LWVNCA Metro-Funding Action Team is Working Hard –
And We Will Need Your Support
In the fall of 2016, the LWVNCA Board adopted securing a dedicated funding source for Metro as a number one Action Priority. Edith Holmes Snyder from Falls Church and Nancy Soreng from Montgomery County were named co-chairs of that endeavor. They spent the first year working with a committee that had representation from DC, VA and MD gathering background information. This included a briefing by Katie Mattice, Executive Director of the Northern VA Transportation Commission, Barbara Donnellan, Consultant Council of Governments and David Snyder, Falls Church City Council Member and former Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board Chair and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC). Next, the members of the Metro-Funding Action Team attended the organizational meeting of the Fund It/Fix It Coalition convened by the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Following that meeting, LWVNCA decided to join 23 other non-profit organizations as official coalition members as a Tier 1 member.
In the fall of 2017, LWVNCA and the Coalition for Smarter Growth hosted a well-attended forum on Metro Funding to which League members and the general public were invited. The moderator was Martin De Caro, Transportation Reporter for WAMU radio. The panelists were: Chuck Bean, Executive Director Metropolitan Council of Governments, Allison Davis, Director of Strategic Planning – Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and Kate Mattice, Executive Director, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission. After the morning presentations that gave background on the situation, break-out campaign planning groups for DC, VA and MD were convened.
The real advocacy commenced following that forum. Virginia League members have been attending and reporting on all relevant meeting on the topic, meeting with legislators, and continuing to educate Virginians on the importance of a dedicated funding source for Metro. League members from Maryland have also been meeting with their legislators, collecting petition signatures and are planning a Lunch a Learn event for legislators in Annapolis on March 1. Because the legislatures in the two states have a limited time to act, the focus has been on these two jurisdictions. Once dedicated funding for Metro is secured in VA and MD, our focus will move to DC.
The good news is that noteworthy progress is happening. The bad news is; the fight is not over. While both the MD and VA legislatures are poised to offer more resources to Metro, they have both balked at providing the full amount requested by the Metro General Manager and identified as needed in reports produced by the Council of Governments and the former Federal Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood. While LWVNCA has decided not to take a stance on Metro governance and labor issues, this is another potential sticking point for getting both the VA and MD legislatures to come to agreement on providing a dedicated funding source that is sufficient to address Metro’s current and future needs.
THIS IS WHERE WE NEED YOUR HELP. As good bills with the promise of generating a sufficient, adequate, bondable funding source gain support in Virginia and Maryland, we will need you to help push them over the finish line. You are likely to get an email asking you to contact your legislators and ask them to support these bills. Please responding by making those phone calls or sending those emails!