Transportation Advocacy Organizations Endorse Question 1 to Improve Transportation and Public Education

Aug 8, 2022

Transportation Advocates Join Growing Coalition Supporting Fair Share Amendment Tax on Million-Dollar Earners on November Ballot

For Immediate Release

August 8, 2022


Contact: Andrew Farnitano, 925-917-1354, andrew@crawfordstrategies.com


Transportation Advocacy Organizations Endorse Question 1 to Improve Transportation and Public Education


Transportation Advocates Join Growing Coalition Supporting Fair Share Amendment Tax on Million-Dollar Earners on November Ballot




BOSTON – The campaign working to pass the Fair Share Amendment, the proposed state tax on incomes above $1 million which would raise billions of dollars to invest in transportation and public education, today announced the endorsement of ten transportation advocacy organizations from across the state. The Fair Share Amendment is Question 1 on the November statewide ballot.


“The Transportation for Massachusetts coalition endorses Question 1 to support equitable, sustainable revenue for urgently needed investments in transportation,” said Josh Ostroff, Interim Director of Transportation for Massachusetts. “Across the Commonwealth, our roads, bridges, public transit, and biking and walking infrastructure are outdated and unreliable, while transportation remains the largest source of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to high asthma rates and poor health outcomes. Outdated roads and bridges are in a state of disrepair, causing damage to our vehicles, and putting cyclists and pedestrians at risk, while our public transit systems need billions of dollars of investment to achieve a state of good repair, to make transit stations accessible to people with disabilities, and to expand regional bus service for riders who rely on transit.”


“These are problems we can solve,” Ostroff continued. “In November, Massachusetts voters have the opportunity to say yes to cleaner, safer and more equitable transportation with the Fair Share Amendment.”


The ten transportation organizations collectively represent thousands of transportation advocates from across Massachusetts.


“LivableStreets is excited to endorse the Fair Share Amendment on the 2022 ballot," said Catherine Gleason, the Public Policy Manager at LivableStreets Alliance. “If approved, this Amendment would provide critical funds for the State to invest into much needed improvements for our public transportation system—benefitting not only the MBTA, but transit systems across Massachusetts.”


“Across the commonwealth, from the Berkshires to the Outer Cape, our roads, bridges, sidewalks, transit, and bike lanes are badly in need of repair and improvements. It’s 2022, more than two decades into the 21st century, and we are still living with 1960s-era infrastructure,” said Galen Mook, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike). “If we defer investing in our transportation networks, every single resident will feel the impacts of a neglected system. Question 1 will make sure the funding to improve our transportation infrastructure is provided, and comes from those who can shoulder the burden by paying their fair share.”


“In our work in neighborhoods across Massachusetts, we often see sidewalks that need to be fixed, crosswalks that need to be re-striped, and roads that simply need to be narrower to calm speeding traffic,” said Stacey Beuttell, Executive Director of WalkBoston. “These short-term, low cost projects are critical to make walking safer and more enjoyable in communities of all sizes. We support Question 1 to ensure that walkability improvements are given a much needed, steady funding source.”


“When you're on a bike, you feel every single pothole in your bones. Cyclists know firsthand that our streets need major repairs, and Question 1 is a huge opportunity to fix roads and bridges across the state,” said Becca Wolfson, Executive Director of the Boston Cyclists Union. “And, there are tens of thousands of people across Massachusetts who might try biking as opposed to driving, which would help address our dual climate and congestion crises, but don't feel safe without dedicated infrastructure. The Fair Share Amendment will mean more funding to repave our streets and paths, and more opportunities to rebuild our roads with high-quality protected bike infrastructure that makes cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians safer.”


“The Fair Share Amendment would provide the state with funds we desperately need to repair our closed bridges and roads, reviving our connections and our communities,” said Anne Miller, Cofounder of Citizens for a Palmer Rail Stop.


“Everywhere Arlington Livable Streets supports the Fair Share Amendment because we see it as a terrific way to raise money for the MBTA and sustainable transportation projects from state residents who can afford to put a few hundred dollars more into a transportation system that until recently has been too heavily weighted towards roads and highways,” said Phil Goff, co-chair of Everywhere Arlington Livable Streets.


The transportation advocacy organizations join more than 280 organizations and thousands of activists across the state who are working together to pass Question 1 on the ballot. The campaign previously announced support from 63 community organizing groups, 26 housing and community development organizations, 28 social service providers, 15 faith-based groups, 7 public health organizations, and 7 environmental and climate organizations. After years of grassroots advocacy, the state Legislature voted in June 2021 to place the Fair Share Amendment on the November 2022 statewide ballot, where it is now set to be decided on by the voters as Question 1.


“For too long, riders dependent on public transit paid a disproportionate share of their income to maintain our transit systems,” said Staci Rubin, Vice President of Environmental Justice at Conservation Law Foundation, one of the environmental groups that endorsed Question 1 last week. “Yet these riders have not benefited from the investments we need to create a safe, accessible, and affordable transit system. It’s time for people of means to pay what’s fair to support our transportation and education systems.”


The full list of endorsing transportation advocacy organizations is below, and a full list of organizations that have endorsed Question 1 is available at fairsharema.com/endorsements.


Boston Cyclists Union

Citizens for a Palmer Rail Stop

Everywhere Arlington Livable Streets

Institute for Transportation & Development Policy

LivableStreets Alliance

Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike)

Public Transit Public Good Coalition

TransitMatters

Transportation For Massachusetts

WalkBoston

Background on Question 1: the Fair Share Amendment

The Fair Share Amendment – Question 1 on the November ballot – will allow Massachusetts to improve our transportation and public education systems by making the very rich pay their fair share. Question 1 would create a 4 percent tax on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million and require – in the state constitution – that the funds be spent only on transportation and public education. Only people who earn more than $1 million annually will be impacted; 99% of us won’t pay a penny more. And we’ll all benefit from better schools, colleges, roads, bridges, and public transportation. Learn more and get involved at FairShareMA.com.


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The Fair Share for Massachusetts campaign is led by Raise Up Massachusetts, a coalition of community organizations, faith-based groups, and labor unions committed to building an economy that invests in families, gives everyone the opportunity to succeed, and creates broadly shared prosperity. Since our coalition came together in 2013, we have nearly doubled wages for hundreds of thousands of working people by winning two increases in the state’s minimum wage, won best-in-the-nation earned sick time and paid family and medical leave benefits for workers and their families, and started to build an economy that works for all of us, not just those at the top.