Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Primary & Alternate Members Only Meeting- in-Person & Zoom
Present: Megan Barajas, Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Rebecca Boydston, Greg Bradbard, Mike Burrows, Mark Cloud, Ken Coate, Kevin Dyerly, Dr. Sam Gibbs, Rebbccah Goldware, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, T. Milford Harrison, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, Lena Kent, Lowell King, Steve Lambert, Mike Layne, Bill Lemann, Darcy McNaboe, Miguel Mendoza, Jacquelyn Mercado, Dr. Anne Miles, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Robert Nava, Bansree Parikh, Cid Pinedo, Catherine Pritchett, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Dan Roberts, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Eric Ustation, Ray Wolfe, and Frank Zabaleta.
Announcements: 1) The Little Hoover Commission will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. on the effects of the California Environmental Quality Act. To register on line go to Http://bit.ly/3ZJ9Mc3. 2) The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Redlands-Riverside will hold their 28th annual Chocolate Fantasy on April 1, 2023. For more information, please contact Michael Wells. 3) The San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District will unveil their new brand and celebrate their commitment to the region. 4) An Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo Conference will be held in Anaheim on May 1-4, and the Expo May 2-4, 2023. For more information, please go to https://www.actexpo.com/ 5) The meeting with the Fresno County Economic Development Council was canceled due to weather. The meeting will be rescheduled as soon as is feasible.
Motion by T. Rice/Second/Passed: Minutes from February 28, 2023.
Kevin Dyerly, Chair thanked staff for their work on the Washington, D.C. trip. Members were asked to discuss their thoughts on what went well and also what we can change or improve.
Members expressed very positive feedback on the Thompson Hotel for the nice facilities, location, and hotel staff.
The group meeting with the GSA was very interesting and insightful. The response from the GSA was genuine but not particularly hopeful. It was good they took a meeting with the group and further contact will be maintained.
The DOT meeting was well attended by many of their staff but they seemed to focus on “sound bites” that are not real solutions to the problems in the Inland Empire. It was disappointing that they do not seem to recognize the supply chain challenges we have in our region but only point to the administration’s focus on active transportation. There is much work ahead of us and we cannot ignore the challenges we are facing. As the lead voice for most of the meeting, Chris Coes, the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy may be a good candidate to invite to the region when either zero emission train is here for testing or ground-breaking event for BrightLine (end of April or end of June). It would be an opportunity to extend a special invitation.
This year we met with our legislators on Wednesday which is also a travel day for the group. It was unfortunate but was based on the Congressional members’ schedules. There were challenges with cancelations and members showing up at virtually the same time rather than individually. Next year we will again try to schedule the Congressional Members to meet with us on Tuesday.
Although not in our district, Congressman Tony Cardenas was very helpful and has a similar district and relates to many of the same issues as our region. He is keen on supporting initiatives that improve the living conditions of under-resourced communities. If we connect our legislative priorities to the relevant impact in his district, he will champion as well.
Many of the Inland Action group had time constraints to get to the airport so the Wednesday afternoon meetings had fewer attendees. The meetings with Congresswoman Julia Brownley, Congressmen Obernolte, Congressman Carbajal and staffers for Congressman Ruiz allowed for more of a conversational tone.
Congresswoman Brownley wants to be supportive and has a good understanding of our transportation issues. She has been an engaged advocate for airport issues and is a friend of Jim Lites.
Congressman Obernolte is very interested in health issues as he sits on that subcommittee.
Staffers for Congressman Ruiz represented him well. It was a good meeting, especially on water issues and the consideration of consolidating some of the smaller water districts.
Inland Action members mentioned disappointment that we were unable to get an appointment with Congressional members Norma Torres and Mark Takano. The group was reminded that all congressional members will be needed to sign on to the new courthouse project.
Appreciation was expressed to Catherine Pritchett for setting up and distributing the “What’s App” for group communication while in D.C.
Committees met into their respective groups to work on Sacramento issues.
Meeting adjourned at 8:03 a.m.