This past Friday, some of us who have long been involved in transportation advocacy, policy, and legislation finally got the roster listing those who are directly involved in a transportation task force convened to find new and reliable sources of money for SF's unmet transportation needs.
This may be a 4th version of a transportation funding task force convened in the past few years, all of which previously deadlocked when a few business groups objected to what a larger number of advocates wanted as funding sources. Both former Mayor Newsom and Mayor Lee have been trying to find some consensus, but never defined who exactly made the actual decisions on what any of these multple transportation funding task forces actually recommended This current version is co-chaired by SPUR and by the Controller's Office, but selections were made by / through the Mayor's Office.
There are 55 people directly involved, either as members or city staff. The list doesn't make clear who votes, and who is present as a resource.
What is clear is that this version is massively demographically biased -- biased against those who need transit, paratransit, and / or safer sidewalks but lack a choice of mode or don't have $$ to pay for use of all modes of transportation.
Example: Despite the large, and increasing numbers and percentage of the city's population that are either seniors or have a disability, NOT ONE SINGLE ADVOCATE, from the various formal advisory committees for these constituencies, was invited.
Not from the Aging & Adult Services Commission, not from the Mayor's Disability Council, not from the MTA Multi-Modal Advisory Committee [ MAAC ], not from the Paratransit Co-ordinating Council, not from the Advisory Council to / for the Aging & Adult Services Commission
One member was a staffer from the Mayor's Office on Disability [ MOD ]--who seemingly was expected to fully be aware of and represent tens of thousands of these transit intensive constituencies -- an overwhelming task in itself, but daunting in the face of all the other staff duties required from MOD.
Somehow, the merged Senior & Disability Action also was not invited, despite having a long and accomplished history in successful advocacy about MUNI, paratransit, and pedestrian safety. The Pedestrian Safety Advisory Committee for the Board of Supervisors recognizes that SDA is involved in advocacy and policy work on pedestrian safety, as is the companion chapter of the California Alliance for Retired Americans, which has successfully maneuvered legislation through to signature by the Governor. .
Example: There also was no parent advocate for children, nor anyone from the Youth Commission; instead, an SFUSD staffer was selected.
Example-- there was no representative from the Human Services Network, nor from the city's many affordable housing providers
The few transportation advocacy groups invited often have what are now termed "choice" members --i.e., they can take, and can afford to take, transit or a cab, drive, bike,walk, Segway, or skateboard.
The failure of a balanced representation may show itself when the public has access to a formal draft of this business & city staff-dominated group, imbalanced both as to projected revenues and to recommended uses of future revenues. Stay tuned. On 24 Sept., a draft is scheduled to be presented, and on 29 October a final report presented.