Talking Headways: Mapping Out Local Transportation Advocacy and Reform

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Mariia Zimmerman of MZ Strategies joins me to chat about her new report on local advocacy for transportation reform called Transportation Transformation. Mariia, former deputy director for the Office of Sustainable Communities at HUD as well as former chief of staff to Congressman Earl Blumenauer, spent a year probing the local transportation advocacy landscape to see what issues people are working on and which regions are the most innovative. Her in-depth case studies look at the San Francisco Bay Area and the Washington DC region.

I asked Mariia about which important issues advocates are focused on, the role of peer exchanges in the advocacy landscape, and how local bloggers fit in. We also discussed what the term “capacity building” actually means.

So take a listen and learn what an inside/outside strategy for policy reform is, why advocates focus less at the state level, and advocacy in the SF Bay Area differs from the DC region.

  • The lack of activity on the state level may be due to the fact that state governments, given the demographics [and power of vast suburban regions], are immovable. It isn’t uncommon for metro regions to be very much at odds with state governments – such as the in Illinois where the new governor wants to slash transit funding, a penalty that will mostly be paid by Chicagoland.

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