RAMP engages in a wide range of policy efforts aimed at addressing the burden of asthma. These efforts range from sponsoring state legislation on cleaning practices in schools to participating in regional and state level regulatory campaigns to improve outdoor air quality.
Below is a sample of the policies RAMP, in collaboration with key partners, including Community Action to Fight Asthma, is actively supporting (2011-12).
To see our most recent policy action alerts, click here.
Outdoor Air Quality/Land Use
- AB 441 (Monning) – Health in Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs)
This bill requires that the California Transportation Commission include guidance on incorporating health issues into Regional Transportation Plans (RTPs).
- SB 535 (de Leon) – Community Benefits Fund
This bill requires a percentage of revenues generated through greenhouse gas emission policies be dedicated to the California Climate Change Community Benefits Fund. This fund would be used in the most impacted and disadvantaged communities to fund programs or projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or mitigate direct health or environmental impacts of climate change.
- SB 739 (Lowenthal) – Air quality assessments at ports (SIGNED in 2011)
This bill requires the Ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland to assess their infrastructure and air quality improvement needs, including, but not limited to, projects that improve the efficiency of the movement of cargo, reduce congestion impacts associated with the movement of cargo, and reduce pollution associated with the movement of that cargo.
- SB 1339 (Yee) – Commuter Benefits
This bill would give the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the Metropolitan Planning Commission the authority to jointly require local businesses to provide commuter benefits (e.g. the ability to use pre-tax dollars to pay for public transportation) to employees utilizing alternative means of transportation to work.
RAMP has supported various policies related to California’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. RAMP has focused its attention on those climate change policies that have the most direct health “co-benefits” for those with asthma. For example, policies to reduce GHGs through reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT) have the added benefit of improving overall air quality. RAMP is paying specific attention to regional and state efforts to reduce GHGs and VMT through land use (see SB 375).
- Promoting a healthy state transportation system
RAMP, as part of the California Transportation and Health Collaborative, is working with state legislators to urge the California Transportation Commission (CTC) to adopt public health criteria for allocating state funds to transportation-related projects. The CTC has a large say in the allocation of funds for highway, rail and transit improvements throughout California. Adopting public health and equity criteria into the CTC’s decision-making will help to reduce health risks in communities impacted by the construction and operation of these transportation projects.
- Promoting public health in regional land use decisions
RAMP, as part of the Ditching Dirty Diesel Collaborative (DDDC), is working on the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) for the San Francisco Bay Area to adopt public health criteria into the regional planning process for the land use and transportation planning scenarios for the years 2020 and 2035. Locally, DDDC has been actively engaged with the staff of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) promoting health protective measures that highlight the land use conflicts, affordable housing developments and freight transport issues within the Bay Area. MTC has established an One Bay Area grant that will allocate approximately $660 million dollars to county agencies such as the congested management agencies (CMA) to implement smart growth measures within their opportunity growth jurisdictions or Priority development areas. RAMP continues to advocate for smart growth and healthy development where economic, environmental and public health inequities exist.
- SB 1220 (DeSaulnier) – HOMeS ACT
This bill establishes a permanent source of funding for affordable housing. This funding will make up for funding lost for affordable housing with the elimination of the state’s redevelopment agencies.
RAMP has been active in helping to shape the restructuring of the City of Oakland’s Building Services. As part of this restructuring, the City has committed to developing more proactive ways to enforce the city’s housing code, with a focus on substandard multi-family structures and streamline public health resources.
- AB 516 (VM Perez) – Safe Routes to Schools (SIGNED 2011)
This bill modifies the Safe Routes to Schools program to enable increased participation from socio-economically disadvantaged schools and communities.
- SB 128 (Lowental) – Funding for high-performance schools (SIGNED 2011)
This bill adds the cost of designs and materials that support the characteristics of high-performance schools to the types of costs that are eligible for bond funds supporting school modernization.
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