Talking Headways Podcast: New Tactics for Transportation Ballot Measures

This week we’re chatting with Jason Jordan, director of the Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE) and policy director at the American Planning Association. Jason tells us how CFTE got started and why ballot measures for transportation have been so successful compared to other types of spending. He also describes scenarios where transportation ballot measures tend to do well and those where they tend to fail.

Political action networks opposed to public investments like transit are getting more sophisticated in their opposition to these ballot measures. We discuss how to combat these new networks, often backed by dark money, and how local champions and coalitions can lead to victory.

You’ll also hear about the measures on the docket for 2016, which is shaping up to be one of the busiest cycles ever for transportation ballot measures.

  • Joe Linton

    Great informative pod, as usual! I heard an interesting factoid at a Metro forum yesterday – from CA Assembly Transportation Chair Jim Frazier: in CA self-help counties (ones that have transportation sales taxes) raise $4B per year – and the corresponding amount for the State DOT Caltrans is $2.7 (I think 2.7 or 2.8 – I didn’t write it down quickly enough.) I’ve emailed the Assemblymember’s staff to get clarification… but it’s interesting that these sales tax measures have really shifted the power of the transportation infrastructure purse from the (rather heavily car-centric) state agency to the (somewhat less car-centric) locals.

  • Joe Linton

    Per Assemblymember Frazier’s staff: it’s $4B from CA transportation sales taxes annually vs. $2.3B from CA Gas taxes annually (use that one the next time someone tells you cyclists don’t pay for roads)