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Approve Spokane Prop. 1 for mass transit, jobs, climate

johnson-16-ballot-measuresBy JEFF JOHNSON
One in a series of columns
on ballot measures

(Oct. 18, 2016) — Spokane Transit Authority Proposition 1 is a major investment in mass transit, congestion reduction, connecting workers to jobs, residents to appointments, and reducing carbon pollution.

Over 10 years Proposition 1, if passed, will fund more than 25 mass transit projects including:

●  Bus rapid transit between Spokane Community College, Gonzaga, the University District, Downtown Spokane, and Brown’s Addition

●  Extended Saturday evening bus service systemwide

●  Four new and expanded transit centers

●  Non-stop bus service between Liberty Lake and Cheney, Logan and Lincoln Heights, and Spokane Valley Mall and Greenacres

spokane-prop-1Proposition 1 will increase service throughout the region by 25% which will also significantly increase ridership. This means fewer cars on the roads which will reduce congestion and get commuters to and from work more quickly providing more time to spend with family and less time being stressed out in traffic jams.

With fewer cars on the road and more residents traveling by bus rapid transit, our air will be cleaner because less carbon dioxide will be emitted from the tailpipes of cars and there will be less oil and gas runoff into our groundwater, streams and rivers.

Efficiently connecting more parts of the region will serve as an economic stimulus for new businesses and jobs. And by providing more service and shorter travel times more workers will have access to more jobs than ever before in the Spokane region.

The return on this investment far outweighs the cost. The average household in Spokane will pay about $2 a month or $24 a year to fund the projects supported by Proposition 1. The tax increase will be phased in:

●  A one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) increase in local sales tax beginning on April 1, 2017

●  A second one-tenth of one percent (0.1%) increase in local sales tax beginning on April 1, 2019

Please join labor, community, and business organizations throughout the Spokane region, as well as local and statewide elected officials, in supporting Proposition 1.

Approve mass transit. Approve reducing traffic congestion. Approve connecting workers to jobs. Approve reducing pollution. Approve jobs.

APPROVE Spokane Transit Authority Proposition No. 1.

Jeff Johnson is President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, the largest labor organization in the Evergreen State, representing the interests of more than 600 local unions and approximately 450,000 rank-and-file union members. This is one of a series of columns by Johnson about state and local ballot measures for 2016.

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