Latest Updates

2000+ Letters to ODOT

Greetings, fellow freeway rabblerouser! We’ve been awfully busy in the last two months. Here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to, where we’re heading, and how you can help us stop the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion. We haven’t emailed you in a while, so we have quite a few updates.

TLDR: The public comment went great, we’re testifying at committees across the state, we’re building grassroots power and momentum to stop this freeway, and if you want to help you can buy a button at the bottom of this post!

Resounding Opposition to Rose Quarter Freeway in Public Comment Period.
Will ODOT listen?

image includes NMF logo and text stating we received 2000+ comments on the public comment period

First, let’s give ourselves a pat on the back for the overwhelming turnout we got for the entire public comment period. Freeway opponents dominated the public hearing event in March, and followed that up with submitting over 2000 public comments to ODOT before the April 1st deadline. We have a round-up of dozens of letters from prominent community leaders on our public comment page of our website – here’s a selection of some of our favorite letters submitted:

“We ask that ODOT undertake a more rigorous Environmental Impact Statement to study the impact that implementation of value pricing could have on carbon emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion before moving forward with plans to expand the Rose Quarter Freeway. This position is wholly consistent with our years of advocacy and engagement with the state legislature to pass HB 2017 – implementation of value pricing should inform how ODOT moves forward with the Rose Quarter. There are simply too many significant impacts to the local community to not prioritize studying value pricing and understanding its impacts to traffic patterns before moving forward with a $500 million freeway expansion.” – Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Climate Solutions, Center for Sustainable Economy, and Sierra Club – Oregon Chapter

“The EA states (section 3.2.2) that the project does not create new capacity or add substantial capacity to I-5. This statement is not objectively true and is potentially misleading; auxiliary lanes clearly add capacity” – Oregon Metro

Photo shows Harriet Tubman Middle School right next to the Rose Quarter Freeway“We find it unjust to ask current and future Tubman students to pay decades of bonding debt to pay for this project, as well as pay for the enormous costs of the additional carbon in the atmosphere and air pollutants in the neighborhood. As parents, citizens, community members, students, and Portlanders, we state our firm opposition to ODOT’s Rose Quarter freeway widening proposal.” – Parents from Harriet Tubman PTSA

“Given the large and growing role of transportation in the State’s GHG emissions, the mandate to decrease emissions to 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, the inadequacy of the EA, and the history of damage to the adjacent communities inflicted by the freeway, it is the position of 350PDX that ODOT should not move forward with the I-5 Rose Quarter freeway widening project based on the Environmental Assessment and should instead complete a full Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate the effects of the project.” – 350 PDX

image shows Business for Better Portland's logo“Given the legacy of institutional racism in Portland and how it has manifested in the location of this project, it is imperative that our leaders act with respect, courage and integrity. We are calling on leaders to tap the brakes on this project and ensure $500 million in taxpayer funds are thoughtfully invested in projects that deliver community benefit while paying more than lip service to equity.” – Business for a Better Portland

“Portland has long been known for its bike- and pedestrian-friendly allure and strong transit grid, and we know we must do more in order to preserve Oregon’s cherished natural beauty and livability. In light of the dire IPCC report issued last year, I believe we must be scrutinizing each major initiative and doing all we can, as fast as we can, to ensure a livable planet for our future generations.” – Oregon Representative Karin Power (District 41)

“The Oregon Department of Transportation is an emperor wearing no clothes, If we have any meaningful commitment to alleviating gridlock and congestion, eradicating the senseless violence of traffic fatalities, improving air quality so school doesn’t make kids sick, restoring a neighborhood scarred by the worst racist impulses of our forefathers, or tackling climate change for current and future generations, this project must be abandoned. The Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion mega project has no place in our community.”

– No More Freeways submitted our own official letter, as well as a Technical Traffic Analysis debunking ODOT’s findings and this Legal Memo that details all of the points in which ODOT’s public comment process did not follow the NEPA process.

We encourage you to check out the Public Comment page of our website, which includes these and numerous other letters, including those from the Audubon Society of PortlandEliot Neighborhood AssociationCommunity Cycling CenterCity of Portland Commissioner Chloe EudalyAlbina Vision TrustPortland Planning and Sustainability Commission, and BikeLoudPDX.

What’s next for the RQ Freeway?

image shows NMF logo, text ODOT is now tasked with responding to each and every single one of the 2000 comments that we sent in to the public comment period. We are hopeful that the dozens of prominent community advocates and thousands of Oregonians who testified and wrote letters to point out the egregious flaws in ODOT’s traffic projections will help prod the agency to redesign or reconsider this project. It’s noteworthy the number of advocacy organizations, advisory committees, and citizens who have asked ODOT to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement – we hope the agency will honor these requests before proceeding with spending $500 million to expand a freeway into the backyard of Harriet Tubman Middle School when we as a planet have eleven years to tackle climate change.

According to a PBOT presentation at the Bureau Budget Advisory Committee this month, ODOT is expected to hear back from the Federal Highway Administration this “May/June” as to whether they have permission to proceed with their Environmental Assessment or if they will be asked to conduct the more thorough Environmental Impact Statement that all of our organizations requested.

TL, DR: We’re awaiting the federal government’s verdict on if ODOT can proceed with the project, and we expect to hear in the next few weeks. Our next steps in using the NEPA process to challenge this project depend on whether the federal government pushes ODOT to honor the community’s unequivocal voice of opposition to this expansion. Whatever happens, we’re ready to act (especially with your support – see the donation link at the bottom).

NMF road tripped to Salem to speak to the Oregon Transportation Commission.

