Advocacy Update, March 2-6

The Sonoma County Transportation Authority (SCTA) will be putting a measure on the November ballot to renew Measure M, the 1/4 cent sales tax funding local transportation. [Read our initial thoughts on the matter from last month.] This week, we participated in a focus group with the SCTA committee responsible for drafting the measure as well as several other environmental advocates. SCTA had a similar meeting with a group of business interests. There will likely be a meeting with BOTH groups together, to find common ground and figure out how to craft a local transportation measure that meets multiple needs – doesn’t give anybody everything they want but gives everybody enough of what they want to actually get the measure passed and keep local funding. The SCTA Board meets Monday, March 9 at 4 pm.

At the Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Alliance (REMBA) Advocacy Committee meeting, members discussed their upcoming day in Sacramento with the newly-created California Mountain Biking Coalition, a state-wide effort to advocate for and promote mountain bike access. REMBA is working with Sonoma County Regional Parks, Friends of Annadel Trione State Park, and other groups advocating for,  building, and maintaining more local mountain bike trails.

We attended the monthly Sonoma County Alliance (SCA) breakfast meeting. We attend gatherings of business organizations like SCA and the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber to  nurture relationships with current and future partners.  (Last month, a conversation with the woman sitting next to me resulted in a $500 Bike to Work Day sponsorship!)  Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm and Jack Tibbets of St. Vincent de Paul shared stories about their work with homelessness, including an update on the village at Los Guillicos where many folks were relocated from the Joe Rodota Trail.

Speaking of the Joe Rodota Trail, read Regional Parks’ latest message about the tentative re-opening on March 14 and plans for the future.