Abbie Hofmann had written a book in the 1960s humorously-titled “Steal This Book.” The author of this Resolution to be introduced in Counties, League of Municipalities members, Towns Association members and even Wisc. Association of School Board members, urges you to totally plagiarize (claim authorship) of it and introduce it to the local governmental body of which you’re an elected member. This might have some odds at least of becoming part of State Statutes again if the largest number of the widest assortment of governments from the widest geographic dispersal will pass the resolution (or similar ones).
Regionalizing mass transit will be only the first, minor, step towards sustainability for Wisconsin. Without this step, odds of achieving sustainability in time to avert rather dire consequences, are small.
Resolution: Demand on the WI Legislature to Re-enable Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs)
To be Submitted to all levels of local governments throughout Wisconsin during 2019.
WHEREAS, In 2009 the Wisconsin Legislature passed legislation included in Act 28, enabling the formation of Regional Transit Authorities, complete with the power of taxation necessary to fund their start-up and operations;
WHEREAS, In 2011, as part of Act 32, the Wisconsin Legislature passed legislation disabling the same Regional Transit Authorities, with no rational explanation or narrative for undoing what had been done two years earlier;
WHEREAS, the Wisconsin Association of Mobility Managers (WAMM) said, introducing their 2016 Legislative Priorities, “Wisconsin is the only Midwest state without enabling legislation to create these authorities. Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) are a quasi-governmental entity that provides a governance structure for a unified transportation system and has taxing authority, therefor offering a funding alternative to property taxes;”
WHEREAS, WAMM added, “Regional Transit Authorities allow for a regional and comprehensive look at transportation. They encourage connectivity and multimodal approaches since the planning takes place with one body for the whole region. A multimodal and coordinated system improves the mobility, connectedness, and quality of life for those who are unable to drive themselves, particularly older adults, individuals with disabilities and those with low incomes;
WHEREAS, WAMM further noted that “Medical centers, employers, job centers, educational facilities are very often regional in nature; why should transportation be any different? Developing transportation systems requires flexibility to create innovative services that can cross municipal and county borders and account for communities of different sizes. RTAs enable this to be done in a more efficient, effective and sustainable manner;”
WHEREAS, WAMM concluded the 2016 document, “Transportation systems are a part of the infrastructure that helps people get to jobs, medical appointments, and remain active and engaged members of the community and local economy. Where there are strong systems and meaningful mobility choices, there are strong communities. People want to live and work in these communities and are seeking them out; and,
WHEREAS, Our County places great importance on our system of mobility for the populations most in need of the services that a Regional Transit Authority could provide our residents, and residents of lower-income counties in our immediate region; and
WHEREAS, Our County places high value on the principles of “sustainability,” and
WHEREAS, lack of mobility for low-income workers and retired persons is a factor contributing to their lack of “sustainability,” while Regional Transit would allow easier access to jobs, schools, health care, and basic needs;
THEREFORE, Our County calls upon the Wisconsin Legislature to quickly craft and pass Legislation once again enabling Regional Transit Authorities in Wisconsin, and “making an appropriation” to fund such;
FURTHER, that there be no limitations placed on the number of such Authorities, barring duplication of services or geographic overlap;
FURTHER, that Legislative obstacles to proceeding with near-100% renewable energy power for such RTAs be removed, keeping in mind future tightening of petroleum and natural gas supplies; and,
FURTHER, that agencies and Legislative Committees charged with overseeing transportation needs, make the creation and link-up of these RTAs into one seamless working statewide system a top priority.