The date of the California High Speed Rail Authority Board Meeting, June 9th, was a special day for our Foothills Communities in our fight against high speed rail. Thank you to everyone who helped plan the day, made the trip, testified, were with us in spirit, donated to help defray various costs, have written letters and watched on various websites.
The turnout from the Foothills area and other affected communities far exceeded our expectations given the meeting was held in downtown Los Angeles on a work day. Most of us left this area at 7:30 for a meeting that lasted until 4:30 and did not get home until after 6 pm. Over 400 people attended and more than 150 people testified, including at least 50 people from our Foothill communities alone. The meeting room overflowed the entire day. The poise, intelligence, community-spirit, compassion and brilliance displayed by our residents and others throughout the region, demonstrated that unity is the best and only strategy against this “big government” boondoggle and the “transportation zombies” trying to impose their view of the world on our communities.
Two special acknowledgments go out to Julie Tarnawsky, Shadow Hills, who despairingly asked the CHSRA Board “Are you just completely uncaring?” and to Kelly Rose, Lake View Terrace, who gave probably the most difficult presentation of all with her 5-year old daughter standing at her side. Kelly’s words to the CHSRA Board linger, “When you go home, I hope you think of us, because we think of you.”
To many of us, the following things are becoming clear:
- First, our most urgent, short-term strategy is to make sure this project is not studied and/or built above ground in densely populated or sensitive environmental areas.
- Second, it must not be allowed to put any of our water resources or communities at risk during either construction or operations phases.
- Third, it must not damage our natural and cultural resources – the National Monument, National Forest, Rim of the Valley, Big Tujunga Wash, Cesar Chavez Memorial, Bike Paths, Horse Trails and more.
- Fourth, it is going to collapse of its own weight as opposition grows and it will die a slow death in the years ahead.
Everyone who attended and supported our community’s efforts should know that CHSRA Chairman Dan Richard called the downtown meeting the “biggest protest rally” to date and he called it the “high-water mark of all the communities affected.” He’s not seen anything yet; wait until he schedules a meeting in the San Fernando Valley! But first, we must continue to work with our local electeds to host their own community input meeting, one that the high speed rail organization does not control. Only by removing control of the meetings from the High Speed Rail Authority will our electeds, the press and our communities, themselves, witness the true anger and opposition in our communities to high speed rail.
On the Home Page of this website, we have listed the media coverage for anyone who wants to read, view or listen. Here is the link to the video (#2) of the last half of the meeting (First half of meeting can be viewed here.):
CHSRA Board Meeting: Video 2: Palmdale to Burbank Project Section to the CHSRA Board of Directors, June 9, 2015.
- Start of Video – Comments from The Los Angeles Foothill Communities regarding Palmdale to Burbank Project Section
- 2:00:00 – Intro to and Presentation by Regional Director Michelle Boehn to the CHSRA Board of Directors
- 2:30:00 – Mention of the Fuentes, Kuehl, Antonovich Letter to study high priority issues
- 2:31:34 – Chairman Richard mentions Real Estate disclose law
- 2:35:35 – Motion to get studies done in 6 months so to possibly delete non-viable routes (passed).
We urge you to be ready to help out in any way you can as this battle moves forward. Whether it’s volunteer time writing a letter, attending a hearing or donating to either our legal or public education/information fund, your help is needed.