Join the call to Rethink Real Estate

Earlier today, we released a new report about the federal government’s involvement in real estate. This spending represents billions of dollars of taxpayer dollars, and impacts Americans on every street in every town and city across the country.

We’re calling for action, and we want you to join us. Add your name to the petition asking Congress to examine this spending and better coordinate federal programs.

We know what programs this funding goes to, but how does it impact American families? Is it supporting U.S. communities? And are taxpayers getting the best return on their investment? All of these questions should be answered.

As the 113th Congress begins its new work, with the Presidential Inauguration just two weeks away, and as budget concerns continue to be a focus of debate in Washington, now is a unique opportunity to examine this spending.

Ask Congress to examine federal real estate spending. Take a moment to add your name to the national petition, and share it on Facebook or on Twitter with the hashtag #RethinkRealEstate.

Federal investments could help American communities grow stronger and more vibrant — in addition to achieving their goals of homeownership and housing security. Call on Congress to examine these programs today.


Cuts to the Partnership for Sustainable Communities will hurt communities across the country

Over 200 communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have received grants or assistance through the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The Partnership has helped communities plan for growth that will strengthen their regions and their economies, but funding for the program is under threat in 2012’s federal budget.

Speak out for these communities: Tell the Senate to fund the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.


Take action: Partnership for Sustainable Communities in real danger

In the past week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to strip funding for the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The Senate will consider funding for the Partnership in the coming days, and now is the time to tell your Senators to maintain funding for this important program.

These are tough economic times, which makes it even more important to keep the innovative programs that put federal dollars to good use rebuilding our local economies, strengthening our communities, and creating jobs.

Tell your Senators: Protect funding for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.

Earlier this year when the Partnership was under threat, the voices of smart growth supporters made a real difference and funding was preserved. Now we need your voices to be heard even louder.

Make sure that Congress knows we will not accept shortsighted cuts that sacrifice the health of our communities.


How are high gas prices affecting you?

Gas prices are nearing record highs, and all signs indicate this trend is here to stay. With the national average near $4/gallon, filling up a tank routinely costs $50 or more. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. household will spend more than $4,300 on gas in 2011. Spending that much at the pump is affecting all of us in different ways, and as the price of gas keeps climbing, many people are figuring out tradeoffs so they can afford to keep moving.

How have high gas prices affected your family? What tradeoffs are you making? Click here to tell your story.

People across the country are feeling the pain of paying so much for gas. Some are stranded and cannot get to work or get to a doctor’s visit. Increasing numbers are opting to carpool with colleagues or take the bus. Others are making major changes in their household budget because they have no other choice besides driving their car to get to where they need to go.

Smart Growth America is looking for stories from people everywhere about what kind of tradeoffs have to be made in the face of higher gas prices. Have you changed your commute or how you run errands? Have you found a new way to get around? Click here to tell your story.

No matter how the cost of gas has impacted you or your family, we want to hear your story. We’ll post the most interesting responses to our Facebook page, Twitter feed and our blog. Tell us your story today.


Speak out! Ask your Senators to protect federal support of local smart growth efforts

Last week, the House of Representatives voted to cut funding for innovative transportation and development programs that help communities across the country build stronger economies, create jobs and provide transportation choices for the 21st century. The Senate will soon be faced with the same decision and we need your help to make sure these crucial programs are preserved for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Speak out for federal support of local smart growth efforts: send a letter to your Senators today.

Among the cuts proposed are funds for the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an unprecedented collaboration between three federal agencies that helps communities across the country implement their smart growth plans. The Partnership helps community leaders get the most out of each federal or state dollar invested in their neighborhoods. By leveraging private sector investment, saving money in municipal budgets, helping families save on things like transportation and creating jobs, programs like the Partnership for Sustainable Communities make sure federal funds go as far as possible.


World Car Free Day celebrates transportation alternatives

Some streets will be closed to traffic in Montreal today in celebration of World Car Free Day. Photo from Montreal’s Metropolitan Transport Agency, via CBC News. In cities around the world today, people are observing Car Free Day, an event celebrated every September 22nd which encourages people “to get around without cars and instead ride … Continued