Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The bipartisan bill makes investments in infrastructure, provides funding for economic development projects, and helps to meet the housing needs of the nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families. The bill reflects a total allocation of … Continued
Despite the demand for walkable urban places in New York, most real estate investment has been in the region’s core rather than in creating new walkable urban places or growing the region’s rail-served town centers. This represents a lost economic opportunity, and presents a real danger of a substantial affordable housing crisis if efforts to balance the region are not taken.
This month we’re looking back at some of Smart Growth America’s brightest moments and greatest accomplishments from 2013. Today’s highlight: our work with supporters like you!
Maybe you were one of the many supporters who sent letters to your members of Congress in support of the BUILD Act, the Safe Streets Act or the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Maybe you joined us in person at one of our new “In the City” events, or participated in one of our technical assistance workshops. Or maybe you spoke about our issues with a friend, shared a link to our website on social media or made a donation.
The Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2013, introduced today by Senators Lautenberg, Inhofe, Udall and Crapo, would improve the way the federal government supports brownfields redevelopment in the United States. Here’s how.
The Act reauthorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program, and improves the program’s ability to support local economic development. If passed, the bill would modernize and improve key elements of the program, and would provide additional tools and resources to communities working to redevelop brownfields. It makes a number of improvements recommended by the National Brownfields Coalition, which is comprised of a broad set of stakeholders, including local governments, developers, and community redevelopment organizations.
A state legislation toolkit, produced by AARP in coordination with the National Complete Streets Coalition, offers additional guidance and materials that may be used in a statewide Complete Streets effort. It includes the below model legislative language as well as the reasons for the use of that language. Contents include comments on existing state legislation related to Complete Streets, information on potential partners that might support Complete Streets efforts, basic strategic guidance and resources, and insight into ways five states are working toward the implementation of Complete Streets policies.
When cities, towns and suburbs plan their future transportation, housing, water and sewer infrastructure and public services strategically, they save money and so does the federal government. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, a collaboration between the EPA, DOT and HUD, is about making that type of planning possible. 45 regions containing 80 million Americans in rural, suburban and urban communities are already benefiting from the Partnership programs.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on funding for the Partnership tomorrow, and now is a crucial time to ask your Senators to support these programs. Calling your members of Congress is simple and only takes a few minutes: click here to find out how to call your Senators.
Thank you to everyone who attended Smart Growth America’s Sustainable Communities Network webinar earlier this week, “Advocacy Training 201.” Telling Members of Congress about your projects and the benefits of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities is a crucial part of supporting these valuable federal programs.
Christopher Coes, Manager of LOCUS, provided additional training on how to talk about your project, The Partnership for Sustainable Communities, and Member of Congress meetings. The webinar also included a simulated in-district meeting with a Member of Congress, which can be viewed below.
As we’ve mentioned before, August recess is one of the best times to meet with your member of Congress (or their staff) to discuss the importance of the Partnership on the ground in your community and to our nation as a whole. To help you make these meetings happen, we have a toolkit available on the Partnership Blog and we are more than happy to assist you with scheduling or provide more infomation. Please contact Melissa Schreiber-Stahl at mschreiberstahl [at] smartgrowthamerica [dot] org with questions or to request scheduling help.
In the next few days, Members of Congress will return to their districts and states to meet with constituents like you. As you know, the Partnership is under threat in the current budget cycle, so it is extremely important that you meet with your Members of Congress while they are in your home state during August. By meeting with your Senators and Representatives from the districts your project covers, you will help to show the positive impact of the Partnership and its future potential.
Should you choose to meet with one or more of your Members, we are here to support you every step of the way. Join us on Monday, August 8, 2011 from 3-4 PM EDT for “Advocacy Training 201,” which will include a simulated meeting with a Member of Congress.
Members of the House of Representatives are debating the Interior-Environment appropriations bill this week, legislation that would significantly cut funding the the U.S. Environmental Protection agency and completely eliminate funding for the Agency’s Office of Smart Growth. Smart Growth America strongly opposes these proposed budget cuts, and encourages Members of the House to vote “NO” on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill this week.
Beginning at the end of June, Members of Congress will be back at the offices in their home states meeting with constituents. This is a great opportunity to tell your representatives about your support for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
Join us on Thursday, June 23, 2011 from 2-3 PM EDT to learn tips for successful advocacy. Click here to sign up for this training.
Among the techniques discussed in this webinar will be how to schedule and hold a successful meeting with your Members of Congress, how to engage others and bring a group to the meeting, and how to effectively talk about the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and its benefits.
Can’t schedule a meeting for this recess? That’s ok. You can still learn useful information from this training opportunity and schedule a meeting in your district office at any time! Contact jholmberg [at] smartgrowthamerica [dot] org or 202-207-3355 x121 with any questions.
You can learn about trainings like this before they happen: Click here to join the Sustainable Communities Network.