REDI's Christy Leffall on KPFA's Morning Mix - April 19, 2012

Listen to Christy Leffall, land-use program coordinator and coordinator of the Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) at Urban Habitat, on KPFA's Morning Mix hosted by Richmond Planning Commissioner Andres Soto that aired on April 19, 2012 at 8:00 am. Leffall gives a recap of the General Plan Rally at the Richmond City Council Chambers on April 17th and subsequent adoption hearing of the General Plan with the Environmental Impact Report, which REDI has been working on for over six years.

REDI members turned out in significant numbers to this meeting. The vote was tabled until next week because the general plan agenda took over four hours, one hour for the staff’s presentation, and another three hours for public testimony where 111 speakers had signed in to speak. The upcoming City council vote on Tuesday, April 24th, 6:30pm at Richmond City Hall. Listen to an edited version of the segment here (or download). Visit, KPFA to hear the full version.

Christy Leffall is currently a Land Use Program Coordinator working in Contra Costa County. Leffall is coordinator of the Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) in Richmond, CA, which advocates for the adoption and implementation of equitable elements within the city’s updated General Plan. 
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Support the Richmond General Plan on Tuesday, April 17

Richmond transit village, where BART buses, and Amtrak come together. © 2008 Scott BraleyDear Richmond Community Allies: Finally, after six years of community-­based planning, education, and advocacy efforts, the Richmond City Council will vote to adopt the General Plan.

We, the Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) are excited to attend the General Plan Adoption Hearing to support and urge our allies to put community health and the quality-­of-­life of city residents first!

When: Tuesday, April 17, 6:30pm
Where: Community Services Building 440 Civic Center Plaza Richmond, CA

We are optimistic that our allies on the City Council will pass the Planning Commission’s recommendations to the General Plan, but We Still Need Your Help!

We ask that you please commit to supporting REDI’s General Plan campaign by doing one or more of the following:

• Call and email our allies on the City Council to adopt the General Plan
• Bring your friends and family to the April 17th adoption hearing
• Speak in support of the General Plan at the adoption hearing
• Forward this attached letter to all of your community allies (Download the PDF here)

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6 Wins for Social Equity Network and the Regional Transportation Plan

6 Wins Photo 2 c. 2012 Urban Habitat/Christine Joy FerrerWho We Are

The 6 Wins for Social Equity Network works to ensure that the Bay Area’s transit, housing, jobs, and sustainability policies break the patterns of segregation, sprawl, and pollution that have plagued our communities for generations. We are a group of more than 30 social justice, faith, public health, and environmental organizations that came together in 2010 to advance:

(1) Affordable Housing,
(2) Robust and Affordable Local Transit Service,
(3) Investment Without Displacement,
(4) Healthy and Safe Communities,
(5) Economic Opportunity and
(6) Community Power.

We believe that by working together, we can build a stronger and more equitable future for everyone.

Urban Habitat CEO: Equity Is Key to Bay Area's Prosperity

Allen Fernandez SmithThe Golden State’s tremendous diversity will be the key to its future economic success—if its leaders take action to increase fairness and opportunity. Equity is not only a moral imperative—it is also an economic one.

These are the key messages of the new report California’s Tomorrow: Equity is the Superior Growth Model, authored by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE). The report was released at a legislative briefing earlier this month hosted by PolicyLink and the California Legislative Tri-Caucus, and was attended by legislative staff and nearly 40 advocates from all parts of the state.

Below is a reflection on the report from Urban Habitat President & CEO Allen Fernandez Smith:

Urban Habitat fully supports PolicyLink and PERE’s core finding in the California Report that to create a prosperous California, we must address current systemic inequities, avoid creating new ones, and serve residents of all races and incomes equally.

Urban Habitat's Bob Allen on KPFA's Morning Mix - March 26, 2012

Bob Allen, director of transportation justice, Urban Habitat and Larry Hanley, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, speak on transportation justice on KPFA's Morning Mix with with Adrienne and Steve that aired March 26, 2012 at 8:00am. Listen to an edited version of the segment here (or download). Visit, KPFA to hear the full version.

