MTC-ABAG delegation advocates in Washington for Bay Area priorities

DC Delegation
MTC-ABAG delegation in Washington D.C. (L-R) ABAG President Jesse Arreguín, MTC Executive Director Andy Fremier, MTC Chair Alfredo Pedroza, MTC Commissioner Jim Spering.
Rebecca Long

Representatives from MTC and ABAG visited Washington D.C. last week to highlight the importance of a strong federal partnership in supporting Plan Bay Area 2050 mobility, climate, equity and economy goals.

During the annual federal advocacy trip, the MTC/ABAG delegation also provided an overview of how MTC distributes its share of the Bay Area’s federal transportation funds, shared an update on the Bay Area Infrastructure Grants Strategy and highlighted the suite of Bay Area regional priority projects seeking federal funds in the upcoming 2023 grant cycles.

The clear message back from Washington: MTC/ABAG are leading the way nationally at the intersection of transportation and housing. Leaders in Washington also noted work on the Bay Area Infrastructure Grants Strategy – prioritizing a short list of priority projects aligned with Plan Bay Area 2050 – as being the most effective way for the region to maximize competitiveness for federal funds.

Over the course of three days, MTC/ABAG representatives held two dozen meetings with the Bay Area Congressional delegation, federal agency leaders from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and congressional committee staff with jurisdiction over transportation and housing policy and funding bills.

Regarding housing, the delegation gave an update on the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority, and highlighted the region's top housing funding and policy requests, including that Congress update Low Income Housing Tax Credit policy to double California’s access to bond-financed tax credits.

MTC also co-hosted the annual California Transportation Reception, in partnership with the Southern California Association of Governments and nearly 40 transportation partners from across California. Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg joined the event as special guests.

MTC’s March 2023 Report to Congress was shared at the Washington, D.C. advocacy meetings. A separate handout was provided related to the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority and MTC/ABAG’s federal housing priorities.

The MTC/ABAG delegation included: MTC’s Chair Alfredo Pedroza, ABAG President Jesse Arreguin, BATA Oversight Committee Chair Federal Glover, MTC Operations Committee Chair David Rabbitt, MTC Planning Committee Chair Jim Spering, MTC Programming and Allocations Committee Chair Cindy Chavez, Commissioner Carol Dutra-Vernaci and Commissioner Margaret Abe-Koga.


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