Policy

Policy

April 2018 Map of the Month: The High Stakes of the 2020 Census

April 2018 Map of the Month

April's Map of the Month from MTC and ABAG Executive Director Steve Heminger looks at the predicted impact of the Census Bureau's recent decision to include a citizenship question on response rates to the 2020 Census.

From the Executive Director's latest report to the MTC Commission and ABAG Executive Board:

April’s Map of the Month recently was featured in a post from CityLab and highlights potential issues with the Census Bureau’s recent decision to include a question about citizenship in the upcoming 2020 Census. Though the issue of adding this question to the census largely has been thought of as a partisan one, a deeper investigation reveals there may be consequences for both parties. This map uses data from the Census Bureau’s new Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) and shows predicted mail non-response rates. The darker blue areas depict low mail-in response areas.

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Policy

Chew on This: Federal Performance Targets (Comments Due by April 17, 2018)

Image of freeway congestion in the vicinity of Danville, CA.
Noah Berger
One of the performance targets under consideration measures traffic congestion, expressed as annual hours of peak-hour excessive delay per capita.

Here’s a question only a policy wonk could love: Should a performance target be achievable or aspirational? In other words, should it be based on current trends, or on desired outcomes? That question is at the heart of a position paper now circulating for review by MTC’s partners, stakeholders and the public. Read More

Policy

Fun With U.S. Census Data: Bay Area Highlights from the 2017 Local Population Estimates

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau today released their 2017 local population estimates and – as usual – there’s a smorgasbord of fascinating data on where and how the U.S. population changed between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017.

From the press release:

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area’s 146,000-population increase last year was the most of any metro area and Maricopa County, Ariz., saw a population increase of nearly 74,000 — the most of any county last year — according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 1, 2017, population estimates released today. The statistics provide population estimates and components of change for the nation’s 382 metropolitan statistical areas, 551 micropolitan statistical areas and 3,142 counties… 

For an interesting perspective breaking down the nation's recent population growth through the lens of 2016 Presidential Election results, check out this piece from Jed Kolko over at CityLab: Red Counties + Blue Folks = Purple? Reading the New Census Data.

Closer to home, the story is much more “slow and steady.”  Keep reading on for more detail on how the Bay Area's nine counties fared over the last year. Read More

Policy

What's Holding Us Back? Talking Bay Area Transportation and Housing

Last week's annual State of the Valley Conference hosted by Joint Venture Silicon Valley featured a panel entitled What's Holding Us Back? – a look at the twin transportation and housing challenges facing Silicon Valley and the Bay Area as a whole.

MTC and ABAG Executive Director Steve Heminger and moderator Russell Hancock, Joint Venture's CEO, opened the conversation with an initial focus on the transportation side of the ledger. They were later joined by Carol Galante, Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing & Urban Policy and director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley, as the conversation shifted to housing.

Topics ranged widely, from the elusive search for a "big fix" to "Self-Help" funding for transportation, from CASA – The Committee to House the Bay Area to Silicon Valley's political engagement on the housing crisis.

Transcripts of the conversations, edited for length and clarity, are available from the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Read More

Policy

Record Low Unemployment Across (Much of) the Bay Area, and the Delicate Policy Dance That Follows

SF-Oak-Hay unemployment

The Bay Area economy has mostly had a good run since the dark days of the Great Recession (although the benefits have been uneven and not without their complications). For all the hype about the latest tech boom and the length of the current expansion, however, many key regional economic measures had not surpassed records set during the dot-com era nearly two decades ago. 

New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (via FRED) indicate this is starting to change, though. To wit: most key urbanized areas (or MSAs) in the region are at or near record low unemployment levels. As shown in the above chart, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward MSA is now at 2.8 percent, a level last seen during a heady pre-millennium stretch from July to December of 1999.   Read More