The Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is one of about 400 federally-designated “metropolitan planning organizations,” many of which, like MTC, are responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars in transportation and infrastructure spending. How that money is spent has major impacts on equity, the environment and the economy across our metropolitan regions, yet the structure and governance of these agencies is undemocratic and unaccountable. In the Bay Area, residents of small northern counties with disproportionately high white populations have twice the voting power on MTC as larger, more urban and diverse counties. Reforming Bay Area regional governance is now a serious possibility, and our ideas are front and center in the debate.
Public Advocates co-coordinates the 6 Wins Network , a coalition of more than 20 grassroots, policy, faith, and labor organizations across the Bay Area focused on targeting and shaping the regional housing and transportation plan called Plan Bay Area. The plan will determine how nearly $300 billion in transportation money will be spent and how the region will house more than 2 million new residents over the next 25 years. Public Advocates and the 6 Wins Network aim to ensure that Plan Bay Area will result in more affordable housing near jobs and transit, robust and affordable local transit service, investment without displacement, healthy and safe communities, access to quality jobs, and greater power for low-income communities of color in local and regional decision-making.