It’s Earth Day, and we need your help to make a difference for the planet. The evidence is clear that human activity is causing our planet to warm at an alarming rate. We have just over a decade to halve our emissions to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change on our food supply, national security, global health, extreme weather, and more. We need urgent and ambitious action at every level: national, state, regional, corporate, and individual.
Right now in Santa Cruz County we have an opportunity to dramatically reduce our local greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). In Santa Cruz County, transportation is responsible for 60% of GHGs. This means that we can have a big impact if we fix transportation so that people don’t need to drive to get around. We must expand climate-friendly transportation options to make them reliable, safe, and convenient.
Please take 3 actions today!
The Regional Transportation Commission conservatively estimates the addition of Rail and Trail together will reduce GHG emissions by 1482 metric tons annually, the equivalent amount of carbon that 61,750 old growth trees can remove from the atmosphere every year. That’s a huge reduction in GHG emissions that we can achieve with just this one project! There are no other transportation projects in Santa Cruz County that come close to this number. However, we believe that number is the just the beginning. By combining the Coastal Rail Trail, zero-emissions passenger rail, synchronized bus connections and safe streets, we can set the stage for a cultural shift away from driving as more and more people take advantage of these easy, safe, and efficient alternatives.
If you believe this version of our future is worth fighting for, here are three actions you can take today:
Action 1. Change the Media Narrative
“False equivalences…happen when news outlets will invite two opposing “sides” on an issue to debate one another, but one side doesn’t rely on solid evidence to back their argument. Both sides are given equal air time and equal weight — creating a false impression of equivalence.” -Annelise Wunderlich, KQED.
Unfortunately, much of our local media representation of the Rail & Trail project portrays a false equivalence between the broad and deep coalition that supports both Rail & Trail and the narrow few who oppose the project. It’s important that the media starts accurately representing this investment in green and equitable infrastructure as both popular and necessary, not as a controversy with two equal sides. Help change the media narrative by telling your personal story about why this project is important to you.
Click here to share your story with our local media outlets.
Here are some of the many reasons we’ve heard from the community for investing in zero-emissions light rail.
We are in a climate emergency. We need to significantly reduce our GHG emissions in order to protect this beautiful world we call home. Rail & Trail is the project that will have the largest impact to our local transportation emissions.
We have an obligation to create more equitable transportation system to give people of all colors, backgrounds and abilities access to more opportunities and independence.
Our local businesses will benefit from more foot traffic, increased visibility, and additional transportation options during festivals and events.
Adding both Rail and Trail will make our neighborhoods safer for our children, creating a car-free walkable bikeable corridor while reducing neighborhood street traffic and collisions.
Action 2. Support the Petition
Click here to sign the petition to Approve Rail Transit in Santa Cruz County and then share the petition everywhere.
We need to reach 1,000 Signatures!
For the last 20 years, Santa Cruz County has been working towards implementing clean and fast public transportation on the rail line between Santa Cruz and Watsonville. On April 1st 2021 that work was all disregarded when 6 members of the RTC blocked the next step, ignoring the recommendations of Caltrans, the Coastal Commission, the Santa Cruz City Council, the Watsonville City Council, and many years of work by transit planners including RTC staff. We need to keep the pressure up with loud community support so they will change their votes on May 6!
Let’s make noise! Be sure to share near and far!
Action 3. Donate to Support the Work
We are working hard to make sure the entire county is aware of this great project and it’s benefits, but we can’t do it without your help! Please consider making a donation in honor of Earth Week.
As an added benefit, if you are able to donate right now during our Spring Challenge Match your gift will be doubled. This is the time to contribute and help us share our message of a climate-friendly and equitable transportation system with the whole county.
We can combat climate change and improve equity and economic opportunity. Let’s make it happen! Please click to Donate here.
Thank you for all you do to help #transformtransportation