Call Now for a Better Transit Stimulus

We’re at a critical moment for green transportation in the stimulus package. The key piece on the table now is Jerrold Nadler’s amendment to boost transit investment by $3 billion. A decision could be reached as soon as today, so now is the time to make those phone calls. The people to reach are the House leadership and the Appropriations Committee, who must be persuaded to allow more transit investment into the bill.

As things stand, only one percent of the total stimulus is devoted to transit, while highway spending and all the traffic-generating boondoggles that come with it stand to receive more than three times that amount. If you want to see a stronger recovery bill that does more to curb oil dependence, reduce pollution, and enhance the livability of America’s cities, here are the key numbers to call. Tell these representatives that the Nadler amendment must be allowed to reach the floor for a vote (check after the jump for talking points). If it can reach the floor, we’re told, the amendment has a very good chance to pass. Drop us a line in the comments about how things go.

House Leadership
Nancy Pelosi (202) 225-4965
Steny Hoyer (202) 225-4131
James Clyburn (202) 225-3315
Chris Van Hollen (202) 225-5341

Appropriations Committee
David Obey, WI (202) 225-3365
John Olver, MA (202) 225-5335
James Moran, VA (202) 225-4376
Lucille Roybal-Allard, CA (202) 225-1766
Barbara Lee, CA (202) 225-2661

Talking points courtesy of the National Association of City Transportation Officials:

  • Transit is the future of our nation’s metropolitan regions which represent 80% of the US population.  Public transit ridership has been surging over the last year, but instead of capitalizing on the public demand for more and better transit, cities are being forced to curtail service and cut jobs. 
  • These modest adjustments will result in far-reaching impact on mobility, pollution reduction, and economic stimulation in metropolitan regions.
  • Discuss the transit need in your city and the fact that federal resources for transit can absolutely be spent within the timeframes set out by the bill. House leadership in particular needs to hear the case for transit.  The White House is pushing them to make no changes. The leadership needs to hear from the cities about why these amendments are critical.
  • Apparently there are two more amendments in addition to Nadler’s that might be worth supporting:
    http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=11160

  • Jason

    I just called Rep Clyburn (I’m an SC resident, but in a different district) in support of an both the Nadler and Brown (intercity passenger rail) amendments. I heard about the Brown amendment from the Midwest High Speed Rail Association. I hadn’t heard about the other (Hare) amendment.

    She said she would pass the message along to the congressman.

    Please make calls!

  • Danny G

    Called all of em. Thanks for putting all this information in one place!

  • I called in and left a message for my congresswoman, Speaker Pelosi. I mentioned that I was calling her while on a crowded BART train and that it might be loud and I might lose the call going under a tunnel but that it was the middle of the day and the train was full with people of all ages and backgrounds and that everyone of these people have chosen public transit over other forms of transportation and that we were all hoping she would support the Nadler amendment.

  • Most of the Congressional voice mailboxes are full. Hope that means that a lot more people called in before I tried!

    Will try again first thing in the morning…

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