This week equitable development activists are celebrating. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments voted to include two important goals in Plan Bay Area 2040 that seek to align billions of regional transportation dollars with the creation of middle-wage jobs and the retention of low- and moderate-income families.
Plan Bay Area 2040 (PBA 2040) is the regional long-term transportation and land use plan that includes $287 billion in transportation investments. Until now, PBA 2040 ignored the economic impact that transportation investments and land use decisions were having in our communities. For the last three years, SMC Union Community Alliance and the Quality Jobs Network documented and testified about how regional transportation investments were exacerbating the growing economic divide by intensifying gentrification and displacement of underserved communities and not leveraging quality jobs (but rather low-wage ones). These new PBA 2040 goals are a great first step toward ensuring that regional transportation dollars result in equitable development.
Much work is ahead of us to materialize this major win. SMC Union Community Alliance and our coalition partners will continue to advocate so the regional agencies adopt policies and programs that will incentivize communities across the region to:
- retain and create middle-wage jobs with career pathways and benefits;
- increase apprenticeship opportunities for disadvantaged youth and residents;
- and improve access to quality jobs by underserved communities.
For more information, please contact Belén Seara at firstname.lastname@example.org.