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Monitor Notes: Transportation Solutions, Fare Feedback, Climate Work, Redistricting, Drought Lessons, and more

Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.


Transforming Transportation

Work done by CASA, or the Committee to House the Bay Area, could inform transportation planning and other regional issues, according to TransForm. The advocacy group is convening a webinar today at 5 p.m. to talk about “Solving Problems as a Region: Learning from Housing.” It invited San Francisco Assemblymember David Chiu (pictured); Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation; Therese McMillan, MTC’s CEO; and Ellen Wu, executive director of Urban Habitat, to speak about CASA’s learning process. CASA built consensus in 2019 around housing preservation, production, and protection recommendations, which developed into a legislative package to help tackle the housing affordability crisis. 


Fare Enough?

Caltrain officials are asking the public to attend a May 20 public meeting and provide feedback on potential changes to its fare structure. The commuter rail agency continues working on recovery plans due to the pandemic. Caltrain proposes extending the 20 percent discount on its monthly fare pass through June 2023 to encourage workers to return to transit and provide financial relief to people who’ve been regular riders during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to learn more about the meeting, opportunities to comment, and other fare changes under consideration.


Local Climate Change Solutions

The League of Women Voters of Marin County’s climate change speaker series is coming up May 26 at 11 a.m. Alex Porteshawver (pictured), senior sustainability coordinator at Drawdown: Marin, is the guest speaker. Porteshawver will talk about Drawdown: Marin’s strategic plan for the county and its transition to a nonprofit organization. Since 2016, the group has functioned under the County of Marin’s planning department as a community-driven campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for climate change impacts, and integrate equity.


State and Congressional Line Items

Join LWV Diablo Valley and LWV West Contra Costa County when they co-host a May 27 redistricting program with the Contra Costa Libraries. The 4 p.m. event, “Redistricting: Reading Between the Lines!” will explain the process and how you can participate in creating equitable maps of Contra Costa districts. As Notes has previously reported, local governments use the mandated Census count to redraw districts’ lines every 10 years that reflect population growth and shifts. The redistricting process could affect who will be elected to represent you.



Drought Response

As the state grapples with drought, water shortage news shows no signs of drying up. The latest comes from the California Legislative Analysts’ Office and its report, “What Can We Learn From How the State Responded to the Last Major Drought?” It reviews how the state responded to the last major drought between 2012 and 2016 with the idea that such information can inform and potentially improve the state’s current response. According to the report, the state’s funding surplus could also support California’s drought response, although spending limitations exist. Read about prior activities, spending, and policy actions that could help the state confront dry spells.



Join the Committee?

Do you have law or accounting experience? Then there’s still time to apply for a spot on the BART Measure RR Bond Oversight Committee. LWV Bay Area (LWVBA) is looking for a League member to fill a vacancy on the committee. Read the April 28 Notes for details, or contact Alex Starr, chair of LWVBA’s transportation committee: starrpeake [at] 



Monitor Notes is produced by Cecily O’Connor. To receive it by email, scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your email address in the box under “RECEIVE EMAIL UPDATES,” and click the red “SIGN UP” button.

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