Metro Atlanta is a great place to live, work and play. Unfortunately, traffic congestion and related air pollution are taking a toll on our quality of life. We can do better. Denver, Charlotte, Salt Lake City and other metro areas across the country are charging ahead with light rail, commuter rail and other mass transit projects.
The Georgia Legislature will consider transportation funding for the third year in row when it convenes in 2010. The first step in getting out of traffic is giving MARTA the flexibility to use its own money as needed to operate. MARTA’s funding comes mainly from a 1% sales tax paid in Fulton and DeKalb Counties. The state government should not continue to limit MARTA’s ability to operate with MARTA’s own funds.
The second step is to pass legislation allowing a vote on a regional sales tax for mass transit and other transportation needed. You can make a difference in 2010 by contacting your state senator and your state representative. Urge them to support SB 120, the MARTA funding flexibility bill, which is currently in the House. Ask your elected officials to support legislation allowing a regional sales tax for transit and other transportation needs.
Get Informed: Every year, Georgia's conservation community convenes to select a few issues on which we will focus our joint efforts. The 2010 environmental community’s legislative priorities include those to improve transit along with many others. Our common agenda is called Leading Georgia into a Sustainable Future.
Take Action: The Georgia Environmental Action Network (GEAN) is a collaborative effort among environmental and conservation organizations throughout the state to educate and mobilize our members utilizing an electronic action alert system. This system provides the conservation community with a powerful means for getting our collaborative message out to elected officials, administrative decision makers, and leaders in big business and industry.
GEAN has general legislative priorities for 2010 including Water (Regulation of interbasin transfers, submetering, outdoor watering restrictions, reducing leaks in pipes), Transportation (Alleviating MARTA spending restrictions, new revenue for transit) and No Rollbacks (Service Delivery Act/HB 406, tree removal for billboards/SB 164, stormwater fee exemptions/HB 316, repeal of ban on yard trimmings in MSW landfills, extension of HB 1281/local control over watering restrictions). Sign up for the GEAN list now by clicking here.
Protect Our Water: One of the first GEAN alerts for 2010 highlighted Georgia’s water. Each day in Georgia, millions of gallons of water are taken from our rivers and the communities that depend upon them through a process known as “interbasin transfer.” Water is removed from one river, piped to communities along another river and never returned. The Governor's Water Contingency Task Force recently considered expanding Georgia’s interbasin transfer pipeline in a misguided attempt to meet the water needs of Metro Atlanta should Lake Lanier no longer be available.
While not all water transfers are bad, Georgians remain at risk of having these decisions made based on politics, not science. Georgia lacks common sense laws regulating interbasin transfers. The solution is for Georgia to enact legal protections governing interbasin transfers for our rivers that will safeguard the economic future of all Georgia communities. Click here now and sign the online petition so our legislators know the voters want them to act during the 2010 legislative session.
New Georgia Chapter Calendar! Our efforts to improve our Georgia Chapter communications with our members and volunteers continue. We have improved our Georgia Chapter calendar with a new interface and easier to use design. The calendar now includes all Chapter events, committee meetings, group meetings, and more. To learn what is happening at the Georgia Chapter please visit here.
Smart Energy Solutions: The Smart Energies Solutions campaign works to clean up our vehicles, buildings, and electricity grid to drastically cut carbon emissions and curb global warming. Halting new proposed coal-fired power plants and promoting renewable, clean energies is a main component of the campaign. Please visit this article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution from Rev. Joseph E. Lowery on Martin Luther King, Jr. and coal-fired power plants by clicking here.
Sierra Club Meetings
Smart Energy Team Meeting, Monday, February 1st, 6:30p.m refreshments, 7p.m. start, Colleen Kiernan - Chair, email@example.com
Sierra Club 101
Saturday, February 6th, 10:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.
743 E. College Ave., Suite B, Decatur, GA 30030
Attention, Members! You joined the Sierra Club to help protect the environment -- now what? Sierra Club 101! Come learn about the Sierra Club and how to get involved in our local efforts. Open to members and non-members alike--bring a friend! Refreshments provided. For more information or to sign up please click here.
Blood Mountain Hike
Sunday, February 7th
Join us on this traditional winter dayhike to Blood Mountain. This year trail will start from Vogel State Park and use strenuous parts of Coosa Backcountry Trail and Appalachian Trail to reach the top of the mountain. On a clear day we will enjoy superb views from rock outcrops around the old stone shelter at the summit. Contact Mirza Balic at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more information.
Four Day Appalachian Trail Hike
Friday, February 12th – Monday, February 15th
Appalachian Trail - Springer Mountain
This out and back, three night, four day hike on the Appalachian Trail will include winter views from Springer Mountain, Hawk Mountain, and Gooch Mountain. Contact Susan Caster at email@example.com or by phone (770) 649-0061. Click here for more information.
2010 Environmental Legislative Breakfast
Tuesday, February 16th, 7:30a.m. - 9:00a.m.
65 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Atlanta, GA
Your participation at the 2010 Environmental Legislative Breakfast is IMPORTANT! We need to send a clear message to legislators that their constituents care about clean water and a clean environment. Join your fellow GWC Partners in sharing our message with legislators. Click here to sign up.
Transit Lobby Day
Thursday, February 18th, 7:30a.m. - 2:00p.m.
Georgia State Capital Gold Dome
Join Sierra Club members at Transit Lobby Day for the 2010 session. Transit advocates will descend on the Georgia State Capitol to lobby legislators for increased transit funding and greater flexibility in how transit funds are spent. Transit Lobby Day will begin with a breakfast at 7:30 AM. The breakfast costs $25 per person, and your ticket can be purchased through the Georgia Transit Association. Following breakfast, there will be a bus display where you can talk with your representatives. You may also contact Ashley Robbins for registration forms at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for more information.
Marta Pub Crawl
Saturday, February 20th, 8:30p.m. – 12:30a.m.
743 E. College Ave., Suite B, Decatur, GA 30030
In honor of the legislative session and transit lobby day on February 18th, hop on MARTA for a transit pub crawl Saturday, February 20th. Plan on at least four stops ($10 on your Breeze card if you don't have a monthly pass) and loads of fun. We’ll meet at the Sierra Club office. For more information or questions, contact Ashley Robbins at email@example.com. Don’t forget your Breeze card!
Interested in reading more?
If you have missed an issue of Footnotes Online you can view them online in our Footnotes Online archive by clicking here. You can also sign up for alerts in order to take action at times when we need decision makers to hear from you. We need your help! To view the newest edition of the Georgia Sierran please click here.