The Oregon Transportation Commission is the Governor-appointed body that establishes state transportation policy. We weren’t sure if this governing body had been given accurate information from ODOT’s staff about how the agency had conducted themselves during this Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion debacle, so this month we took a quick trip to Salem to testify about the data misinformation, the overwhelming opposition to the project, the fierce, unapologetic necessity about urgently reconfiguring our transportation policy so that current and future Oregonians won’t have to grapple with a charred dystopian planet.

image shows Bob Sallinger of Portland Audubon Society testifying at OTC hearing
“[The Audubon Society of Portland was] deeply troubled by the Environmental Assessment. I work on a lot of EAs and EISs; its kind of what I do. For a project of this scale, complexity and cost, the EA was one of the weakest I’ve ever seen. It simply did not provide the kind of detail in order to assess the costs, benefits, the impacts, the alternatives that i would expect for a much smaller project, let alone something for a half a billion dollars.”

“The essence of democracy is transparency and honesty on the part of public servants. If we’re going to make good decisions we have to do it in an open honest and transparent way. in the case of the I5 Rose Quarter project, what’s happened hasn’t served the interests of the citizens of Oregon well. What ODOT has done is to suppress basic traffic data; they released an environmental assessment that contains no figures on average daily traffic, the most fundamental unit that you regularly use to measure traffic.”


“An Oregonian born today is likely to be alive in 2100. If we have 11 years to solve climate change, I hope that every single one of you on this Commission – and I’m not trying to be antagonistic, I’m asking and begging you, as the youngest person in this room that will remember this meeting 50 years from now – what did Chair Baney do, what did the Oregon Transportation Commission do when provided with these facts?”

Harriet Tubman Middle School’s Earth Day Demonstration

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The kids are alright.

Kudos to the students of Harriet Tubman Middle School in Mr. Scrutchion’s class who partnered with Neighbors for Clean Air to demonstrate in support of HB 2007 on the Flint Avenue overpass on Earth Day. Diesel is a carcinogen, a greenhouse gas, and has no place in our community and in our children’s lungs. We’re thrilled that the campaign to stop the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion is bringing transportation, climate, and clean air advocates together to cross-pollinate in our advocacies and build resilience against infrastructure that makes our community sick. We’re looking forward to continuing to partner with the Tubman community in support of cleaner air and fewer lanes of freeway in their backyard.

More photos are available on BikePortland, and on the NMF Facebook page (which you should *like*, if you haven’t already).

10 public comments at Metro’s #GetMoving2020 task force. All 10 were about climate change. 

Photo shows Jesse Lopez of 350PDX giving testimony at a meeting of Metro's Task Force on the T2020 Transportation Package

The Metro Council is currently planning to refer a massive transportation funding package to the Portland Region on the November 2020 ballot. This enormous package is something that the No More Freeways campaign has been keeping an eye on for a while – this once-in-a-generation opportunity could be used to fully fund infrastructure that decarbonizes our transportation system effectively, or could direct billions of dollars to roads, highways and freeway projects guaranteeing that the greater Portland region meets none of our anti-congestion, anti-carbon emissions, anti-air pollution or anti-poverty initiatives. It’s a big deal!

After Metro President Lynn Peterson’s recent remarks at Portland City Club event suggesting that the 2020 bond might be split “50/50” between transit and road projects, we decided to swing by the Task Force meeting last week and testify. We’ve got twelve months to push heavily on the Metro Council and the numerous community groups on the Metro Task Force to urge them to make this package better for current and future generations by honoring our commitment to investments in a transportation system that addresses climate change, air pollution, fixing congestion, and traffic safety (hint: to do these things, we can’t build more freeways). Kudos to the representatives from Portland Forward, 350 PDX, OPAL – Environmental Justice Oregon, The Street Trust, and others who testified and made it explicit: this regional package *must* be designed with climate justice and decarbonization as a top tier priority.

We’ll continue to monitor this committee – the next meeting is at 5:30 Wednesday, May 15 at Oregon Metro (600 NE Grand), and you’re encouraged to join us in attendance in the crowd.

Shoutout to the Community Partners

It takes a village (and numerous community partners) to stop a freeway. Here’s what some of our trusted allies are up to, and how you can support them:
Support Local Media: Shoutout to BikePortland.org and Willamette Week, each of whom have relentlessly covered our work over the past few months. Did you know you can donate money to each to keep these important media outlets afloat?
image shows invitation to Oregon Walks Membership PartyBecome a Member of Oregon Walks: Oregon Walks has a new Executive Director, and you should learn all about her at the upcoming Oregon Walks Membership Meeting. The event is on Thursday May 16.

Sign OPAL’s letter for government accountability and transparency: OPAL’s been tracking a particularly nefarious bill in the Oregon Legislature that would remove the ability for local jurisdictions to have much oversight or regulatory ability of TNCs like Uber and Lyft. Sign their letter (and help protect initiatives like the Clean Energy Fund while you’re at it!)

Fight Dirty Diesel: To learn more about HB 2007, which would create deadlines for removing the worst polluting diesel engines from Oregon’s streets, check out the Oregon Environmental Council’s webpage. Stay tuned – there will be opportunities to weigh in on this bill as it winds through the legislature in the weeks ahead.

A personal note: Aaron Brown’s testimony to ODOT, submitted 4:59pm, April 1st

For the past nineteen months (and especially for the past month and a half), I’ve spent an enormous amount of my own personal and professional time writing angry letters to ODOT. “Letters to ODOT” sounds like the name of some urban planner’s regrettable punk rock band they played bass in back in college, but it adequately assesses the general state of how I’ve spent much of 2019. I, along with literally hundreds of other community members, have been attending dozen of community meetings and watching ODOT’s staff speak demonstrable untruths with barely-concealed slights-of-hand, and spent many a rainy weekend pouring through egregiously depressing data about climate change, air pollution, traffic congestion, and traffic fatalities. Every bit of evidence furthers our case that this project highlights the urgency with which metropolitan America needs to retire the freeway industrial complex.

