A majority of Portland-area voters have declined Measure 26-218, the proposed regional transportation measure known as "Get Moving 2020".
Referred to voters by the Metro Council after two years of engagement with community members and leaders around the region, the Get Moving 2020 measure would have funded more than 150 safety, transit, bridge and roadway projects in major corridors and communities across Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. The measure also would have created funding for youth bus/MAX passes, bus electrification and safe routes to school programs, among other safety, affordability and transit access programs.
In a statement, Metro Council President Lynn Peterson praised the community-based coalition that helped create the measure, and reiterated an ongoing commitment to address the needs highlighted through the process.
"As votes continue to be counted across the country, the results in many local races, including the Metro transportation measure, are more clear.
"This was an unprecedented election. There were many things on the ballot and a lot of things on people's minds. I want to thank voters for considering this measure. Though disappointed, we are still committed to the vision and to the community who helped identify and build the vision. The fact is, our communities -- particularly communities of color and low-income families struggling the most right now -- still need safer streets, better transit and improved access to opportunity. That's what we heard through the years of engagement that informed Get Moving 2020.
"An incredible amount of community work, over the course of years, went into shaping the projects and programs in this measure. This work remains invaluable. We are not giving up on it. We need to move forward as a region. We're going to keep growing. Safe, reliable transportation remains a regional challenge that we must address together – doing nothing is not an option."
Marcus Mundy, executive director of the Coalition of Communities of Color and a member of the Transportation Funding Task Force that helped shape the measure, shared Peterson's resolve:
"Transportation is fundamental to the justice we seek for our communities of color. We were proud to be a part of developing this measure and to work for its passage, alongside dozens of partners who fight for racial justice every day in greater Portland.
"Although disappointed by this outcome in such unprecedented times, we are not deterred. In fact, we are only just getting started. We remain committed to building access to opportunity and prosperity for our Black, brown and Indigenous community members through a safe, reliable and equitable regional transportation system, and we won't stop until we have achieved this vision."
Nathan Stokes, field representative supervisor for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701, who also served on the Transportation Funding Task Force, highlighted the importance of transportation investments to create jobs:
"Transportation investments are a critical source of family-wage jobs and apprenticeship hours for our region. We were proud to stand with our labor partners to support Get Moving 2020 because we know what a difference it would make for thousands of hardworking families in communities across our region.
"Although this was not the outcome we sought, we are committed to continuing to work with community, business and public partners, who recognize the value of transportation investments and the living-wage jobs they create."
Funding for the Get Moving 2020 projects and programs would have come from a tax on area employers with more than 25 employees, with a rate based on these employers' payroll. The tax would have started in 2022 to allow more time for the economy to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.