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52 The STPP concluded that the following are among the Groups representing the homeless and the working poor fea- keys to successful ballot initiatives: tured prominently in the negotiations over spending cate- gories and percentages. Social justice advocates argued per- suasively that if they were going to support a regressive tax · Creating as broad as possible public involvement in the that their clients would have to pay as a significant portion of initial development of a transportation measure. their overall income, then the tax should support transporta- · Specifying projects and their benefits to voters, rather tion services that would help connect low income individu- than following a "trust-us" approach. als with jobs and services (9). · Matching the benefits to those who will be paying the costs. Measure B also included provisions for the creation of both a citizens' advisory committee and a citizens' watchdog The third key seems crucial in understanding the relatively committee. The watchdog committee reports directly to the greater success that local measures have had compared to public rather than the county government and is charged with regional and state measures. In general, the statewide and issuing an annual report that includes information on the regional referenda concentrate the benefits in certain areas, expenditure of funds and the completion of projects. i.e., certain voters, while spreading the costs across the entire area. When the statewide and regional ballots have spread the benefits across the voting area, they have had a greater ten- EXAMPLES OF BEST PRACTICES dency to be less specific with the benefits or timetables for FROM CASE STUDIES improvements. On the other hand, as described below in two successful transportation ballot measures, local initiatives are As Table 3 in Chapter 3 shows, a large number of the orga- more likely to be able to provide benefits to a large portion nizations and systems that were the subject of case studies of the voters and specify those benefits. plan transportation services for members of transportation- disadvantaged groups (or make transportation-related deci- Miami-Dade County, Florida. In Miami-Dade County, sions) in consultation with their coordination partners and Florida, 66% of the voters approved the People's Trans- other interested stakeholders. Several case study subjects portation Plan in the November 2002 elections. The funding stand out as examples of innovative or comprehensive plan- mechanism for the plan is a one-half-cent increase in the ning processes. county sales tax. Its proposed service improvements included In the Phoenix area, MAG spearheaded an extensive out- the following: reach effort so that a wide range of stakeholders could con- tribute to the development of the region's action plan to · Nearly doubling the Miami-Dade Transit Agency's bus improve mobility options for older adults. After facilitating fleet, from 700 to 1,335 vehicles the creation of the plan, MAG is now overseeing implemen- · Expanding the municipal circulator program tation of its 25 recommended and prioritized strategies. A key · Using minibuses on all new neighborhood and munici- activity for MAG is helping community groups to incorporate pal circulator bus routes senior mobility issues into their programs and to identify new · Adding 3,000 transit jobs program and partnering opportunities. An ongoing stake- holders group provides guidance and assistance as imple- The organizers of the ballot measure pointed to the broad mentation of the strategies proceeds. range of public participation prior to the election: The Greater Twin Cities United Way has made transpor- tation a focus since a 1999 survey of six Vision Councils iden- · 100,000 hits on their website (www.trafficrelief.com) tified transportation as either the number one or number two · 2,000 attendees at two transportation summits barrier to United Way programs and services for constituents. · 80 public meetings While the United Way has tested a number of coordination · "Thousands of meaningful suggestions" to provide input strategies as part of its Transportation Alternatives Initiative, to the plan several of its planning efforts are worthy of note here. First, United Way followed up on its survey of Vision Councils with Alameda County, California. In Alameda County, Califor- a web-based survey of transportation programs, aimed at iden- nia, over 81% of the voters approved Measure B in Novem- tifying the amount expended on transportation services for the ber 2000. This measure proposed to fund a wide range of transportation disadvantaged in the region and assessing the transportation programs totaling $1.4 billion with a one-half- potential for coordination. Second, the organization has part- cent increase in the local sales tax. Included in the $1.4 bil- nered with the Center for Transportation Studies at the Uni- lion is $149 million for paratransit, 11% of the total. versity of Minnesota to conduct two transportation confer- After the failure to renew a sales tax in 1998, the sponsors ences. The conferences provided an opportunity for numerous of that measure tried to create a broad coalition of support for state and local public and nonprofit agencies to gather and transportation funding. The STPP report states the following: discuss transportation needs, barriers, and potential solutions.