But instead, with my last five minutes before the public comment period closes, I want to write a quick love letter. A love letter to the dozens of parents I met at Tubman Middle School, figuring out how to build a PTSA that will stick up for their entire community and learn how to work together despite having students and families from enormously different backgrounds. A love letter to the individuals who have taken their personal trauma stemming from losing a loved one to senseless traffic violence and weaponized these unspeakable losses into voices that clamor for government agencies to be more vigilant in their investments to prevent future tragedies. A love letter to the youth who are increasingly organizing to take over the world and prevent the older generation from dooming us to climate apocalypse. A love letter to the hundreds of community members who have shown up to dig through ODOT’s public records and, frankly, out-hustle ODOT’s staff to point out the obvious clerical errors that you hoped to hide from public scrutiny. A love letter to the good community members and citizens who have stood up for freeway revolts in the past, present, and future of my hometown. A love letter to all who are working to understand the intersections of transportation, climate, social justice, white supremacy, the patriarchy, and are working to untangle all of these for a more verdant and sustainable future.

Thank you, ODOT, for giving me an excuse to wallow in the trenches for the past few months. Please kill this damn project.

Support our work, get a thank you card
in the mail and a button
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imagine shows collection of NMF buttons.

 

No Joke – Today’s the Deadline for Public Comment

Click the above image to head straight to our public comment page. We’ve got a plenty long email below, but seriously. Speak now or forever hold your peace. If you wanna help with this campaign whatsoever, we need you on the record, and it closes tonight at 5pm. So go get ’em.
Late this past Friday, BikePortland.org broke the news that the Albina Vision Trust was officially asking ODOT for an Environmental Impact Statement. In their letter, AVT states:

“Only remediation is remediation. It is not enough to listen to community concerns and document them. You need to take action that responds to what you heard, We understand that ODOT cannot completely undo the environmental impacts of the original l-5 construction; however, AVT believes the current RQIP is an opportunity to take a different approach….It is AVT’s position that the RQIP EA does not adequately address environmental impacts, including community, social and economic outcomes. Due to these deficiencies, the AVT is formally requesting ODOT conduct a full Environmental lmpact Statement (ElS), which is more comprehensive than the current EA to provide a better design, remediation and mitigation alternatives.”

Albina Vision Trust joins Portland Public Schools, members of the Harriet Tubman PTSA, The Street Trust, Oregon Walks,  Portland Bus Lane Project, the Pacific Northwest Chapter of Safe Routes to School, the City’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committees, AORTA, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Center for Sustainable Economy, Portland Audubon Society, 350 PDX, Sierra Club’s Oregon Chapter, OPAL – Environmental Justice Oregon, Neighbors for Clean Air the Eliot Neighborhood Association, and Irvington Community Association (among others) with letters on the public record explicitly asking ODOT to scrap their Environmental Assessment and conduct a more thorough Environmental Impact Statement that adequately addresses the public health, air pollution, transportation needs, traffic safety, and carbon emission concerns our campaign has been shouting about for the past month and a half.

Approximately 600+ comments have been submitted from individual community members opposing this project. Opposition to this campaign dominated this month’s public hearing, and with ODOT finally getting around to giving us some additional data and schematics, we’re finding all sorts of other glaring deficiencies with the design, including that it will encroach significantly on the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade. Today we’re submitting a legal document written with the assistance of some lawyers that highlights every single ODOT misstep in the NEPA process, and we’ve already submitted two years worth of newspaper clippings, dozens of academic articles on air pollution, and all of our letters of advocacy over the past few years.

Now, all that’s missing is you.

We’ve made it as easy as possible: head over to http://www.nomorefreewayspdx.com/publiccomment before 5:00pm. We’ve given you prompts, we’ve set up a public comment submission form, and below are some snippets from comments from other concerned community members:


Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record before 5pm today. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion and demand an EIS. Click on the icon to the right to submit testimony, and help spread the word by posting the link on social media.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record before 5pm today. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion and demand an EIS. Click on the icon to the right to submit testimony, and help spread the word by posting the link on social media.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record before 5pm today. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion and demand an EIS. Click on the icon to the right to submit testimony, and help spread the word by posting the link on social media.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record before 5pm today. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion and demand an EIS. Click on the icon to the right to submit testimony, and help spread the word by posting the link on social media.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record before 5pm today. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion and demand an EIS. Click on the icon to the right to submit testimony, and help spread the word by posting the link on social media.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record before 5pm today. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion and demand an EIS. Click on the icon to the right to submit testimony, and help spread the word by posting the link on social media.

 

We did a little art project at ODOT’s Headquarters on Saturday

40% of Oregon’s carbon emissions come from transportation – it’s the only sector of Oregon’s economy where carbon emissions are growing instead of shrinking. Every available climate report the state has produced has stated that Oregon simply must rely less on the private automobile, particularly inside the Portland Metro region, for daily transportation needs if we have a chance of meeting our ambitious and necessary goals of reducing carbon emissions. Considering we only have 11 years to stave off the most cataclysmic impacts of climate change, that seems like a big deal!

ODOT keeps hiding these facts, and the agency audaciously claims that this freeway expansion is somehow going to help *reduce* carbon emissions. Yeah, just like more pipelines and coal plants, eh ODOT? (in case you missed it, we thoroughly debunked all of ODOT’s traffic modeling last week, a debunking that was covered by Oregon Public Broadcasting.)

We fully believe in the whole “shine the light you wish to see in the world” trope, so this Saturday night, we partnered with the fine folks of PEST to put a little message on the front walls of ODOT’s downtown office to remind them that their proposed actions are diametrically opposed to any sane, rational approach to addressing the urgency that the climate crisis represents to current and future generations. Thanks to PEST for joining us, and thanks to KGW News for covering us as the lead in to Saturday Night Live this weekend!

One last time: if you haven’t submitted public comment yet, well, please consider doing so. ❤ 


What is ODOT trying to hide? 🤔

OPBCity Observatory catch ODOT hiding Columbia River Crossing traffic firehose in Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion Project

image shows giant freaking 12 lane Columbia River Crossing plan

This Wednesday, Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Jeff Mapes broke the news that we at No More Freeways had suspected for the past few weeks as we analyzed ODOT’s traffic data: ODOT is deliberately putting their thumbs on the scale of their traffic projections to justify the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion.

