The Leader – October 2016

Click here to read The Leader October 2016

Measure B will deliver the improvements we need with the accountability we deserve

Chris O’Connor, Director of Transportation Policy

With less than 32 days left until the election, we are now in the home stretch of getting Measure B across the finish line. November 8 will be the culmination of more than a three year effort to relieve traffic congestion and repair roads in Santa Clara County. Measure B faces a high hurdle, as it needs 66.67 percent of the vote to be successful. The 2/3rds vote requirement ensures that Measure B dollars will go solely to Measure B projects approved by voters.

On top of that, Measure B includes an additional layer of security by requiring a 75 percent vote of the 12 member VTA Board to make even a single change to the Measure. Those safeguards make Measure B one of the most specific and accountable ballot measures in recent memory.

So what does Measure B do exactly? Those details can be found in the official 75-word ballot question.

To relieve traffic, repair potholes; shall VTA enact a 30-year half-cent sales tax to:

– Repair streets, fix potholes in all 15 cities;
– Finish BART extension to downtown San Jose, Santa Clara;
– Improve bicycle/pedestrian safety, especially near schools;
– Increase Caltrain capacity, easing highway congestion, improving safety at crossings;
– Relieve traffic on all 9 expressways, key highway interchanges;
– Enhance transit for seniors, students, disabled;

Mandating annual audits by independent citizens watchdog committee to ensure accountability.

Each component part of Measure B snaps into place like a jigsaw puzzle, adding up to a comprehensive countywide plan to help reduce traffic and repair our roads.

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* Connecting BART to Caltrain: The first two pieces finish what we started, by connecting BART with Caltrain at both Downtown San Jose and in Santa Clara, finally achieving “Rapid-Rail-Around-The-Bay.”

* Mass Transit: Third, Measure B ensures we serve our most vulnerable residents – seniors, the disabled, students and the working poor, with improvements to lifeline and core transit service on which they depend.

* Bicycles & Pedestrians: Forth, we encourage people to get out of four wheels and on to two wheels or two feet, by providing bicycle and pedestrian safety improvements, especially near our schools.
* Expressways & Highway Interchanges: Fifth, we ease congestion on our County Expressways and Highways by identifying key bottlenecks at interchanges on all nine County Expressways and all seven major highways. The focus is not on widening the highways, but on fixing key interchanges to provide meaningful, long-term relief.

* Road Repairs: Sixth, Measure B fixes the crumbling conditions of our local streets and roads, with annual funding for all 15 cities and towns, to fill potholes and fix our streets.

Combined with accountability provisions for taxpayers that ensure local dollars are invested only in these specific local transportation improvements, Measure B provides meaningful countywide traffic relief.

We need your help. Please visit YesMeasureB.com to learn more and to find out how you can support.

2016 Election Recommendations: State and Regional

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The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is a non-partisan, public policy organization which does not endorse candidates. However, we do take positions on ballot propositions and measures that impact our economic health and quality of life for Silicon Valley and the state. Listed below are our recommendations on several California propositions and regional measures on the General Election ballot. Voting ends November 8.

(Santa Clara County) Measure B – SUPPORT – Traffic Relief and Road Repair Initiative
Measure B contributes to a better quality of life and stronger economy throughout Santa Clara County by generating local funds to reduce traffic, increase transit alternatives and improve the crumbling conditions of our roads. For more details, visit YesMeasureB.com.

(Cupertino) Measure C – OPPOSE – Cupertino Citizens’ Sensible Growth Initiative
Amends Cupertino’s General Plan to limit redevelopment, raises building heights to 45 feet in residential areas while limiting heights in commercial areas, establishes new setbacks and building planes on major thoroughfares. Essentially, Measure C will force the Vallco mall to remain as it is – undeveloped.

(Cupertino) Measure D – SUPPORT – Vallco Town Center Specific Plan Initiative
Enacts the Vallco Town Center Specific Plan requiring residential, office, commercial, hotel, park, civic/educational uses; requiring funding/community benefits from the developer for transportation, schools, green roof, recycled water.

(Santa Cruz County) Measure D – SUPPORT – Safety, Pothole Repair, Traffic Relief, Transit Improvements
Measure D in Santa Cruz County would improve children’s safety around schools; repair potholes; repave streets; improve traffic flow on Highway 1; maintain senior/disabled transit; reduce global warming pollution by providing transportation options like sidewalks, buses, bike lanes, trails; preserve rail options.

(San Jose) Measure F – SUPPORT – Alternative Pension Reform Settlement Frameworks
The alternative pension reform settlement frameworks negotiated between the City of San Jose and its employee bargaining units meets three vital objectives: 1) Generates significant savings for San Jose taxpayers. 2) Creates a fiscally sustainable retirement system. 3) Improves recruitment and retention by providing competitive compensation.

Prop. 52 – SUPPORT – MediCal Hospital Reimbursement Initiative
Passage of Proposition 52 language will be added to the state’s Constitution to require voter approval of changes to the hospital fee program so that California uses hospital fee funds for their intended purpose of supporting hospital care to MediCal patients.

Prop. 53 – OPPOSE – Public Vote on Bonds Initiative
A yes vote is in favor of requiring voter approval for any infrastructure project that will cost more than $2 billion in revenue bonds. Passage would make it significantly more difficult for the state and local governments to implement large infrastructure projects.