tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 11, 2014 4:30am-6:31am EDT
how much money did jeffrey thompson get from the district of columbia on all the friends that he helped fund for his company? >> the d.c. chartered contract million. $322 >> one-time? >> no, per year. by the and it was up to 322 million dollars. we are talking about a company that he bought in 2000 four $4 million. at that time, the company made about $26 million a year. this is a person who really built the company up. some may believe that it was through corrupt means, but other folks say that he was very savvy, he was very smart. he built this company up. one of the things that i found in reporting my story is that this is basically a circle of money. he would get the money from the
city and then he would give to his charities, to his family and his friends. somehow that money would circle whond to the candidates would approve his contracts. it was very interesting. >> in the article there is a lot of photography. here's a picture of jeffrey thompson. it says like mother and son. who was she. i know she is deceased now. hite was a civil rights icon. dorothy height was a civil rights icon. she was an incredible woman. jeffrey thompson met her when he was a young accountant. she became a client. after he began making money and sawng a lot of money, he
her organization, the national organization of negro women, he saw her organization as a group that he really wanted to help and give to. that thestounding is national council of negro women, the organization had the only black owned building on pennsylvania avenue. jeffrey thompson was instrumental in helping to buy that building. >> you tell the story in their found him. >> the article took a lot of research. i was able to look up lots of c-span recordsly so many events that are yourtant to the public and recorded her memorial service. jeffrey thompson retells that story at her memorial service. >> we're going to run a clip so everyone can see what jeffrey thompson looks like. again, he
has not been charged with anything. has a been a grand jury? there has been a grand jury. i should say what are the reasons we felt so comfortable writing about him is that in many court documents, the documents describe an unnamed, itnvited co-conspirator and is a perfect description of jeffrey thompson. >> did you try to ask him whether he is the one? did you talk to the lawyer? course, i talked to brendan sullivan. mr. sullivan is known for his policy of not talking to the media and not allowing his clients to talk to the media until a case is completed. he sticks with that script. i respected that. >> here's jeffrey thompson at the funeral for dorothy height. >> when it came time to buy the contract on the building, a day
i was it was to be done, at my accounting firm and i received an urgent call from dr. height. she insisted on speaking with me. she said, mr. thompson, you must come now. now. i dropped everything, got in a cab and went to see her. when i walked into her office it was like the wind was out of for sale. a certain gentleman on whose shoulders she climbed to achieve success, and for whom should open many doors before, dared to back away from this commitment. i said mother height, what will you do. we must get this deal completed. she said give me a few minutes to reflect. she said mr. thompson, see what
you can do. -- have you ever met him? >> i have met jeffrey thompson. >> did you talk to him at all about any of this? >> i certainly tried. way before i started researching this article, i actually ran into him. i was leading a social event. there are many social events in d.c.. he was walking in and i said, oh, mr. thompson. i'm nikita stewart. you never return any of my calls. to think we can talk now? i remember he said no. >> how old is he? >> he is 58 years old. he is from jamaica. >> how did he get the united states? >> he moved here with his father and other siblings before he moved here, his mother had come
here. he comes from a very large family. two of his siblings had passed away and she was very upset, according to several of her family members. she just needed to get away. she decided to come to d.c. to stay with relatives and spend the rest of her family followed years later. >> how old was he when he came to the united states? >> he was only 19 years old. education in jamaica, but nothing that would really transfer to the united states, so he had to basically start from scratch here. he earned a ged, and then he went to the university of the district of columbia. >> who was the first person he met in politics -- i don't know if this a fair way to say this -- that paid off for him? >> there are several people he
met along the way. i don't know if i can pinpoint the first person, but he had a relationship with alexis herman who ended up being secretary of labor under president clinton. that was a big connection for him because it opened up a world in the white house. he attended the state dinner for nelson mandela. >> were they dating? >> yes, they were. so he ran in those circles. and then he was very helpful to inegate eleanor holmes are who we all see on stephen colbert. her as oure nonvoting delegate who is always trying to get d.c. the right to vote. but in 1990, when she was first running for that seat, she ran into tax troubles and she turned
to jeffrey thompson for some advice. that is actually outlined in donna brazil's autobiography. it was interesting to see how -- when the story broke two years ago, people were like, who is jeffrey thompson? i have never heard of him. especially a lot of the local mainstream media. i can arrive or seeing his photo ,n a lot of the black weeklies basically documenting his charities. so i knew this jeffrey thompson person. i knew he had city contracts, but i don't think people understood what a behind-the-scenes player he was, starting from years ago, both locally and in the federal government. >> i want to run a 2.5 minute these that we found on the "washington post" website. what is the origin? that is new for the post. >>
yes, it is new. the story used a lot of new trying at that we are the washington post. maybe technology is the wrong word, but basically, if you go to our website and you read my story, it is in a different template than what you will see and theyr stories, were like, let's try this video. it is similar to something that frontline has done. i was came and we did it, and i think it turned out very nice. >> is is the first television you have done? >> no. >> how much television have you done in your past? >> oh, just local television. in 2008 why was assigned -- i was assigned to the inauguration of president obama. so at the time president elect obama. i made a few television appearances then because i was one of the main reporters. pages in aur
newspaper devoted to this on a sunday, july 14. how can people find it that might want to read your whole story? >> go to washington post.com. you can write in jeffrey thompson or you can look for investigations. there's a menu at the top of the page. if you click on that, my story will appear. >> this will recap everything we have talked about. we are going to look at this video. it is about 2.5 minutes. three years ago, the mayor and councilman vincent gray faced each other in one of the elections.tious vincent gray raised only $1.2
million, but he won the public over as an affable and effective chairman. he beat fancy. shortly after he took office in 2011, sulaimon brown, would also run for mayor, told the washington post that he was paid and promised a job in exchange for disparaging fancy during the election. federal investigators soon discovered that much of brown's story was true. they also uncovered an even bigger secret, the shadow campaign. more than $653,000 was spent and never reported on grey's behalf. allegedly, just one man was behind that money, jeffrey thompson. who moved immigrant the united states in the 1970's, went to college and built a small empire. --cofounded accounting firm
which earned $322 million a year in revenues, the largest city contract held by a single vendor. he gave back to the poor. he became known as a top fundraiser for local candidates. but federal investigators allege that donors contributions bundled by thompson actually came from him or his firm. to date, five people have pleaded guilty. one of gray's campaign aides pleaded guilty to destroying evidence that showed payments to sulaimon brown. another aide pleaded guilty for lying to investigators about his payments. associate of both gray and thompson, pleaded guilty to campaign violations and admitted her role in the shadow campaign. two other accounting firms admitted to being involved.