By baking in the assumption of the construction and completion of a $3,000,000,000, 12-lane Columbia River Crossing project (a proposal that’s been more or less dead for nearly five years), ODOT’s traffic modeling deliberately floods the Rose Quarter area with a much higher rate of traffic, which creates a significant amount of congestion in the RQ area (that then this freeway is supposed to “fix.”)

Why does that matter? We’re glad you asked. We’ll paraphrase City Observatory‘s excellent run down, which we encourage you to read in full:

✅ It’s a violation of the NEPA process to hide such a fundamental assumption
✅ The Environmental Assessment ODOT provided doesn’t study a true “No-Build Scenario” against which project effects can be judged
✅The inclusion of a new, nonexistant, currently-not-even-seriously-considered CRC inflates traffic levels to make the Rose Quarter project seem more necessary
✅The modeling suggests that the need for ODOT’s Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion is largely caused by the CRC – aka, the Rose Quarter project is needed mainly to solve the problem that a new 12 lane CRC creates
✅Hiding CRC in no-build violates requirements that EA addresses cumulative impacts

and the biggest one:

c’mon, ODOT models traffic for a 12-lane bridge that’s barely on the drawing board, but can’t model for congestion pricing, which is moving full steam ahead, and likely would negate the need for the project? 🤔

It seems wild to us that ODOT is deliberately *not* studying whether congestion pricing, a policy tool that the Oregon Legislature asked ODOT to explore for the Portland region as part of HB 2017 (it passed with bipartisan support!). ODOT recently asked the federal government to move forward with further study and implementation of congestion pricing along this stretch of freeway. Yet despite the fact ODOT is modeling traffic projections from now until 2045 on I-5, *and* the fact that congestion pricing is substantially impactful on traffic patterns and congestion…ODOT isn’t studying it as relevant to projecting out traffic on this freeway over the next two decades? But they *are* absolutely certain that a new CRC is coming to sic a firehose of traffic on the Rose Quarter?

THESE ASSUMPTIONS BAKED INTO ODOT’S TRAFFIC MODELING (AND ODOT’S UNWILLINGNESS TO STUDY OR CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES) ARE OBSCURING THE IMPACT THIS PROJECT WILL HAVE ON THE COMMUNITY, AND THEY ARE DOING IT TO JUSTIFY THE $500 MILLION EXPANSION PROJECT.

Again, we encourage you to check out the full City Observatory post, which runs down the numerous technical assumptions included in ODOT’s models. All of the assumptions are largely designed to churn out numbers that suggest that this freeway expansion will somehow be the first of its kind to improve local air pollution, reduce carbon emissions, and reduce traffic congestion. By using these overly generous assumptions, ODOT is trying to make it sound reasonable to justify expanding lanes of freeway into the backyard of Harriet Tubman Middle School when 40% of our carbon emissions come from transportation and we only have 11 years to fight off the worst impacts of climate change.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

Did you know that the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion includes widening a freeway to hover over the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade? We didn’t either! A community member asked ODOT for engineering drawings of the project on February 16 and were told they didn’t exist; when we filed a Freedom Of Information Act, we were then told there were 36 GB of files available, but that we only got less than a week to pour through these schematics. Thanks to Cupola Media for drawing up what the Eastbank Esplanade will look like with ODOT’s freeway widening – definitely seems like it’ll be much louder and a lot less pleasant a place to ride a bike. (You can follow our pal Iain’s full twitter thread about his FOIA adventures with ODOT here)

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

BikePortland.org has some fantastic coverage about the surprisingly sharp statements that came out from the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and Oregon Walks this week. We’ve also seen excellent letters asking for ODOT to conduct a full EIS from the Eliot Neighborhood Association, Oregon Environmental Council, Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission, AORTA, Portland Bus Lane Project, 350 PDX, Portland Public Schools, and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of Safe Routes to School.

The Portland Mercury’s Blair Stenvick also has a thorough roundup about our efforts, chronicling the large number of organizations that are submitting public comment requesting that ODOT move forward with an Environmental Impact Statement.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

Photo shows a bunch of dudes giving thumbs up while recording the Sprocket PodcastWe were on the Sprocket Podcast yesterday – it should be ready to download around 8pm Friday. Download the episode to hear us talk about how driving cars is like the movie Avatar, how we’ve organized our campaign over the past couple years, and why the freeway industrial complex is so big and powerful. Thanks for hosting us! We were also on KBOO’s Heather McCoy show three times in the last month.

image directs people to website to submit public testimony

ook, we know this is the second long-winded email we’ve sent you in a week. But hey, this deadline on Monday is important. There’s no path to stopping this freeway that doesn’t entail us kicking butt and getting hundreds and hundreds of comments on the record in opposition to this project. We promise to chill out, give your inbox a break and go dormant for a few weeks after the deadline passes, but for the time being: all hands on deck! Every bit of elbow grease you can put in to submitting a public comment and reminding your friends, family, coworkers, twitter crushes, neighbors, teachers, whoever you talk to on any sort of daily basis – GET THEM ON THE RECORD.  And big ups to our pal Eric, who hosted a comment writing party this week and got dozens of letters submitted.

If you’ve already submitted public comment, thank you! Can you post this on social media (our hashtag is #NOI5RQX), bug your roommate or spouse or friends to check us out, or forward our email? Word of mouth and community-to-community organizing is more effective than any paid ads we can provide.

We’ll send one more small reminder Monday (the day the EA closes!), and we’ll probably send a big sweeping follow up thank you the following week, and then leave you alone for a while. Pinky swear. But we need your help, so please, go submit public comment. 

Can we count on you?

Public Comment Closes Monday, April 1st.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

We’ve received over 450 comments in opposition to this project (That’s nearly one for every $1 million this proposed freeway expansion is going to cost!) Thank you so much for your support. If you haven’t got on the record yet, now’s the time. We’re hoping to get double that by the end of next week, and we need your help.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

We sent ODOT a letter asking the agency to honor their original commitment to provide us a full 45 day public comment period, starting from the March 13th date that they provided the additional 630 pages of traffic data we need to independently verify their claims. The agency said no (just like they did when we asked for an extension in November – doesn’t seem like they are particularly inclined to giving community groups much time to review their findings), so unless they change their mind soon thanks to the pressure some elected officials are placing behind the scenes, the public comment period ends on April 1st.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

April 1st! That’s only six days from now!

