Letter to Readers
The season of giving thanks and taking stock is upon us. With the depressed (and depressing) voter turnout of the midterm election behind us, we choose to find the bright spot instead of wallowing in the dread of intensified partisan gridlock. In Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota — not exactly blue states – voters stood up for workers and approved ballot measures to increase the minimum wage. But how can low wage workers move into the middle class? We have to make sure they can actually get to where the good jobs are. This month we look at recent studies that provide more evidence that meaningful transit accessibility is a crucial part of a comprehensive economic development strategy. So too is transparency. We look at a proposed accounting rule that would require government agencies to disclose details about the subsidies they give to developers and corporations in the ever more competitive game of business attraction and retention. But first we focus on Panama, a dynamic nation with newly elected leaders who want to leverage rail transit investments for better housing and economic outcomes for low and middle income people. So of course they came to California to get ideas. We’ll tell you what they saw and why Panama is a place to watch. Onward to pumpkin pie!
Cecilia V. Estolano | Jennifer LeSar | Katherine A. Perez-Estolano