Californians For High Speed Rail Launches Statewide Organizing Effort

Brings Together Pro-HSR Californians to Give Voice and Support for
California’s High Speed Rail System

San Francisco, Calif., January 20, 2010 – In response to growing demand from California residents for a statewide grassroots group focused solely on supporting the California High Speed Rail (HSR) project approved by voters in November 2008, Californians For High Speed Rail (CA4HSR) today announced it is launching a statewide effort to bring together individual supporters of the HSR project to provide a stronger and louder collective voice in support of HSR.

“As HSR project planning ramps up across the state, there is no better time than now to bring together HSR supporters,” said Brian Stanke, Executive Director, Californians For High Speed Rail. “We are asking all who support HSR to join CA4HSR today. Together, we can better advocate for the successful construction of a HSR system that is profitable, sustainable and passenger-friendly.”

Founded in 2005, Californians For High Speed Rail has actively lobbied for HSR to lawmakers and other grassroots and public interest groups. With this statewide campaign, CA4HSR expands our focus to rally the majority of Californians who support high speed rail to join Californians For High Speed Rail so we can more effectively express our desire for a transportation option that will reduce passenger commute times, create jobs, relieve freeway congestion and green the environment.

Our priorities for pushing high speed rail forward will focus on:

1) Building Grassroots Advocacy: Through social media tools, our action alerts, letter writing campaigns to legislators, pledge campaigns, local advocacy teams and public events, CA4HSR strives to expand broad grassroots support for HSR. Our advocacy priorities include:

  • Petition to “Keep Fighting for HSR”: CA4HSR is collecting signatures from pro-HSR Californians to deliver a “keep fighting for HSR” letter to the State Senate Transportation Committee here: http://www.ca4hsr.org/advocacy/sign-the-hsr-needs-your-help-letter/. Even though the HSR bill passed by a clear margin, opposition voices have organized to oppose the HSR project. CA4HSR is rallying all supporters to ask our politicians to ensure HSR gets built.
  • Campaign for Federal Funding for California: We are also planning a letter-writing campaign and asking our members to join us in advocating for sufficient federal funding for HSR and for California’s HSR project. Some in congress are calling for a delay in the passage of the next six-year federal transportation bill, which may include $50 billion in funding for HSR. We are seeking grassroots and institutional support to communicate the importance of passing the new Federal transportation bill in 2010.
  • Local Advocacy Teams: CA4HSR is also actively recruiting members to join our local advocacy teams to be our local representatives in their hometowns. Local advocacy team members monitor local issues currently being studied by the California HSR Authority, attend public meetings, advocate for passenger-friendly construction of HSR, and help shape CA4HSR’s policy in the region. We are currently recruiting for all of California’s 10 sections of the proposed HSR system.

2) Building Political Support: Through direct outreach to legislators, government agencies, and partners such as synergistic non-profits, pro-HSR interest groups and companies, CA4HSR strives to bring together stakeholders at all levels of government and civic involvement to support HSR in California. We make frequent trips to Sacramento, conduct media outreach and participate and contribute to the public discourse surrounding HSR. In addition, we provide constructive feedback and suggestions to the California High Speed Rail Authority’s on the planning and building of various sections of the state’s high speed system.

3) Membership/Donation Drive: CA4HSR is a grassroots organization with a clear mission. We have important work ahead of us and seek your support. We are actively recruiting like-minded partners, members and donors to join our team, join a campaign, make a donation and make high speed rail happen in California! To join or learn more about CA4HSR, go to www.ca4hsr.org

About Californians For High Speed Rail
Californians For High Speed Rail (CA4HSR) is a grassroots, statewide coalition of high speed rail supporters advocating for the high speed rail project approved by California voters in November 2008. Founded in 2005, we exist to educate, inform, and organize Californians about ways they can help make high speed rail a reality in the Golden State. Additionally, CA4HSR also encourages sustainable development of the high speed rail (HSR) system, promotes the building of HSR stations in city centers, transit-oriented developments, as well as developing/improving feeder transit systems. Visit us at: www.ca4hsr.org

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