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

image shows a screenshot of Janette Sadik-Khan calling out Portland for considering a freeway expansion.
City Observatory asked national urban transportation leaders including Janette Sadik-Khan, Robin Chase, and Jennifer Keesmaat (three solid candidates for a Mt Rushmore of badass transportation leaders) what they thought about this project. They all spoke out in opposition to the freeway widening.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

Someone asked: “Can you imagine a future for the Albina Vision that is not dependent on widening the freeway?” “Yes. I can envision a future like that,” Adams replied.

BikePortland.org covered the recent Portland Parks Foundation event about the Albina Vision and how it relates to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

Portland Public Schools officially voted last week to send public comment to ODOT asking for the agency to conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement that addresses the numerous health and safety concerns that the district has about the freeway expansion in the backyard of Harriet Tubman Middle School. PPS Board Members grilled ODOT staff about this project more than any other public agency throughout this entire process. The Oregonian and KATU covered the vote, PPS’ draft memo can be read here, and you can watch the youtube stream of PPS’s questions to ODOT here (our testimony is available here!).

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

Numerous organizations are finalizing their letters and submitting public comment asking for ODOT to conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement, including Oregon Walks

“Rather than spend millions on a project that is detrimental to our pedestrian safety, climate justice, and community building goals, we look forward to collaborating on a future Rose Quarter project that creates an equitable and sustainable Oregon for generations to come.”

…and the City of Portlnad’s Bicycle Advisory Committee:

As a regional multimodal hub, the transportation network in Albina is overdue for investment that reflects the city’s and state’s current transportation planning goals and priorities. This investment should prioritize equity, active transportation, transit, and safety. Instead, the I-5 Rose Quarter project is a freeway expansion, and a failed attempt to patch local connections, bicycling, walking and transit facilities back together afterward

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

“The best analogy for car traffic is that car traffic is a gas. You let it go and it expands to fill the space available…We are getting at a systemic question that if Oregon has a chance of meeting our carbon goals we have to divest from fossil fuel infrastructure like freeways…There are meaningful, equitable and just ways to do this that don’t give our kids asthma, that don’t screw over working-class folks, that reduce traffic fatalities, that de-carbonize.”

We somehow got to use the phrase “screw over” in a newspaper of record, Clark County’s The Columbianand our story was on the front page right below an unrelated difference story about questionable government negligence and incompetence disguised with a misleading headline.

Want to stop this freeway? We need to get you on the record in the next week. Submit Public Comment in Opposition to the Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion TODAY or by April 1st. 

“These calculations suggest that traffic congestion between Portland and Vancouver is materially affected by tax avoidance. Short of changing one or both of the two state’s tax structures it may be difficult to remove this incentive. But there is another way. Congestion pricing, particularly variable peak hour tolls, could prompt sales tax conscious shoppers to make their Oregon trips at off-peak times. Off-peak shoppers could continue to get their Oregon tax break and also avoid paying a high toll for peak hour travel. The result would be better traffic flow during peak hours for those who had less flexibility in arranging their travel schedules.”

Speaking of Clark County, City Observatory published a great piece highlighting how much of our recurring traffic congestion on I-5 is due to Oregon’s lack of a sales tax (and lack of congestion pricing.) City Observatory has also written about how the RQ Freeway Expansion is wide enough for ODOT to stripe the freeway even *wider* than they are proposing, how the renderings of the drawing are disingenuous, and how this expansion is unlikely to improve traffic safety in the corridor. We’re indebted to City Observatory for their ongoing reporting and independent research on this freeway project – Joe Cortright also published a succinct op-ed in The Portland Tribune.

image directs people to website to submit public testimony
In case you somehow missed our subtle reminders, the public comment period is a big-freakin-deal for the success of our campaign, and if you have strong feelings about this freeway whatsoever, there’s no better time than today to formally voice your concerns about this project. So go do it.

We’ve made it easy for you – we have a form on our website from which you can submit testimony, and a list of popular/easy talking points. It’s most helpful if you tell your own personal story – why are *you* worried about the air pollution in the neighborhood? Are you a parent concerned about climate change? Do you walk on 82nd avenue frequently, and wish ODOT would get around to fixing that instead of dumping $500 million into a freeway expansion? Are you just plain bonkers for induced demand?

If you’ve already submitted public comment, thank you! Can you post this on social media (our hashtag is #NOI5RQX), bug your roommate or spouse or friends to check us out, or forward our email? Word of mouth and community-to-community organizing is more effective than any paid ads we can provide.

Thank you so much for the outpouring of support. We’re in the final stretch – let’s go big and do this thang.

(and please, send in public comment).

