Image: SCAG Spotlight
Image: Click here to RSVP to attend California Gold Workshop on August 6, 2015
Legislation and Policy Affecting Our Region
July 2, 2015
 
RC Report
Highlights from the Regional Council Meeting
Image: SCAG leadership bid farewell to outgoing Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge (from left): Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata, President Cheryl Viegas-Walker, Hon. Tom LaBonge, Second Vice President Margaret Finlay, Hon. Joe Buscaino and First Vice President Michele Martinez.

SCAG leadership bid farewell to outgoing Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge (from left): Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata, President Cheryl Viegas-Walker, Hon. Tom LaBonge, Second Vice President Margaret Finlay, Hon. Joe Buscaino and First Vice President Michele Martinez.

ACTION – RC APPROVES AHSC ACTION PLAN

Over the past several months, SCAG’s Regional Council has raised issue with the Strategic Growth Council on the disproportionately low number of applicants selected for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) competitive grant program, given the region’s share of population and concentration of disadvantaged communities. SCAG led a delegation from Southern California to the June 30 meeting of the Strategic Growth Council, to affirm its support the SCAG region projects but also voice its concerns on equity in the selection process. The Strategic Growth Council that day approved nine of the 13 projects in the SCAG region, a total of $27.5 million that will go towards the construction of over 800 affordable units in Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Ana and Long Beach. This is in sharp contrast to the California State Transportation Agency, which, also on June 30, announced the recipients of its Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, funded by cap-and-trade proceeds. The SCAG region received nearly half of the total grant amount awarded statewide, the largest amount of any region in the state, to support high-quality public transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Regional Council today voted to approve an AHSC Action Plan, which takes proactive measures to address some of the inequities in the AHSC program including seeking legislative revisions to the program; working with SGC to revise program guidelines for future round; and collaboration, technical assistance, and outreach to bolster the performance of the SCAG region in the application process. As part of the action plan, SCAG plans to convene a forum on Aug. 6, on how to best position the region for securing cap-and-trade funded grants. This event, California Gold: Bringing Cap and Trade Dollars to Southern California, will bring together housing and transportation sector leaders to discuss ways on how best to collaborate on future rounds of AHSC grants and explore opportunities from other cap-and-trade funds related to transportation, energy efficiency and natural resources. To RSVP for this workshop, please visit: bit.ly/RSVPCalGold.

ACTION – RC AWARDS 2015 SCHOLARSHIPS

The Regional Council today announced the SCAG scholarship awardees for 2015. The awardees include: Carlos Wolf (Imperial County); Lisa Sobajian and Michael Simpson (Los Angeles County); Kelsea Cooper (Orange County); Muhammad Sohail (Riverside County); Brooke Porter (San Bernardino County); and Dylan Goodwin (Ventura County). Due to the quality of the applications received, the Regional Council decided to award an additional scholarship to Claudia Rodriguez (Imperial County). Each student will receive a $4,000 scholarship award and participate in a two-week internship with SCAG or a local planning agency. SCAG’s scholarship program was launched in 2010 to encourage young leaders to pursue careers in urban planning and local government. More information about SCAG’s scholarship program is available on the agency’s website at www.scag.ca.gov/scholarship.

 
 
Additional News for the Month
NEW RTP/SCS OPEN HOUSES ADDED
Image: Hon. Art Brown, a Regional Council member from the City of Buena Park, fills out a survey at a 2016 RTP/SCS open house in Orange.

Hon. Art Brown, a Regional Council member from the City of Buena Park, fills out a survey at a 2016 RTP/SCS open house in Orange.

For the past five weeks, SCAG has been touring the six-county region with a series of open houses to engage residents on the development of the 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (2016 RTP/SCS). The open houses provides an overview of some of the key topics that will be discussed in the plan, including – transportation, air quality, land use development, open space and the region’s vital goods movement industry. Participants are being asked to take quick surveys at multiple computer kiosks and encouraged to provide input on their priorities. SCAG recently added three new open houses slated for July 7 in East Los Angeles, July 13 in Burbank and July 23 in South Los Angeles. Those who were not able to attend the open houses can still provide input via the electronic surveys, which are now available online. The link to the survey, as well as the informational posters presented at the open houses, fact sheets and short animated video can be found on the 2016 RTP/SCS website: http://scagrtpscs.net.

SCAG SHARES RTP/SCS DATA SET WITH CITIES

A key element in SCAG’s RTP/SCS development is its Integrated Growth Forecast, an important effort to incorporate local input for the plan and establish a shared vision for regional growth. SCAG began meeting with local jurisdictions as early as 2013 to ensure that the agency’s projection figures represented local on-the-ground knowledge. In total, SCAG met with 195 of the 197 jurisdictions in the region to collect input on local growth, including how much and where future growth would occur.

Last week, SCAG released to all local jurisdictions two forecasts – a “baseline” modeling forecast based on local input estimates and projections of population, households, and employment and location of growth. The second refined modeling forecast was developed as a “What if?” scenario that includes the same projection data but slightly alters the location of growth to areas that are well served by transit, follows emerging real estate trends in increased multifamily housing, recognizes expanded shared mobility options and other sustainability-related factors. In recognition of the impact that this may have on local input and to be as transparent as possible in the development of the RTP/SCS, SCAG shared the results of this modeling exercise with member cities and is now soliciting their comments and concerns. For questions or more information related to this process, please email RTPLocalInput@scag.ca.gov.

NRDC SURVEY SEEKS INPUT FOR ADDITIONAL SB 375 FUNDING

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and its partners are looking to advocate for more funding for the implementation of SB 375 (the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act of 2008) and they are looking for input. SCAG would like to encourage all of our jurisdictions involved in land use, transportation, housing or conservation planning related to the implementation of the RTP/SCS to fill out a brief needs assessment survey being administered by NRDC. The survey is available online at http://bit.ly/NRDCSurvey and takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Those filling out the survey can choose to remain anonymous. The survey will conclude by the end of Friday, July 10.

 
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Upcoming Meetings
July
 
 
August
  • 6th Joint Meeting of the Regional Council & Policy Committees
  • 6th Workshop: California Gold: Bringing Cap and Trade Dollars to Southern California
  • 18th Legislative/Communications & Membership Committee
  • 20th Joint Meeting of the Regional Council & Policy Committees
  • 20th Technical Working Group
  • 25th Transportation Conformity Working Group
 

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