Welcome to 2023! We’re already in the third week of the WA Legislative Session and moving full steam ahead with our legislative priorities. Last week, Senator Saldaña introduced a bill to repeal Washington’s jaywalking laws, SB 5383. On Wednesday, Representative Emily Alvarado introduced a companion bill in the House, HB 1428.
We’re also launching our 2023 Week of Action next week, Monday, January 30, and we want YOU to join us! Our lineup includes virtual events and actions you can participate in to support our 2023 Legislative Agenda to increase transportation equity and safety for all Washingtonians. You can learn more about this year’s events and how you can get involved here.
Read more about our week of action and how you can get involved in our advocacy efforts below!
Transportation Choices Coalition
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
2023 WA Legislative Session begins!
The Washington State Legislative Session is in full swing as it enters its third week. Senator Saldaña and Representative Emily Alvarado introduced companion bills in the Senate and House last week to repeal Washingont’s jaywalking laws (SB 5383 and HB 1428). If passed, the bills would repeal the state law that makes it illegal to cross mid-block and create provisions giving pedestrians the right to cross where and when it’s convenient and safe. The bills also preempt conflicting local ordinances.
Help us make our streets safer – tell your senator to repeal Washington’s harmful jaywalking laws!
We’re also expecting a road usage charge (RUC) bill to be introduced in the next few weeks. Currently, Washington’s gas tax expenditures are restricted for “highway purposes” due to the Washington State Consitution’s 18th Amendment. RUC is an opportunity to reimagine how we fund our transportation system to be more equitable and multimodal.
Sign our letter to legislators demanding a better way to fund transportation.
Talking with the media about repealing jaywalking laws
On Tuesday, we talked with King 5 about our “Free to Walk Washington “ campaign and the growing nationwide movement to repeal jaywalking laws. Our Policy Director, Hester Serebrin, also wrote an op-ed for Real Change detailing the reason jaywalking enforcement is inequitable and often discriminatory
Check out our media appearances and help us spread the word about why it’s time to end Washington’s jaywalking laws by sharing!
WHAT’S COMING UP
Join us for our 2023 Legislative Week of Action starting Monday!
Our Week of Action kicks off this coming Monday, January 30, with our Transit Talk featuring activist and author of “Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America,” Angie Schmitt.
Check out our lineup below and register here.
Week of Action 2023 Calendar (all events are virtual)
- Transit Talk: Repealing WA’s Jaywalking Laws, Monday, Jan. 30th, 1 PM: Hear from Spokane police accountability activist Anwar Peace, Seattle-based researcher Ethan Campbell, and author of “Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America,” Angie Schmitt about the harm caused by jaywalking laws and why they should be repealed.
- Testimony Training, Tuesday, Jan. 31st, 1 PM: Learn how to share your thoughts or story with the Washington State Legislature.
- Letter Writing Action Hour, Wednesday, February 1st, 6 PM: Join us in sending letters and action alerts to our legislators in support of repealing Washington’s jaywalking laws. We will be hosting this event with the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane!
- Twitter Storm Power Hour, Thursday, Feb. 2nd, 12 PM: Join us on Twitter to voice your support of our legislative agenda.
Register for our upcoming Youth Focus Group
Are you 18 or under? Do you want to earn an Amazon gift card for sharing your thoughts on transportation? Then our youth focus group is for you! Transportation Choices is hosting a focus group with young people across Washington to gain insight into their experiences with and perspectives on public transit.
Learn more about the focus group and register here.
Take our survey to help us with our strategic planning
Transportation Choices is conducting a strategic planning survey to help us understand how our partners’ and communities’ priorities align with our current work plan and how we make our work more valuable to our community.
Your feedback will be used to inform our strategic plan, which we are hoping to share later this year.
This survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete and will close on February 3.
We’re hiring a Policy Analyst – join our team!
Transportation Choices seeks an experienced Policy Analyst to join our team. In this new role, the Policy Analyst will work to understand and improve the policies that guide Washington’s transportation system, help shape Transportation Choices’ policy priorities, and provide critical coverage and analysis of legislative and agency actions and their impacts. The ideal candidate will bring a passion for equitable transportation and systems change.
Amtrak seeking input on Amtrak Cascades
Amtrak is asking customers to take their 5-minute survey to help inform the future of Amtrak Cascades train travel.
In appreciation for taking the survey, you can enter to win two tickets on Amtrak Cascades and two concert tickets to see Ed Sheeran. More information on the drawing is available at the end of the survey.
The survey is available in several languages and must be completed by February 24.
WHAT WE’RE READING
On transportation, WA Legislature looks to tackle safety, equity, inflation
“Advocacy organizations like the ACLU of Washington and Transportation Choices Coalition are pressuring lawmakers to decriminalize low-level traffic violations, like jaywalking and other non-moving violations, arguing they’re ineffective and disproportionately affect people of color.”
The zero-fare public transit movement is picking up momentum
“The ‘zero-fare’ movement has garnered support among business groups, environmental advocates, Democratic leaders and others who say that public transit boosts local economies, mitigates climate change and is a basic necessity for many individuals.”
This Week’s Focus: Why do away with jaywalking?
“The history of jaywalking laws indicates they were a burden-shifting mechanism to take the responsibility of care off of drivers and instead put the assumption of risk on pedestrians. The term comes from the idea of a jay, or rube, not understanding the rules of a city.”
“Free Youth Transit” Music Video
Have you seen the coolest commercial in the Puget Sound yet? “Youth Ride Free” officially made its TV debut last month with Rain City Rock Camp’s “Free Youth Transit” music video. I love that this important information is being broadcast to youth and families across our state. Seeing this video also makes me excited for Transportation Choices’ Youth Focus Groups. If you haven’t signed up yet, now’s the time.
I hope you enjoy this video and keep spreading the word about free youth transit in Washington state!
McKenna Lux (she/her)
Engagement & Events Manager