Overwhelming turnout for the good guys at ODOT hearing

Top 10 highlights from Tuesday’s Hearing

  1. photo shows crowd at public hearingNumerous students from Harriet Tubman Middle School testifying in opposition to ODOT’s plans for freeway expansion, testifying at a public hearing for the first time
  2. Paul Rippey providing a reprise of his “Induced Demand” jingle, and getting the crowd to sing along
  3. Jillian Detweiler of the Street Trust testified, stating their constructive opposition to the project as it currently is due to climate implications, desire to see the Albina Vision implemented, and inadequate bike improvements
  4. Rithy Khut from the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, stating the BAC would be either recommending a “No Build” alternative or asking for the agency to move forward with an Environmental Impact Statement
  5. Grant Sawyer, veteran of Portland’s freeway fights in the seventies who helped kill the Mt Hood Freeway, reminding us all about the political leadership back in the day
  6. RJ Sheperd using his testimony to ask for a moment of silence for the sixteen year old hit and nearly killed by an automobile while crossing the ODOT-owned arterial, 82nd Avenue.
  7. Bryan Chu, Harriet Tubman Middle School teacher, passionately making the case for his students, and noting that ODOT was failing a generation of young students of color
  8. Eliot Neighborhood Association Member Allan Rudwick asking “y’all are calling this an Environmental Justice project? I mean, c’mon” with the whole room laughing in tacit acknowledgement
  9. Tori Cole, with Neighbors for Clean Air, who testified in opposition specifically noting how children are particularly susceptible to air pollution from automobiles
  10. The numerous explicit references to this project’s climate impacts, and significance of investment in fossil fuel infrastructure when 40% of our state’s carbon emissions come from transportation(and one final bonus):
  11. All y’all showed up. Depending on the news source you trust, somewhere between 100-200 people were at the hearing on Tuesday, and the overwhelming majority of people were in opposition to this project. From our graphic designers to our neighborhood parents, our engaged teachers to our traffic planners, our sign-wavers and our climate advocates – we couldn’t have done it without you.

We ain’t done yet, but this Tuesday’s hearing felt like an important moment for our campaign. We’re going to need your help through the final two weeks, but let’s just acknowledge: we took over that meeting. Sincere gratitude to you all – what an excellent accomplishment representing all that we’ve worked on for over 18 months of organizing.

📰 Media Coverage 📰

(Pretty cool how all of the headlines are accurately calling this a freeway expansion and not an “improvement project”)

If we have any backbone,” said Katy Wolf, chair of the Boise Neighborhood Association, “we should be telling ODOT to be putting a hard pause on [the project] while we wait for congestion pricing to take effect.”

Opponents Dominate Hearing On Portland Rose Quarter I-5 Expansion Project – Oregon Public Broadcasting

Bryan Chu, an eighth-grade language arts teacher at Tubman Middle School, said it’s unclear if the school would be shuttered during construction or what the project might mean for the majority students of color who attend it. Chu said he can only assume there is no plan for Tubman. “We have always been made to pay the price for Portland’s progress,” he said, before adding, “Black lives matter, black students matter, black schools matter, black lung matters.

Rose Quarter freeway critics dominate meeting, then Chloe Eudaly throws curveball – The Oregonian

“Student Sadie Herout said, “It’s not just going to be affecting me, it’s going to be affecting a lot of people.” Manson and Herout – students at Harriet Tubman Middle School – are now concerned about an ODOT project so close by. “The air quality is very bad at our school. To add more trucks and automobiles would increase toxic particulates in the air,” said Herout.”

Portlanders voice opinions on I-5 Rose Quarter expansion project – KPTV

“At least a hundred concerned citizens gathered at the Oregon Convention Center on Tuesday evening to give the Oregon Department of Transportation their opinions on expanding Interstate five through the Rose Quarter.

Most did not like the idea.

ODOT gets earful from community over I-5 downtown expansion plans – KGW

“Freeway expansion is climate denialism. Forty percent of Oregon’s carbon emission comes from transportation, and spending half a billion dollars on new freeway when we have 11 years to solve climate change is intergenerational theft,” Aaron Brown with No More Freeways Coalition said.”

ODOT holds meeting to discuss I-5 expansion project, community members rally against – KPTV

“Iannarone also lamented how it seems we, as Portlanders, have “Lost our way” when it comes to leadership on transportation. Then, like many other people throughout the night, she appealed directly to Commissioner Eudaly. “I know that you have courage. I know you have vision. We will have your back if you stand with us on this.” “And to ODOT,” Iannarone concluded, “It’s just not going to happen. We’ll lie down on that highway before you ever build this.””

ODOT’s I-5 widening project weathers severe opposition at first public hearing – BikePortland.org

“That opposition had a big presence at Tuesday’s three-hour meeting—the only hearing that will be held during ODOT’s public comment period, which ends April 1. People largely framed their opposition through a moral lens, insisting that investing in freeway expansion could contribute to global warming and negatively impact the surrounding neighborhood…

The choice, from Brown’s view, is clear—on both a logistical and moral level. “We’re out of time,” he said. “I understand there are political realities; there are also physical realities. There is only so much carbon we can put into our atmosphere.

Rose Quarter I-5 Expansion is a Moral Issue for Opponents – Portland Mercury

(…and while we’re at it, three other great links from this week!)

“A wider freeway will induce more traffic and pollution (and ironically, worsen traffic congestion), runs directly counter to the city and state’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, does nothing to improve safety, especially for those walking or biking, and disproportionately benefits higher income commuters from outside the city, while imposing social and environmental costs primarily on lower income households and people of color,” Cortright wrote on his City Observatory blog.

screenshot of twitter, where #NOI5RQX was trending on TuesdayPortland economist calls Rose Quarter freeway project ‘tragic error’The Oregonian

“Hardesty said she opposes the plan to spend around $500 million improving the area where Interstate 5 and Interstate 84 merge in the Rose Quarter. She believes the money would be better spent on alternative transportation projects, including bike and pedestrian paths.”

Hardesty charts ambitious course: ‘I’ve been very busy’ – Portland Tribune
“Myself and other parents from Tubman–especially the other members’ parents of the PTSA–we definitely think it’s a bad idea for them to expand a freeway, pretty much behind or close to the school Tubman. I definitely believe that the air quality wouldn’t be good for our kids as we’re already experiencing bad air there,” Tadimika Edwards, president of the Tubman Middle School Parent Teacher Student Association

Not On Board: Groups align against I-5 expansion – Portland Observer

#NOI5RQX
The hashtag for our event (thanks, Sarah Iannarone, for coining it!) trended on twitter during the public hearing.

Data Delivered

picture is a screenshot of an excel chart with numbers

26 days after ODOT released their incomplete version of the Environmental Assessment, and after sustained pressure from our organization, the agency finally released the numerous technical charts and data sets that should have been included in the EA in the first place. Despite the 100 pages of flowery images and greened-up renderings, the EA released in February was missing the actual quantitative data that demonstrates ODOT’s ability to accurately assess the impact this project would have on traffic congestion, carbon emissions or air pollution.

