On Thursday, October 22, the METRO Board will be meeting at 9:00 am. Included on the METRO Agenda for Receive and File action is a preliminary staff report on the November, 2016 Potential Ballot Measure R2 - which would raise significant and needed funds for transportation projects for many years. As you may recall, the last effort (Measure J) failed by a small percentage.
We are hearing that there is growing concern in METRO circles that the “activists" in the San Gabriel Valley who oppose the SR 710 tunnel could be a serious threat to the passage of Measure R2. According to some, Metro has even considered withholding the Final EIR until after the November, 2016 election – but we have not been able to substantiate that yet. Several of the “activists" have been meeting to discuss delivering a letter to the METRO Board at its next meeting on this Thursday, the 22nd, with our strongest message yet: KILL THE TUNNEL before the November, 2016 election -- and then, and only then, we can work together to pass Measure R2. The letter states that if the tunnel is not killed before the election, we will campaign to defeat the Measure in spite of the many worthwhile transit projects it will contain. The tunnel can be killed by selecting “No Build” as the preferred alternative. They cannot be not required to build anything.
You may have read a month or so ago that the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments elected to exclude the SR 710 project from its list of priority projects. This alone does not mean that it would not appear in Measure R2, but it is unlikely that it will be explicitly listed as a project in Measure R2. This does not mean that the project is dead – Metro/Caltrans could continue to find other funding for it. That is why it is not enough for us to say that we will support Measure R2 if it does not contain the tunnel.
How you can help:
1. By attending the METRO Board Meeting on Thursday morning at 9 a.m. at Metro Headquarters (behind Union Station). Comments from the public are limited to one minute. As an attachment, I am sending an early draft of a letter we have been working on. Please feel free to use some of the points included in the draft for your 1-minute comment at the METRO Board meeting. We are continuing a message that has been voiced before to METRO by some of our members but it is important that we continue to repeat our message loud and clear over the coming months as Metro continues to make decisions regarding this potential ballot measure.
2. By sending your permission to use your name in the letter that the NO 710 Action Committee will be delivering to the METRO Board. It will be similar to the draft that I am attaching but we are still working to shorten the written text. We would like to list many, many signatures as possible on our letter and are asking you to sign your name and your city if that is possible, on such short notice.
E-mail Jan SooHoo with your permission to use your name at: email@example.com
Please respond to Jan SooHoo via email if you are able to help in any way. This could be our chance to KILL the tunnel. Jan's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Mod: Below is a screen shot of the draft letter Sylvia mentioned above.)