Friday, July 6, 2012

URGENT! Make Two Calls RIGHT NOW And Save Thousands of Califonia Jobs!

IN ONE HOUR, the California State Senate is voting on whether or not to follow the lead of Tea Party Republican governors and reject $3.3 billion in federal stimulus for High Speed Rail and the thousands of jobs it would bring.

 Folks, California is in no position to turn down stimulus, refuse jobs, and reject a badly needed transportation project that would reduce the state's dependence on oil.

Ted Lieu is on the record as a yes vote, but two other local State Senators, Curren Price and Fran Pavley, are still on the fence. Please call their offices RIGHT NOW and ask them to vote yes: 

State Senator Curren Price  (916) 651-4026

State Senator Fran Pavley (916) 651-4023 

Here are some talking points:

Jobs: California is still suffering from high unemployment. The high speed rail project will create thousands of jobs in the next few years across the state, good jobs that California families need to help the economy recover. Please do not kill these jobs - please release the high speed rail funds voters already approved.

The project is sound: Do not believe the anti-rail people - instead believe the facts. High speed rail systems all over the world cover their costs, including the Acela in the US Northeast. The independent peer review study of the California high speed rail project showed it would cover its operating costs through ridership. Californians want to ride this train, and the demand is there. Please do not kill this project - please release the high speed rail funds voters already approved.

The Central Valley is a good place to start: The idea that the Central Valley segment is a "train to nowhere" is a lie. Nobody plans to build track just in the Valley and nobody plans to run trains just in that area alone. It's the starting point of a statewide system, just like the first segments of the interstate freeway system. The current HSR plan includes funding for rail projects in the Bay Area and Southern California, which is going to be helpful. But you can't build HSR between SF and LA without going through the Valley. It's the missing link and the best place to begin. Plus, the Obama Administration has said they will take away our stimulus money if Senators do not release the voter-approved project.

HSR is necessary for the environment: High speed rail is a key piece of California's environmental efforts. The California Air Resources Board declared it essential to meeting the AB 32 carbon reduction goals. Motor vehicles are responsible for 57% of the pollution in the Central Valley and a key cause of asthma in Valley children. If the legislature kills high speed rail now, it would saying that California is not serious about addressing climate change or improving public health.

HSR is good for the state budget: The argument that infrastructure stimulus is bad for the budget is a right-wing talking point. HSR funds will create desperately needed jobs that in turn contribute new tax revenues to the state. Further, the interest payments will come from truck fees, not from schools or health care. Legislators voted for bond funding to build bridges and dams in the depths of the Great Depression and it did not hurt schools or other public services. We should follow that proven path.

Feel free to add your own points, but keep it friendly and civil. We can win this fight, but only if we get active now.

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