Metro Transportation Task Force update: Council Listening Sessions

Metro Transportation Task Force update: Council Listening Sessions

However you are engaging in or experiencing this time of reckoning with our nation’s and our region’s history of racism and oppression of Black, Indigenous and people of color, your Metro staff team hopes you know that we care deeply about you. We stand with all those standing for Black lives and against racism in this region.

The last several weeks demonstrate how streets are stages where power is asserted, negotiated, and enforced. Streets also reflect what we value and prioritize as a community. We believe in the potential of this measure’s investments to advance the values the Task Force and Metro Council have prioritized. But we know that we can’t stop with this measure. We must do more to address how white supremacy is encoded in and perpetuated by the ways we plan, fund, build and manage streets and our transportation system. 

For example, the Metro Council and this Task Force have prioritized investments that make streets safer. Yet safety means more than sidewalks, streetlights and crosswalks; our streets will be truly safe only when Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color can trust public agencies and other powerful institutions to value their lives as much as the lives of white people.

Many receiving this email have experienced this directly and do not need additional reading to understand how it affects the communities of this region. If it is helpful to others, however, we respectfully suggest a few articles in which leaders of color discuss what (anti)racist transportation and urban planning means.
If anyone would like to share additional resources, please do. We would be happy to distribute to the Task Force in our next update.

Council listening sessions: Starting next week
As a potential referral decision approaches, the Metro Council is holding a series of listening sessions to hear from community members and leaders on the proposed Get Moving 2020 package. 

Each of the links will take you to a calendar page where more details will be available soon.   
All listening sessions will begin at 5:30 p.m. Sessions will be accessible by phone and video conference, and interpretation will be available.

Please let us know if you are interested in speaking to Council at any of these listening sessions. We’d be happy to help.

There will also be a final public hearing on the day Council considers referral of the measure – more below.

Regionwide Programs: Final descriptions released
After hearing reports from Community Partners and Metro engagement staff, the Metro Council dug deep into staff’s regionwide programs recommendation in a series of two work sessions in late May and early June. 

We are pleased to share that with Council’s direction, the final regionwide program descriptions are now available on the Get Moving website. Find them in the Project Library at [], under “Identifying Investments”.  

At Council’s direction, staff worked to deepen funding commitments to Community Stability programs, including working with community to develop corridor-based anti-displacement strategies, investing in affordable housing and supporting Main Street small businesses struggling through economic difficulties and the threat of displacement. 

Additionally, Council directed us to work with partners at TriMet to broaden the vision of the Youth Transit Access program to provide free bus/MAX passes for all high-school aged youth and continue to expand the program in subsequent phases with the goal of serving all youth 18 and under across the region.

Take a look at the descriptions, and let us know if you have any questions at all.

New corridor investment maps online
We are updating the Get Moving 2020 website to more clearly tell the story of the measure and its proposed investments. We’re pleased to share new interactive maps of each of the corridors and their recommended investments.

Find them at [] under the “Draft Plan” tab. 

We will be adding more to the site in the days to come.

Upcoming Council work sessions
We are really getting close to the finish line for this process of developing a measure for Council’s consideration. Through it all, we have worked to remind Councilors and partners of the Task Force’s recommendations and input throughout your 22 meetings. Although it’s been a couple of months since we were together, your presence remains constant.

Here’s what’s in store for the next three Council work sessions:
  • Today, 3 p.m.: Oversight and accountability recommendations from staff, including advancing workforce and contracting equity, and conducting air quality monitoring as part of the measure’s oversight activities.
  • June 30, 2 p.m.: Final staff recommendation for corridor investments
  • July 7, 2 p.m.: Final racial equity analysis & Council direction on final referral materials

Our tentative referral consideration target date remains Thursday, July 16. We will share more details in our next update.

You can always find Council materials and links to tune in here.  []