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Published on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Senate holding transportation forums across the state. Cities encouraged to participate

Senate Transportation Co-Chairs Curtis King and Tracey Eide have scheduled a series of 10 transportation forums across the state. (Schedule available here). Senator King has emphasized that the purpose of the forums is to hear from fresh voices, not from the lobbyists that legislators normally hear from in Olympia. This is a great opportunity for cities to talk to legislators about their transportation needs and projects. In response to large number of people expected at these forums (there were 400 in Bellevue on Sept 17) a request has been made that each city choose one person to speak on their behalf.

AWC is working to have an AWC Board member speak on behalf of AWC at each of the forums. We also encourage cities to participate to speak about their unique local situations and needs. To assist city officials in preparing their remarks, AWC has prepared some talking points. And here’s some additional materials that you may find helpful:

Some key things to think about if you or someone from your city chooses to participate:

  • Remarks should be brief and to the point – maybe aim for something like 3 minutes.
  • Feel free to share needs – no matter how large or small.
  • Expect that legislators will want to know “how they should pay for it”.
    • If your city supports increased gas taxes – let them know.
    • If you don’t have a position on that or oppose new gas taxes– think about how you’d respond.
  • If your needs to fix local streets are from grants from the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) or other sources, encourage them to adequately fund these programs – there’s likely not enough to meet all needs.
  • Legislators and AWC are looking for creative transportation reform ideas – ones that can get bi-partisan support and make a difference. If you have one or more good ideas – share them!

Finally, there are several statewide and regional efforts that have engaged a variety of transportation stakeholders. “Keep Washington Rolling” is a coalition of business, labor, environmental organizations, and community leaders involved in the transportation revenue push. You can RSVP to the forums on their website: keepwashingtonrolling.com/events.

Please do not hesitate to contact Alison Hellberg at AWC if you have questions. She will be attending nearly all of the forums.

Thanks and we hope you or someone from your city can attend these and share your perspectives. If you can’t, please consider letting your own legislators know your thoughts.

Categories: Transportation