Dear Campaign Advocate,
Thanks to your persistence and commitment to active transportation, our letter of support for U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer’s "Active Community Transportation Act" (ACT Act) now has more than 200 signatures, including more than 30 mayors and other elected officials, and 25 national organizations.
These signatures are a huge show of support. Thank you so much!
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) has delivered the letter to Rep. Blumenauer’s office for him to use in his push for a bipartisan group of original co-sponsors, which currently includes Reps. Bob Filner (Calif.), Jim Moran (Va.) and Stephen Cohen (Tenn.). But we still need to do more! With plans to introduce the bill on the House of Representatives’ floor in mid-February, we will continue adding new signatures until we deliver the letter to Rep. Blumenauer’s office.
Please continue to help us gather new signatures to be included in the letter—particularly in states that are currently underrepresented. The deadline for submitting final signatures1 to Kartik Sribarra (email@example.com) is the morning of Monday, February 8.
As soon as Rep. Blumenauer introduces the bill on the House floor, RTC will delve into a full co-sponsorship drive to gather as much congressional support as possible. Please begin planning a strategy to ensure that your representative co-sponsors this legislation once it is introduced. Feel free to contact RTC to discuss.
News on the Jobs Bill
You have likely heard about the jobs bill passed by the House in December and slated for Senate debate following the President’s State of the Union address. As it stands, the bill is smaller and narrower than the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) from early 2009, but the transportation provisions are very similar. Transportation Enhancements (TE), the nation’s largest funding source for active transportation, would receive approximately $800 million if the Senate were to enact the House approach.
Please consider how you would use these funds, if secured, to get an early start on implementing some of the plans set forth in your case statements—particularly since doing so will bode well as you compete for funds should the ACT Act become law.
One important factor to keep in mind is urgency. Under the ARRA, states had 120 days to obligate 50 percent of their funds. Under this newer jobs bill, states will have 90 days to place 50 percent of their funds under contract. This timeline is both stricter and shorter. A potential danger is that states may be inclined to spend newly available funds on larger road projects instead of active transportation projects. Therefore, please ensure that you have TE-eligible, ready-to-go projects lined up for funding by completing any necessary preliminary work prior to the time funding becomes available.
As always, please direct any questions to Kartik Sribarra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Signatures should be of the format FULL NAME, TITLE, ORGANIZATION, CITY/COUNTY, STATE.