Save Safe Routes to School! Call the Governor by Monday, May 20

Don’t let him do it… Governor Brown is pushing to eliminate Safe Routes to School!  Calls are needed to save the program.

News update from Sacramento: Governor Jerry Brown released his revised budget this week detailing how state funds would be allocated for the 2013-14 fiscal year which begins July 1. Safe Routes to School, a very popular and successful program for ensuring children can walk and bicycle safely to school, is on the chopping block.

California has achieved widespread success with Safe Routes to School since 1999 and created the model for the federal program. In more than ten years of implementation of Safe Routes to School in California, nearly one in five schools have received safety benefits from new and safer sidewalks, bikeways, crosswalks, and safety education programs.  During a time of rising childhood obesity nationwide, obesity rates have started to reverse in California, and children in California are walking at ten percent higher rates than they did in 2001. The risk of being injured or killed by traffic collisions to children is also steadily declining.  Safe Routes to School is helping kids across California stay safe and get healthy on their way to school. But we have much further to go to serve all schools.

The Governor’s revised budget proposal would eliminate the funding for Safe Routes to School – a critically important program  – and redirect the dollars into a new Active Transportation Program that has no guarantee of investment in Safe Routes to School. We can’t let this happen!

Now is the time to act.  Please call the Governor’s office today or Monday to tell him that California needs to continue its investment in Safe Routes to School!

Call Governor Brown’s office at (916) 445-2841. Or email him through his website: http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php. When you call, follow the menu to ask to speak to a representative. When someone answers, state your name and the city or town where you live, then tell the Governor’s aide that you urge Governor Brown to support dedicated funding for Safe Routes to School to ensure that kids can get safely to school on foot or by bicycle. Safe Routes to School benefits kids and helps to keep all residents safe on local streets. Please be polite and clear when you call; the aide will likely thank you and say that they will pass the message along to Governor Brown. The phone call will be short, only a minute or two, so please take action today. If the line is busy, please call back. Hundreds of calls will make a difference.

Another step to save Safe Routes to School is to send in a letter of support for AB 1194 (Ammiano). This bill would maintain level funding for the Safe Routes to School program, as well as a state Safe Routes to School coordinator, and the Technical Assistance Resource Center. The bill is waiting for votes in the Assembly Appropriations Committee for passage to the Assembly Floor, and needs your support by May 21! Find the action alert and sample letter here: https://saferoutescalifornia.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/action-alert-two-letters-of-support-for-active-transportation-and-safe-routes-to-school-today/

You can also attend one of the budget subcommittee hearings next week to support the need for the Governor to include a minimum guarantee of level funding for Safe Routes to School in his budget:
·       Senate Sub2 Tuesday 5/21 in Sacramento
·       Assembly Sub3 Wednesday 5/22 in Sacramento
The agendas for the hearings aren’t final, so please contact Jeanie Ward-Waller at jeanie@saferoutespartnership.org if you’re interested in attending one of the budget hearings.

With your help we can save Safe Routes to School and support our children’s future in California!

Please forward this action alert and take action today!  Thank you!

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