Reconnecting America and Smart Growth America's boards and staff have recently completed a joint strategic planning process to evaluate how to have the most impact in advancing shared goals related to federal transportation policy reform. To that end, the boards of each organization have agreed to the full transfer of the Transportation for America Campaign, which has been jointly hosted by Reconnecting America and Smart Growth America, to Smart Growth America with the goal of consolidating the transportation policy advocacy work into one organization.
Photo by John Robert Smith
Earlier this week, Reconnecting America's President and CEO John Robert Smith, who also serves as Co-Chairman of Transportation for America, and James Corless, the Director of Transportation for America, were invited to the White House to participate in a discussion with the executive committee of Transportation for America and White House staff. Accompanying them were Transportation for America partners Arnold Weinfeld, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League and Scott Wolf, Executive Director, Grow Smart Rhode Island.
The conference call discussion focused on the jobs bill and, in particular, the transportation infrastructure element.
During the visit, Smith was interviewed by the White House film crew along with several others about the transportation bill. (Video is embedded below.)
Later, Smith, Corless and the Transportation for America partners joined other groups in the East Room, where they heard…
John Robert Smith, President and CEO of Reconnecting America and Co-Chair of Transportation for America, was a guest at today's (Aug. 31, 2011) remarks by President Obama in the Rose Garden. President Obama urged Congress to pass an extension of the Surface Transportation Extension Act, which is set to expire Sept. 30. In particular, the president said Congress needs to save American jobs by passing a clean extension, at current funding levels, with no cuts or riders attached. The president called on Congress to "place country before party." In response, Smith released the following statement:
Today, John Robert Smith, president and CEO of Reconnecting America, testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, representing the Transportation for America coalition. Co-founded by Reconnecting America, the Transportation for America coalition consists of housing, business, environmental, public health, transportation, equitable development, and other organizations who are all seeking to align our national, state, and local transportation policies with an array of issues like economic opportunity, energy security, health, housing and community development.
Reconnecting America CEO John Robert Smith is joined by James Corless, director of Transortation for America, and Chris Leinberger, president of LOCUS, in an Aug. 2 letter endorsing amendments to the Livable Communities Act. The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs adopted the amendment before passing the legislation on Aug. 3.
Changing federal transportation funding to emphasize repair of existing infrastructure and expansion of public transportation would generate many more jobs than the current law, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute.
The Transportation for America campaign unveiled its blueprint for transportation reform at a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday, calling for less driving, more transit, and a wholesale restructuring of federal programs. This broad coalition of elected officials, environmental and equity groups, trade associations, developers and realtors and many others is calling on Congress to not increase taxes to provide more transportation funding unless it also institutes critical reforms.
Transportation for America Director James Corless testified before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation today (April 28), saying the US needs a cohesive national transportation policy with clear objectives and performance measures to gauge progress. He said these measures should include reducing driving by 16 percent in 20 years, and tripling walking, biking and transit use. Reconnecting America co-chairs the “T4America” campaign, which is working with Congress on reauthorizing the six-year federal transportation bill that provides hundreds of billions of dollars for transportation projects. The coalition has grown to include 250 organizations ranging from AARP to the National Association of Realtors, and 18,000 individuals and elected officials.
John Holtzclaw lives in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco in a rent-controlled apartment and he loves it – he doesn’t own a car, there are 700 restaurants within walking distance, and he lives well even though San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the world. His situation illustrates the value of density and mixed use in an era where economic and environmental sustainability is becoming imperative. John is leading the Sierra Club’s “21st Century Transportation Campaign,” and this chart was part of his presentation at Transportation for America’s April 2 webinar on “Transportation, Climate Change and Energy Security.”
Urban vs. Sprawl Auto Use
Sprawl San Ramon CATransit Village Rockridge, Oakland, CAUrban Center North Beach, San FranciscoMetro Center Manhattan
Res. Density (hh/res.acre)
Transit (veh/hr nearby)
Shopping (5 w/in 1/4 mi)