Our coalition is eagerly looking through the data sets and determining if we have all of the data necessary to complete our independent analysis, and will conduct what analysis we can in the 18 days remaining in the Public Comment period. Stay tuned. 

Missing the hearing? Don’t fret – submit public comment and help spread the word:

Image shows the NMF logo and text asking folks to submit comment to the public testimony
Our favorite comment submitted this week comes from Microcosm Publishing, a small business in the Eliot Neighborhood near the Freeway Expansion:I am a retail business owner in the Eliot neighborhood with an on-site staff of 12, at least eight of whom at any given time commute daily by bicycle, transit, and walking across the area affected by the proposed I-5 expansion project. Of these, several also suffer from severe asthma. Part of our business is open to the public, and the majority of our customers arrive without cars. We all suffer the deleterious effects of proximity to I-5.The impact of the proposed Rose Quarter project, including both the construction and the existence of the finished project will result in decreased transportation options and an increase in traffic as well as air and noise pollution that is all already well above tolerable levels. 

Want to submit your own comment? We need you on the record!
Check out our website where we’ve got tips on what to say to have the most impact.

We spent about $300 making Tuesday happen.

Can you help us cover our expenses?photo caption asks for donations to campaign

Our community driven campaign is a labor of love, and every dollar you can spare is a dollar we can spend turning out public comment during these final two weeks. Thanks to all of you who have given already, and thanks to those of you who have given your time, energy and support. Tuesday’s event was possible because of people like yourself, and we’re hoping to pull a few more tricks from our sleeve in these final few weeks. Donations are tax deductible!

Rally and Hearing on Tuesday at Oregon Convention Center!

map of the oregon convention center, with Room 109 highlighted.Tuesday’s the big day! We’re having a short rally at 4:00 at the Oregon Convention Center before lining up to sign the testimony sheet which ODOT will put out at 4:30. We’re still putting together our last-minute plans for the event – be sure to check out our facebook event page/twitter for all the latest information. We understand it’s a work day, and we hope you’ll join us whenever you can! ODOT is removing the sign-up sheet at 6:00pm, so if you plan to testify you need to be at the hearing before then. We’ll have fliers, stickers, new buttons, magnets, copies of Sarah Mirk’s new zine about us, information on how to testify, and posters to distribute. The legendary Paul Rippey is rumored to be making an appearance!

If you can’t make the event, we’ll post the link to a livestream video of the hearing on social media if ODOT provides one.

Thanks to all who came to Wonk Night!
Photo shows people talking at bikeportland.org's "wonk night" event last Wednesday.

(Photo Credit Jonathan Maus)

Thanks to BikePortland, The Street Trust, Lancaster Engineering for hosting the “Wonk Night” last week, and thanks to the dozens of individuals who attended! We’re thrilled to see so many people showing up to dig into the technical details of the Environmental Assessment document that ODOT has provided and point out some of the critical flaws about the proposed designs. Check BikePortland.org for a recap of the findings from the community review of the document.

Outstanding Turnout at ODOT’s Open House

Thanks to all the community members who turned out for ODOT’s Open House! Our campaign got a little time to make our case on KATU, with reporter Lincoln Graves noting “we couldn’t find anyone in attendance willing to speak on the record in support of the project.” We’re a little bummed to see that the news station somehow managed to spend two minutes talking about a freeway widening and not mention climate change once in the entire news brief, but hey, we’ll do our best to hammer the issue home at the public hearing on Tuesday.

No response from ODOT:
Where’s the data?

photo shows image from infamous "Where's the Beef" commercial but with "HEY ODOT WHERES THE DATA" superimposed over it

Last Monday, we sent a letter to ODOT asking for access to numerous data sets that were not included in the Environmental Assessment. The main document that ODOT is using to base their traffic projections (and therefore, the assessments on how this project would impact carbon emissions and air pollution) is missing *numerous* data sets, figures, appendices and riddled with inconsistencies. We are currently 22 days into a 45 day public comment period, and community members have not been given any opportunity to meaningfully independently assess ODOT’s (very dubious) claims.  Meanwhile, while the Environmental Assessment is missing all those facts and figures, Joe Cortright at City Observatory wrote at length about what *is* in the document:“When it comes to the proposed half billion dollar I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway widening project, the Environmental Assessment is less of an honest and objective disclosure, and much more a carefully edited and thinly veiled sales brochure.  The hucksterism starts with the name of the project, proceeds through its “communication plan,” and is executed in technical documents that have been carefully edited to remove the most salient information.”

Read more here.

Have you submitted your public comment yet? 

We can’t emphasize enough: we need you to submit your written opposition to this project on the record before April 1st. We’ve got a full guide on our website about what to write and what sort of testimony is most helpful – share it with your friends, colleagues, roommates, and anyone else who cares about the future of our community. Our favorite so far includes this written description submitted at Thursday’s Open House:

Media Round-Up!

His takeaway: “What the freeway expansion clearly does…is repeat the historical injustice done by freeway construction in the first place: subsidizing travel for higher-income persons who live outside the neighborhood, while doing essentially nothing to better meet the needs of lower-income persons who live in and near the project’s location.”
– Willamette Week covered Joe Cortright’s research showing the massive demographic discrepancies between who drives on the freeway and who breathes the polluted air nearby.
A plan to widen Interstate 5 in the Rose Quarter could produce thousands more tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, according to a local think tank. If enacted, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Rose Quarter Improvement Plan will add two additional lanes to I-5 in the Rose Quarter area, equaling about 1.6 miles of new freeway lanes. According to analysis by Portland city planning think tank City Observatory, that could lead to 17.5 million additional vehicle miles—that is, the amount of miles driven by cars in a particular area—each year.
– Published in the Portland Mercurylast week.
“There’s not a single city anywhere in North America that has ever solved traffic congestion through freeway expansion.”
– Aaron Brown, on KATU News on March 7thSightline Institute updated and republished their FAQs about the project.“After sitting in traffic for over an hour on my way back to Portland from my job substitute teaching in Hillsboro, I’m almost tempted to believe Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan to invest $450 million in a 1.8-mile lane highway expansion sounds like a good idea. Luckily, I spent the day teaching students about the importance of research and data and how our notions of common sense are not always rooted in reality. Highway expansion, it turns out, is one of those instances.”
– A fantastic letter to the editor published in The Oregonianfrom Susie Kassouf in Southeast PortlandWe were on XRAY in the Morning on Thursday, March 7th, and we’ll be on the Heather McCoy show on KBOO at 10am on March 14th (apologies for those who tuned in last week – KBOO double-booked themselves!).

