Los Angeles Traffic by Luke Jones is licensed under CC by 2.0
TransitCenter joins over 35 foundation leaders, environmentalists and civic activists in calling on philanthropy to increase its grant-making to advocates for public transit
This week, more than 35 leading environmental, civil rights and philanthropic leaders called on foundations committed to fighting climate change to re-think their grant-making strategy and make greater financial contributions to groups working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by improving the availability of high-quality public transit.
The diverse coalition releasing the open letter includes NAACP, Hershey Foundation, Urban Institute, 350.org, Sierra Club, Summit Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Bullitt Foundation, Labor Network for Sustainability, Alliance for a Just Society, The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, Merck Family Fund, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and many others.
The open letter, says in part:
“We urge philanthropic leaders who care about climate change to support community-based groups who fight for better public transit. We believe an additional investment of $200 million in community-based organizing for civic advocacy for public transit is needed to transform the way Americans move, replacing our dependence on highways and roads with transportation and land use that includes transit, biking, and walking.
Public transit is often overlooked as a means for tackling climate change and promoting racial equity. This is a grave mistake. Buses and trains provide mobility across race and class, to young people and to seniors and people with disabilities. Paired with biking and walking, transit reduces sprawl, improves health, and lowers transportation expenses.”
The open letter concludes by stating:
“A $200 million philanthropic investment in pro-transit advocacy over the next five years would empower local groups to build a robust, coordinated field to win local battles, and direct the coming increase of federal funding toward transit and away from wasteful highway expansion. With more grant funding from foundations, pro-transit organizations will work to reduce greenhouse gasses in their communities. Funding local and regional organizing for multimodal transportation is crucial to achieve our shared goals of combating climate change, improving racial equity, and reducing socio-economic disparities.”
The letter is being delivered to foundations with the expectation that they will increase grant-making to advocates who push government agencies to provide more transit that is reliable, frequent, fast and equitable – aligned with TransitCenter’s vision.
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