reasons to oppose CCTA’s tax measure. Here’s the audio of that presentation:            

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TRANSDEF files demand letter with Contra Costa government

After discovering an intentional weakening of the so-called Impartial Analysis of Measure J by Contra Costa County Counsel, TRANSDEF submitted letters yesterday to the Board of Supervisors, the Acting Registrar of Voters and County Counsel, demanding changes to the Impartial Analysis. These letters speak for themselves. The letter to the Board of Supervisors is especially worth reading.      

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Measure J on March Ballot

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority has placed Measure J on the March ballot. Measure J would double the existing transportation sales tax. TRANSDEF organized the submission of ballot arguments opposed to the Measure. See Recent Contra Costa Transportation History for a broader understanding of the issues facing voters. Please see the Measure J category for the latest information.  

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TRANSDEF’s first thoughts on the Megameasure

TRANSDEF had a complicated reaction to the announcement of the proposed Megameasure. (All quotes referred to are contained in that post.) Service considerations We like the focus on world-class transit, but don’t trust that the sponsors of the measure mean the same thing we do. They have no prior history of supporting the cost-effective transit we support. To our knowledge, they have only supported the expensive brands of transit: BART and high-speed rail. Because the fundamental transportation problem of the Bay Area is too many cars on the roads, a solution viable for the long term must facilitate car-free living. That means…

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