Tag: Action

Speaking out for smart growth issues leads to a better transportation bill in the Senate

Yesterday, the Senate finally passed its version of a six-year federal transportation bill. As you likely know by now, this bill will have a huge impact on how communities across America grow in the coming years.

We asked you to speak out about a number of issues related to this bill over the last few weeks. And right now, I want to say thank you for stepping up.

Many of the crucial provisions we championed—the Safe Streets Act, TIFIA financing for transit-oriented development, and protection of the TIGER grants program at the U.S. Department of Transportation—were included in the final version of the bill.

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House subcommittee to hold hearing this week on reauthorizing EPA Brownfields program

atlantic-station-before-after
BEFORE AND AFTER: Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta was previously the site of an Atlantic Steel facility. The EPA’s Brownfields program helped make the redevelopment project possible.

Did you know that every federal dollar spent on brownfields cleanup leverages $17.79 in value for communities? And that redeveloping one acre of contaminated land creates an average of 10 jobs? These benefits don’t stop where the brownfield ends: the value of residential property near brownfield sites can increase anywhere from 5.1 to 12.8 percent when cleanup is complete.

These are just some of the many reasons why brownfields cleanup and redevelopment is a great investment of federal dollars, yet the Brownfields program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not formally authorized in the federal budget. Congress has the power to change that, and this week members of the House of Representatives will examine whether to do make brownfields cleanup an official part of the federal budget.

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Bipartisan coalition introduces the Safe Streets Act of 2015

safe-streets-act-2015

A new bill in the House of Representatives would help communities across the country make streets safer and more convenient for everyone who uses them.

Late yesterday, Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) introduced the Safe Streets Act of 2015 (HR 2071), a bill which would require all new federally-funded transportation projects to use a Complete Streets approach to planning, designing, and building roads.

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Top spring break destination this year is your Congressional representatives’ district offices

Springtime on Capitol Hill. Photo by Kate Harbath via Flickr.

As the adage goes, April showers bring…Congress home for spring break!

Spring break is a great time to meet with your Senators or Representative in your community and ask them to support the Safe Streets Act (S. 2004/H.R. 2468), which encourages communities to consider safety improvements for all users in transportation project planning.

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Land that’s haunted by its past

When factories close and their buildings are shuttered, they often leave behind a sinister secret.

Toxic chemicals and pollutants left behind from their industrial past can haunt these places. Until the contaminants can be safely cleaned up or disposed of, no one can use these buildings or the land they sit on.

Help land that’s haunted by its past: Send a letter to your Senators today.

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Six members of Congress are taking a stand for better development. Ask your members to join them.

In the next few days, Congress will set priorities for millions of dollars of funding for federal programs—including programs that support better neighborhood development.

This funding could helps towns across the country revitalize Main Streets, redevelop historic buildings, rebuild on abandoned land and more. But only if Congress hears from supporters like you.

Congress needs to hear your support for this work. Send a letter to your members today.

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Why today is the day to speak out for the BUILD Act

Every day is a good day to clean up a brownfield.

Cleaning up brownfields benefits everyone – parents, professionals, business owners, local leaders and more.

Land that was once contaminated and abandoned can be transformed into parks, community centers, concert venues or any number of other ideas. There’s never a bad day to start these projects.

Today in particular is special, though.

Smart Growth America is on Capitol Hill today, along with our national coalition of allied non-profits. We’re there in person to ask Congress to support the BUILD Act.

Add your voice to our call for action: tell your senators to support the BUILD Act.

In our meetings today, we’ll be talking about places like Harrison, NJ, which is turning an abandoned industrial area into a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood served by transit.

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Have you asked Congress to rethink real estate?

Most Americans don’t know that the government spends $450 billion each year on real estate. And few – if any – know the full impact of these expenditures.

Join the call to examine this spending. Sign our petition calling on Congress to take action.

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What type of development does $450 billion a year support? Ask Congress to investigate.
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Speak out for Main Streets in the Senate transportation bill

Last week, the House of Representatives introduced their surface transportation reauthorization bill. Their proposal, H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, threatens to derail federal funding for public transportation, and we’re still fighting to change their proposed bill. If you were one of the many supporters who spoke out against H.R. 7, thank you.

This week, the Senate has begun working on its version of the bill and we need your help to make it as strong as possible.

A bipartisan amendment to the Senate bill sponsored by Senator Cardin of Maryland and Senator Cochran of Mississippi would give local governments a larger say over a share of state transportation dollars. This change to the current bill would give local leaders a greater voice and more direct access to money for projects like main street revitalization.

Will you speak out for Main Streets in the Senate transportation bill? Click here to send a letter to your Senators.

As it’s currently written, the Senate bill would take the limited funds once dedicated to improving safety and conditions for people on foot and bike, and transfer them to state departments of transportation for expensive highway construction instead.

The Senate vote could happen as soon as this week, and this amendment is one of the most important that we’ll see. By setting money aside, the Cardin-Cochran amendment would ensure local communities can get the money they need for the projects they want.

Take one minute to send a message to your Senators: Ask them to support the Cardin-Cochran amendment today.

If you think our transportation bill should give communities the resources they need to build Main Streets that are attractive to businesses, pedestrian friendly and safer for everyone using them, tell your Senator to sponsor this amendment.

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Contact your Representative TODAY to protect federal transit funding

Dedicated funding for public transit is in a fight for its life.

Late last night, the House of Representative’s Ways and Means Committee released their proposal for a federal surface transportation bill. The bill would eliminate dedicated funding for public transit and jeopardize these funds for years to come.

Speak out for transit: Send a messge to your Representative today.

Removing the guarantee on funding would mean that transit would have to compete each year for general fund revenues. As Congress looks for ways to slash federal funding, this change puts transit funding in danger of deep cuts in coming years.

Help fight this proposed bill: send a message to your Representative today.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have supported dedicated transit funding as a way to relieve congestion and help workers reach jobs quickly, efficiently and affordably. As the American economy slowly recovers, demand for transit has been rising across the country – and now is not the time to jeopardize federal support for these programs.

Contacting your members of Congress is simple and only takes a few minutes. Help defend dedicated funding for transit: Click here to send a letter to your Representative.

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