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Transparency is Part of Inclusivity & Diversity

Yolo officials like Diversity & Inclusion-- except when big money is Involved

YoloTD cac false equity
By Alan Hirsch

DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) is given lot of lip service in progressive circles in Yolo County. But it can turn performative - especial if those in power have already made up their mind on a solution and don’t want to be contradicted- i.e. surface and take in to account diverse opinions.

That is what has been at play for Yolo County on Yolo80 widening with local electeds having made up their mind 3 years ago to add toll lanes to a 17 mile stretch of I-80.  After that they have worked to turn the legally required public process into a  check the box exercise, excluding diverse view point from being considered-- even when the diverse  viewpoints are backed by top transportation experts from UC Davis.

We are now at the end-stage where Davis Mayor/Yolo Transportation District Chair Josh Chapman is overtly discouraging public participation: he said openly it don’t matter what members of Davis public think -- hiding the fact the project is not yet fully funded and public input to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) can still make a difference.

This DEI hypocrisy in Yolo County will continue unless people call out the hypocrisy. The  public can be heard at the CTC’s Equity Committee meeting Wednesday. It is especially focused on this behavior like this by  in local transportation jurisdictions.

Emails are needed to the “CTC-EAC” (California Transportation Commission- Equity Advisory Committee) to note the performative nature of Yolo80 Environmental process (Caltrans District 3 and YoloTD) – and also to oppose funding the new toll lanes  until the process is made truly diverse and inclusive in the search for a solution.

Write to  [email protected]   Subject: Equity and: Funding widening Yolo80 with Toll Lanes.

Issues to note to the Equity Committee: (cut and paste into email?)

 

No Inclusivity: Caltrans and Yolo County officials did not engage important stakeholder groups in the Environmental Review process for Yolo80 (e.g. 9 of the 10 Transportation and CAP climate commissions in Yolo County were never engaged at any point. None were engaged for input on EIR study alternatives, or the final  choice of final alternatives,

No inclusivity 2: No outreach was done to engage  public at the so called “public hearing” on the Toll lane 4/9/24, i.e. it was not inclusive: Over 70,000 individuals drive this section a day and will be effected by toll, yet only 1 member of public attended or zoomed into the public hearing and commented orally or in writing-- all other attendees and  commentors at the so call “public” hearing were lobbyists politicians, trade association, or members of environmental groups.

No Environmental Justice: The tolls to use  the new freeway lanes will be $10 to $15/day at rush hour according to SACOG/Yolo county transportation-  an obvious  inequity.  Yet the FEIR alternative chosen for I-80 (HOT3+) provides insufficient funds for an Environmental Justice Component as forecast of toll revenue generated falls $2 Million short of what is called for to fund the FEIR mitigation plan. The plan  gives toll-free preference to recreational groups of 3 going to Tahoe over local workers- but this has never been discussed or justified in any public forum..

Inequitable Representation: The new the Tolling authority board is setup so 50% of the users of this toll lanes will have no representative on it board  (i.e. they live in Solano- the MTC region), While less than 8% of toll lane users- those that  live in Yolo county that county will have a majority on the  tolling authority. This is unequitable power will likely be reproduced in where and how toll revenue is spent and an environmental justice program, if one is ever funded.

Comments

Ron O

If you look up the meaning of the phrase "grasping at straws", this article will come up as a prime example.

On a related note, how does Gloria Partida feel about the freeway widening?

Tuvia ben Olam DBA Todd Edelman

Ron O: This is hardly grasping at straws! It focuses on both an important foundational issue and also results... Both stark examples of #fakequity in this region and especially in this town, which many are loathe to criticize.

If you say equity enough, people start to believe you even if it's not true

And I believe that the concept of equity is sacred

Ron O

Todd: I understand the concept of equity to mean essentially a quota system, based upon skin color or other immutable characteristics. And that if this is not maintained and enforced, the claim in this article (and sometimes elsewhere) is that the conclusions of those who don't have the correct mix of such attributes are illegitimate.

Is that what you're referring to as well?

And if so, how might you view Gloria Partida's views on freeway expansion?

Ron O

For that matter, I suspect that Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, the "non-white" members of the Woodland city council, and any "non-white" member of the board of supervisors probably support freeway widening.

But yeah, they shouldn't be claiming "diversity in support of freeways", except for the fact that it's probably true (beyond the YTD itself).

Diversity in regard to skin color is a farce. What you ACTUALLY want is a diversity of views - which often has nothing to do with skin color, sex, etc.

Tuvia etc

Ron O.: No, my definition of "equity" is not about quotas, unless - in a very specific context - a quota or quotas promote equity.

"The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures." - https://www.naceweb.org/about-us/equity-definition

See also: https://social-vision.org.uk/equality-equity-and-liberation-tackling-racial-bias

Obviously I am against the Freeway Thickening so I think negatively about anyone supporting it. It was formerly negatively about their ideas, BUT with the various unethical shenanigans going on dismay is now people-focused. Partida or any elected official or senior manager who know about Caltrans District 3's Stealth Widening Project before the news came about Jeannie Ward-Waller's whistleblower thing BUT didn't say anything needs to resign immediately.

Regarding A-C's support of the Freeway Thickening as some kind of proof of Brown and Black support, I think the point is clear: High "Lexus Lane" fees will disproportionately affect lower income people, and Brown and Black folks are over-represented amongst lower income people.

Ron O

Ron O.: No, my definition of "equity" is not about quotas, unless - in a very specific context - a quota or quotas promote equity.

Seems like you're saying two different things in that sentence, but I'll just leave it at that.

Regarding A-C's support of the Freeway Thickening as some kind of proof of Brown and Black support, I think the point is clear: High "Lexus Lane" fees will disproportionately affect lower income people, and Brown and Black folks are over-represented amongst lower income people.

Your position (as I understand it) is that you're pretty strongly opposed to the use of motor vehicles whenever possible - regardless of skin color of vehicle occupants. So, wouldn't a "Lexus Lane" (requiring a toll) accommodate a lesser-amount of traffic than a "Kia Lane"? Wouldn't the implementation of a toll result in less traffic than would otherwise be the case? Isn't this pretty much the opposite of induced demand (when comparing those two alternatives)?

In that case, there would also be very little improvement (opportunities for induced demand) in the other lanes, as well.

I would think that someone with your views would support Lexus Lanes, vs. Kia Lanes at least.

Or are you saying that greenhouse gasses from "Brown and Black" people is o.k., to "make up" for historical racism?

In any case, I'm not seeing any evidence that "Brown and Black" people would oppose freeway expansion any more than "White" people would. Perhaps the opposite is true - they might be MORE supportive, on average.

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