Press Release: Watch the Election Results with PSE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                   

penny power press releaseCONTACT:
Dwayne Patterson: 678.948.5323
July 30, 2012 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TIA Referendum Passes or Fails…Just the Beginning for Equity
Come watch the election night results with PSE and its Just Transportation Circle on tomorrow, Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. at the Taco Mac Lindbergh City Center.  Partnership for Southern Equity has played a major role in promoting equity and shared prosperity, over the last two years, in the Transportation Investment Act process right up to the transportation referendum vote on tomorrow, July 31, 2012.  It’s been a long journey but the time has finally come for the citizens of the metropolitan region to make a decision about transportation.  Pass or Fail…PSE will continue to advance the equity issue throughout the region by staying engaged, informed and having a voice at the decision-making table.  

WHO:         Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE)                                  

WHAT:        Watch the TIA Referendum Election Results

WHEN:       Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at 8:30 p.m.

WHERE:     Taco Mac Lindbergh City Center
                   573 Main St NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30324

Equity is the Answer: Metro Atlanta, Are You Listening?

equity is the answerMetro Atlanta has a unique opportunity with the July 31st Transportation Improvement Act (TIA) referendum to make equity a priority when considering the long-lasting impacts this multi-billion dollar will have on our region.
Decades ago, "equality" was the rallying cry as black leaders demanded equal access to build Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport, prepare for the 1996 Olympics, and compete for top government jobs, construction projects and elective offices.

But now the playing field has changed. Despite the accomplishments of the past, disparities between white communities and communities of color have widened significantly, creating a region of haves and have-nots.
And stakeholders are no longer just black or white. Metro Atlanta has one of the largest Hispanic populations in the United States, and Asians represent the nation's fastest-growing immigrant population. In 2010, 36 percent of new immigrants were Asian compared to 31 percent who were Hispanic, according to a Pew Research Center report.

Read more: Equity is the Answer: Metro Atlanta, Are You Listening?

Race, Class, and the Stigma of Riding the Bus in America

In 2009, Jacqueline Carr's public transit experience was limited to bus lines of the "party" variety. Then, Carr lost her talent agency gig, sold her Jetta, and charted out a route to her new job—and yoga class—on the Los Angeles city bus system.

Carr deemed this lifestyle shift so significant that she launched a blog, Snob on a Bus, to detail her experiences. When it comes to L.A. bus riders, Carr—a 20-something white woman—is a unicorn. In Los Angeles, 92 percent of bus riders are people of color. Their annual median household income is $12,000. On her blog, Carr cataloged her "WTF moments" with the bus system's regular ridership. She critiqued the upholstery. She name-dropped her essential travel accessories—Lululemon, Blackberry, Uggs. She sported jeggings. After one late-night drunken ride, she praised a bus driver who razzed her and her friends as "a bunch of idiots."

Those idiots are a group that U.S. cities are eager to attract to public transportation—"choice" riders who don't need to take the bus, but do it anyway. Right now, discretionary commuters like Carr make up only a quarter of Los Angeles' public transportation users. Everybody else who takes the bus does it because they have to.

Meanwhile, as "captive" commuters wait in excess of 90 minutes to get to work out of necessity, cities like L.A. are funneling serious resources toward getting people like Carr to step on board. But can a city actually successfully gentrify its bus system? Does it want to?

This complete article appears at The Atlantic Cities website.

 

Read the Full Story

Atlanta has worst income inequality problem of any major city

The Founding Fathers made their stand for equality 236 years ago, issuing the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," they said. But they were speaking in political and social terms, not about economic equality.

The latter remains an elusive goal, monitored by a statistical measure known as the Gini index. A score of 0.000 on the Gini scale would indicate complete economic equality within a community, with every resident having the same annual income. An index of 1.000, on the other hand, would be a sign of total inequality, with one person possessing all the money.

[Article Appears in Atlanta Business Journal]

Read the Full Story

Trust and the transportation sales tax

If the referendum for a transportation sales tax in metro Atlanta fails this month, the cause is likely to be a lack of trust.

The most obvious trust gap is the one that separates most tea partyists from government spending. No surprise there. But the trust deficit that matters most in the July 31 vote, and the one that runs the deepest, separates white and black in metro Atlanta.

Or, if you prefer to keep things on a more civilized plane, it creates a divide between Democrats in Fulton and DeKalb counties on one hand, and Republicans in the other eight counties on the other.

All along, the strategy for passage of the transportation sales tax has been based on keeping...

[This article appears in the Atlanta Jounal Constitution]

Read the Full Story

Metro Atlanta’s economic future linked to federal urban affairs policy

Just one month after he was inaugurated, President Barack Obama established the White House Office of Urban Affairs with much fanfare.

The executive order stated:

"About 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas, and the economic health and social vitality of our urban communities are critically important to the prosperity and quality of life for Americans. Vibrant cities spawn innovation, economic growth, and cultural enrichment through the businesses, universities, and civic, cultural, religious, and nonprofit institutions they attract. Forward-looking policies that encourage wise investment and development in our urban areas will create employment and housing opportunities and make our country more competitive, prosperous, and strong."

Now, after three years after the Office of Urban Affairs was established "to provide leadership for and coordinate the development of the policy agenda for urban America across executive departments and agencies...," the Urban Affairs office has been nearly invisible.

Read more: Metro Atlanta’s economic future linked to federal urban affairs policy

Transportation referendum a major concern as regional leaders visit D.C.

WASHINGTON -- When Northern Virginia leaders attempted a regional tax increase referendum to fund transportation improvements in 2002, it hit several types of resistance.

Dave Robertson, of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, said last week that there were some who did not trust how the money would be spent, others who did not like the transit/roads mix in the infrastructure package and "there was the no-tax-for-anybody crew in there."

The crowd of about 100 political, business and community leaders visiting from the Atlanta region laughed knowingly.

The July 31 transportation referendum vote was a big topic for the Atlanta Regional Commission's annual LINK trip, as ARC board members who attended are heavily promoting the 10-year, 1 percent sales tax, and the trip participants were a decidedly pro-referendum crowd. The trip is a chance for metro Atlanta leaders to learn from what other regions have done and to network with one another.

Read more: Transportation referendum a major concern as regional leaders visit D.C.

Our Mission

Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) pushes for policies and actions that promote equity and shared prosperity in metropolitan Atlanta. Through forums, research, and organizing efforts, PSE brings together the regional community to lift up and encourage just, sustainable, and civic practices for balanced growth and opportunity.

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