Today, I got an interesting email from Nadia Naik, co-founder of a group called Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design (CARRD). The group’s web site (linked to the right) has some interesting and helpful resources. It is particularly useful because they are in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been dealing with the Rail Authority for a few years now, much longer than we have in Alhambra.
In her email Ms. Naik suggests we contact a wider range of legislators than those who represent us directly. Her suggestion came from her State Senator Joe Simitian. Mr. Simitian represents Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, and a large chunk of San Jose, among other communities. Mr. Simitian said that few legislators are actually concerned about the high speed rail project and need to hear from the public before they will be concerned.
I think she’s right. Even more powerful would be letters from those legislators’ constituents. If you know anyone in their districts, let them know about the Rail Authority’s proposal and request they contact their legislators to voice concerns about the project. In the meantime, let’s get cracking and writing to those on this list. Feel free to post your letter in the comments section. We can collaborate on a series of letters the rest of the community can print out to use.
Without further ado, Ms. Naik’s email:
My name is Nadia Naik and I’m a co-founder of CARRD (Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design). We are a volunteer, grassroots group following the HSR project statewide.
Our goal is to make sure this project balances transportation goals with community concerns. Your site is linked to our site and we appreciate that!
We recently posted the following on our website: http://www.calhsr.com/resources/contact-info-for-california-state-legislators/
Senator Simitian (D-Palo Alto) is a key person on this project because he is on the sub-committee that controls money for this project. Along with Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) they have been very responsive to community concerns.
At a town Hall meeting in Palo Alto over a week ago, Senator Simitian discussed HSR at length. He said two important things which I think might interest this group. First, he explained that those that have concerns about HSR are in the minority in both the Senate and Assembly. Second, in order for the elected officials to really understand the concerns, they need to hear more from the people.
The link to our site provides a list of all the people in key positions that Senator Simitian thought should be targeted with concerns.
If you decide to write letters or testify, I would urge you to send it to ALL the officials listed on that page. This will help inform more of the legislature. The people on these committees either make policy decisions on transportation or place controls on the money that will be given to HSR.
Senator Simitian cited the importance of three non-partisan reviews of the Authority’s work to date. These are the LAO (Legislative Analysts Office) critique of the business plan (PDF) (Google Docs), the State Audit on HSR (PDF) (Google Docs), and the ridership analysis done by UC Berkeley (PDF) (Google Docs). [*Dan: I added links to the reports Nadia Naik mentioned so you can download the original PDF file or view it online with Google Docs.]
It might be helpful to take a look at those reports (if you have not done so already) so that if you write to legislators, you can make reference to these studies.
I hope you find this information helpful.
Great website! Keep up the great work.
Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design
As of October 12, 2010, that page on the CARRD web site had the following information.
Sacramento Legislators have encouraged stakeholders and the public to correspond with any and all state legislators who are involved in decisions related to the high-speed rail project. The following tables describe the relevant committees; each table is accompanied by a list of email addresses which can be easily copied and inserted into an email.
Please note that it’s customary to address the legislators by their position and committee name. This clarifies the context in which you are writing. If you omit this, there is a risk that your correspondence will be overlooked or forwarded to your own legislative representative.
It’s also advisable that you keep your emails brief and state the main purpose in the first sentence or two.
|Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing|
Senator.Lowenthal@sen.ca.gov, Senator.Huff@sen.ca.gov, Senator.Ashburn@sen.ca.gov, Senator.DeSaulnier@sen.ca.gov, Senator.Harman@sen.ca.gov, Senator.Kehoe@sen.ca.gov, Senator.Pavley@sen.ca.gov, Senator.Simitian@sen.ca.gov, Senator.Wolk@sen.ca.gov
|Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 2 on Transportation|
|Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Information Technology/Transportation|
Email addresses: Assemblymember.Buchanan@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Adams@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Evans@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Feuer@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Harkey@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Nielsen@assembly.ca.gov
|Assembly Select Committee on High-Speed Rail for California|
Email addresses: Assemblymember.Galgiani@assembly.ca.gov; Assemblymember.Davis@assembly.ca.gov; Assemblymember.Eng@assembly.ca.gov; Assemblymember.Hayashi@assembly.ca.gov; Assemblymember.Hill@assembly.ca.gov; Assemblymember.Huffman@assembly.ca.gov; Assemblymember.Jeffries@assembly.ca.gov; Assemblymember.Ma@assembly.ca.gov; Assemblymember.Miller@assembly.ca.gov
|Assembly Committee on Transportation|
|Warren T. Furutani||Member||Assemblymember.Furutani@assembly.ca.gov|
|Anthony J. Portantino||Member||Assemblymember.Portantino@assembly.ca.gov|
Emails: Assemblymember.Lowenthal@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Jeffries@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Bill.Berryhill@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Buchanan@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Eng@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Furutani@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Galgiani@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Hayashi@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Miller@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.email@example.com, Assemblymember.Norby@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Portantino@assembly.ca.gov, Assemblymember.Solorio@assembly.ca.gov