We celebrate #InternationalWomensDay by highlighting the work of Connie McCready and Marjie Lundell, who successfully fought freeway expansion in Northwest Portland in the 1970s, published in BikePortland in 2016.

New swag! Same fundraising ask!

Image shows a historic photograph of Union Station from the early 1930s

The public comment period closes April 1. That’s three weeks from today! That’s all the time we have left to get comments from every community members, letters from nonprofit advocacy organizations, statements from elected officials, academic documents highlighting air quality/climate/transportation research, and technical analysis of ODOT’s dubious claims into the. Every dollar you donate from here on out helps us put out posters, promote our campaign online, and solicit every possible word we can get on the record.

We’re excited for this public comment period to end and for the chance to mail y’all all the buttons, magnets, and copies of Sarah Mirk’s zine on our campaign that you could possibly want.

Thanks for your help on this final push!

Latest Dispatches from Portland’s Freeway Fight

SUBMIT PUBLIC COMMENT BEFORE APRIL 1

Image includes a No More Freeways Logo and the text "Action Alert" directing readers to submit public comment.

We’ve solicited nearly 200 comments in the last week. Thanks to our pals at 350 PDX, Oregon Walks and the Community Cycling Center for sharing information about our campaign. You can click on the big button above or on this link here to submit comments online. We’ve provided a script and some talking points, but honestly, write from the heart about your own reasons to oppose this project – that’s as good a testimony as any we could ask for.

EVENTS COMING UP

Wednesday, March 6 – BikePortland.org Wonk Night Want to get deep into the weeds and look over some of the specific nerdy details of the project? BikePortland.org is hosting a Wonk Night to look over the specific details of the Environmental Assessment. Event starts at 6:00pm at Lancaster Engineering.

Thursday, March 7 – ODOT’s Open House. Starts at 6:00pm at the Leftbank Annex Building. We’ll be there to hand out information about our campaign and encourage folks to testify in opposition to the project. Join us!

Tuesday, March 12 – Public Comment Hearing Join us at 4:00 at the Oregon Convention Center for our press conference. We’ll be signing folks up to testify at 4:30, and the public hearing itself begins at 5. This will be the big, can’t-miss advocacy event of the month; hope to see you there! RSVP and invite your friends to join you on facebook. Spread the word!

DATA REQUEST!

For the past two weeks, our wonderful campaign volunteers have been pouring over the data provided by ODOT in the Environmental Assessment. We were hoping to look at the arithmetic that went into ODOT’s traffic modeling – unfortunately, numerous appendices and data figures that are crucial for us to independently verify these claims have not yet been available despite the EA being published two weeks ago. We wrote a letter this week asking ODOT to please provide with us a handful of specific data sets, appendices, and clarifications on their projections. Stay tuned!

 

Press Coverage of our campaign!

Photo shows a screenshot of KATU's interview with NMF's Aaron Brown
“We’ve got 11 years to stop climate change, and if we’re making investments in intergenerational infrastructure, how can half-a-billion dollars be spent on freeway widening?” 
– We were thrilled to see Henry Grabar provide some national coverage with an article published in Slate.com (it was also picked up in CityLab).“This is like building a blockbuster video when everyone’s getting around to watching Netflix. We need to be moving forward with 21st century solutions to climate change air quality and mobility.”

– We spoke to reporters at KATU News at the Flint Avenue Bridge.

“The levels [of pollutants] are pretty high,” said Boz Eppley, the parent of a seventh grader at Harriet Tubman. “I’m not comfortable with them. My dad died from cancer that was caused directly by benzene [one of the pollutants mentioned in the PSU study], and it is just a terrible, terrible way to die. To think that one of these kids might be dealing with that in eight to ten years is really scary.”

– The Portland Mercury had a great piece on the impacts to Harriet Tubman Middle School, pointing out the concern that Tubman parents felt about the air pollution already on the campus.“A coalition of nearly three dozen Portland neighborhood groups, nonprofits, business and environmental justice advocates denounced a report released last week asserting the proposed Rose Quarter freeway project would reduce travel times, air pollution and carbon emissions.

The No More Freeway Expansions Coalition on Tuesday said the report’s findings are dubious in claiming that carbon emissions would be reduced if the more than $500 million project on Interstate 5 in the Rose Quarter moves forward.”

– The Oregonian covered our response to ODOT’s disingenuous Environmental Assessment statements.

“Widening I-5 in Portland apparently made traffic congestion worse”

– City Observatory wrote about how ODOT widened a stretch of I-5 less than a decade ago, promising it would reduce crashes and improve travel times. Guess what? It didn’t do either of those things, and the project came in wildly over budget.

📻 We’ll be on XRAY.fm at 8:30 on Thursday, March 6th and on the Heather McCoy show on KBOO.fm at 10:00 later that morning. Tune in! 📻

So Many Small Donations, One Big Freeway to Stop

photo shows one of our "more jane jacobs, less robert moses" buttonsThanks to the dozens of you who have donated anywhere between $10 to $150 over the past few months. Every donation goes directly towards our propoganda funds. We’ve got some big plans for the public hearing on March 12 and each small donor gets us a little bit closer to covering our costs for all the stickers, posters, signs, and campaign rabblerousing we’re undertaking.Donations are tax-deductible, and we’ll mail you a nice card and some buttons after this whole EA process is over. We’re thrilled to have you on our side.