Bob Allen, Director of Transportation Justice. His background and experience include community planning and policy work both in the United States and overseas with international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). While at UH, Bob led the successful 2008 Campaign to help pass a regional measure, Measure VV, which raised funds to keep bus passes affordable for seniors, youth, and disabled riders. Currently, Bob is leading UH’s efforts on federal and state transportation advocacy. Bob received both his Bachelors Degree in Political Science and History and his Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers University.

Petition: Support Free Public Transportation for Youth. MTA Board will vote on April 3rd.

We're in the home stretch in San Francisco with the Free MUNI for All Youth campaign. On Tuesday, April 3, MTA's board will take up proposals for Youth Transit:

1) Status Quo: Keep a Reduced fare pass for Youth - now $21 but has risen in cost 100% in two years ($10 - $21)
2) Fee For All Youth - OUR Proposal and Ask for next Tuesday
3) Reduced fare/passes for All from current costs
4) Free for All Low Income (free/reduced lunch) - this is the proposal MTA leadership supports

Call To Action, Re-Fund Transit, Make Banks Pay!

Free MUNI Youth Pass Campaign and National Day of Action for Public Transit Funding. ©2011 Joe Feria-Galicia/Urban HabitatFor the past five years, working people in the Bay Area have faced brutal cuts to vital services. Bus riders have been hit especially hard, some losing more than 15% of their transit service. This means longer waits, higher costs, and missed appointments.

Banks Must Pay
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Banks that wrecked our economy continue to overcharge our public agencies—the Metropolitan Transportation Committee (MTC), for one— millions of dollars on bad loan deals.

What You Can Do
On Feb. 20th through 24th, join bus riders, ACCE, Urban Habitat, and our allies in the Transportation Justice Working Group, as well as the 6 Wins For Social Equity, for a Week of Actions, to demand that banks renegotiate interest-rate swap agreements.

Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute Information Sessions


Urban Habitat's Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute Information Sessions

Join us to learn about the nomination process for our 2012 cohort! Come hear how the BCLI has empowered and supported the next generation of advocate commissioners working for and representing the needs of low-income communities and communities of color, and learn about the nomination, interview, and selection process. Alumni will be on hand to answer your questions and share their experiences.

February 16, 2012
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
The California Endowment
1111 Broadway, 7th Floor


February 29, 2012 
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
Easter Hill United Methodist Church
3911 Cutting Boulevard

March 23, 2012
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
The Greenlining Institute
1918 University Avenue, 2nd Floor
San Francisco
March 30, 2012
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Eric Quezada Center for Culture & Politics
518 Valencia Street

RSVP to Riana Shaw Robinson at riana[at]urbanhabitat.org.

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House Bill Could End 30 Years of Dedicated Federal Funds for Mass Transit

ACTION ALERT! From Transit Riders for Public Transportation (TRPT)

MTC Hearing on EJ Principles 1-12-07 © 2007Jess Clarke, Audience Sign

Stop the assault on the public sector,
protect environmental justice and civil rights
in transportation funding.         


House Republican Committees voted last week to eviscerate transit in the federal transportation bill by eliminating the 20% share of dedicated funding for public transit and giving 100% of federal funds to roads and highways. This bill also targets our grassroots communities of color who make up the backbone of transit ridership across the country.

CALL your Congressional Representative and the Speaker of the House and tell them to vote NO on H.R. 7 (the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act) Contact Your Congressional Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Contact Speaker Boehner: Phone: (202) 225-0600 Fax: (202) 225-5117

Give to RP&E on Support Your Media Day - Feb. 15th

New RPE widgetOn February 15, 2012, Race, Poverty & the Environment (RP&E), Urban Habitat's national journal for social and environmental justice will be participating in Support Your Media Day.  From 8 am Eastern Time to 11:59 pm Pacific Time, independent media outlets from around the country will come together to raise funds to support coverage of issues vital to the 99%. These funds make it possible for independent media to tell the stories that matter for making social change. 

Please donate online by visiting our RP&E Razoo page.

Your donation to RP&E will help us claim our share of more than $10,000 in cash awards, matching grants and other prizes.

We believe that you're passionate about equal access for all to housing, transportation, jobs, and a healthy environment. We think that the articles in this journal can help you be a more effective advocate for change in your work and inform you about how others working for justice are carrying out theirs. We hope you think so too. RP&E has long advocated policy prescriptions backed by movement building for systemic change. We hope you see the value of this kind of journalism.

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