- The timeline for Metro Council to potentially refer the measure to the November ballot has shifted, and they will now make that decision this summer, in July or August.
- The Task Force had their last meeting on April 15, and will no longer meet or provide recommendations to Metro Council.
- In May & June, Metro will release final details of the package, including Regional Programs, Revenue Mechanisms, and Oversight Structure.
- The Coalition continues to track and advocate for projects and programs that meet our guiding principles.
- The Coalition continues to not have a stance on the measure; we will keep you notified of the next opportunities for input and engagement as the measure is finalized.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the timeline for Metro Council to potentially refer their Regional Transportation Measure has shifted from May to July. Over the next few months, as they finalize the package, Metro will release details for Regional Programs, Revenue Mechanisms, and Oversight Structure.
In March and April, the Task Force heard presentations about four additional corridors to add to the measure, and oversight and accountability, before their last meeting on April 15. At the final meeting, Task Force members shared “Words of Wisdom” for Metro Council, and they will no longer meet or provide recommendations to Metro Council.
At the last Task Force meetings, we heard the narrative surrounding this measure shift toward language about “economic recovery” for our current COVID-19-related recession. This economics-focused language has previously not been the central focus during the ongoing process of community engagement, but we do wonder who the economic recovery is for? Will our communities see direct investment or first right of refusal for bids and project-related work? Will there be support by way of community benefits agreements, or guarantees through the Construction Career Pathways program to provide reliable career pathways for women and people of color in transportation construction? Some have expressed concern about this shift in the way this measure has been communicated to stakeholders previously, and if it means any changes for the measure.
There are still important details for Metro to reveal about Regional Programs and Revenue Mechanisms before the community can provide input on the package as a whole and Metro Council can make their final decision whether to refer to the ballot this summer. Although specific details have not yet been released, our expectation is that Metro Council will go above and beyond in their efforts to obtain community input on the full measure prior to referral, and articulate a clear plan for this engagement that recognizes and addresses the inability for everyone in the community to respond.
The Coalition’s approach to this measure has always been to advocate for things we can influence in the measure, and we continue to track and advocate for projects and programs that meet our guiding principles. We have advocated for projects that are focused on racial equity, safety, access, and climate resilience. One of our priorities is increasing the amount of frequent and affordable transit and safe transit access in the measure — which is why there’s now Better Bus on all corridors instead of a select few. We continue to advocate for the greatest gains for transportation justice and climate justice in the package by ensuring Metro prioritizes projects and programs that benefit those in Equity Focus Areas in the region — those areas with the highest concentrations of people of color, youth and older adults, people with disabilities, and people with lower incomes. This is vital to build a just and climate smart transportation system, and is one of the reasons we’ve been fighting alongside YEJA, Multnomah Youth Commission, and youth advocates all across the region for a Universal Regional YouthPass in the measure.
With broad support from the community, our advocacy efforts have made a difference, but there is still more work to be done on this measure. We continue to advocate for our priorities and through the lens of our guiding principles. To date, we have, and continue to move the needle in the right direction, and there are many projects in the package that would fund long overdue and significant investments in safety and access — something our communities have been asking for for decades.
The Coalition will not have a stance on the measure until all details are released, but as we move through this moment of acute crisis, we continue to lift up our shared values and use them as a guide for what comes next. We will keep you notified of the opportunities for input and engagement as the measure is finalized.