>> small point. where was that actually taped? >> that was taped in the city hall. they call it the wilson building. the wilson building is a beautiful facility. we decided that it would be a for this story. >> how long did it take you to do? >> two hours. >> go back to the mayor. the mayor has been there since 2011. has he been charged with anything? >> he has not been charged, and no evidence has emerged in any court documents saying that the mayor was aware at all of the orments to sulaimon brown
that he had any awareness of the shadow campaign. >> i think i read in your piece that the shadow campaign offices to vincentnext door gray for mayor offices? >> yes. >> have you seen those physically side-by-side yourself? >> go back and explain to somebody that is not involved in this what a shadow campaign is, how it worked, and why jeffrey thompson is in this mix. >> ok. this takes a lot to explain, but i will do my best. basically, you had a campaign that was going on, it was the regular campaign you see. and then you had another set of folks who were in an office right next to the gray campaign. now during the campaign there are so much going on. you had several workers actually complaining, several official workers complaining about the other workers because they felt that they were getting paid more . there was a lot of confusion as to who is paying them, etc. it was not until a year later that folks started putting
federalogether when investigators starting testing questions. they said wait a minute, the folks next door we can't find any record of them in the campaign finance records that we see. so how did those folks get paid, and he was in charge of them? that is how it went back to allegedly jeffrey thompson. >> how did he allegedly raised this money, the 650,000 dollars that was in the shadow campaign? >> it was his, according to court documents that described him, but don't name him. mr. speaker, on this historic day, the house of representatives open this proceedings for the first time to televised coverage. change thisill institution, mr. speaker. but the good will far outweigh the bad.
>> the midst of a terrible tragedy on the potomac. again, we saw the spirit of america's heroism at its finest. lose heraw the woman grip on helicopter line, dived into the water and director to safety. [applause] >> my personal opinion is this. you deliberately stood before an empty house and challenged these people and you challenge their americanism. it is the lowest thing that i have ever seen in my 32 years in congress. >> we are on the brink of an acting an independent bill for the disabled of america. they will henceforth, i think,
look to this day as the day when the president of the united states science is built as the independence day for those who have been disabled. >> the chair would like to ask my distinguished republican colleague if he would take the chair. will the gentleman please take the chair? [applause] >> first, mr. speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to wield the scalpel at least one time and actually sit in the chair. it was something [applause] .
george w. bush of the state of texas has received for president of united states 270 one votes. al gore of the state of tennessee has received 200 66 votes. may god bless our new president and our new vice president, and may god bless the united states of america. [applause] you have supported us with your resources, with your leadership in the world community, and most importantly with the precious lives of your soldiers. [applause] it is now my privilege to present the gavel of united states house of representatives to the first woman speaker in
our history, the gentlelady from california, nancy pelosi. [applause] >> it was dr. martin luther king , for all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. >> racial profiling has to stop, mr. speaker. just because someone wears a hoodie, does not make them a hoodlum. >> on the next "washington journal," we will be joined by ghoian.o
cole ofman tom oklahoma, a member of the appropriations and budget committees, will take your calls about the budget proposals for the next fiscal year. "washington journal" is live on c-span everyday at 7:00 a.m. eastern. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> several live events at tell you about today. the senate armed service committee holds a confirmation hearing for nominees to head the nsa and the transportation command. that is here on c-span at 10:00 a.m.. ofators from whistleblowers the hanford nuclear waste site. later, on c-span three, homeland security secretary jeh johnson testifies about his agency's budget request before a house appropriations subcommittee. as a 4:00 em eastern.
>> up next, part of yesterday's american public transportation association conference, focusing on state and local projects. panelist in this 90 minute discussion are from wisconsin, arizona and washington dc. well, good afternoon. lunch was pretty good. the capital steps were great. welcome to priorities for the next transportation authorization bill. his is a state and local perspective third i am phil washington. i am ceo and general management of the regional transportation district in denver, colorado. i also have the pleasure of serving as a vice chair of the active heirs. i particularly look forward to the discussion today. we have some great leaders that
i will introduce in a minute. each one of them really understands from a local if antistate perspective how critical transportation and iesnsit is to the community that they serve. we're going to focus on the states, counties and cities can strengthen their partnerships with the federal government as we find ourselves nearing the of -- hopefully moving towards a new authorized federal program. we have some great insights on our panel. we have ample time for questions. right now, i will go ahead and introduce our panelists. first, and i will go from my immediate right to the far right, ottoman robert j bauman was first selected to office in 2004 after a long career as an
attorney and businessman. we won't hold the attorney thing against you. advocate foren an improved public transportation planningved land use in milwaukee and southeast wisconsin. he serves on the southeast wisconsin new transportation alliance, the technical advisory committee of the east-west corridor study, the advisory committee of the downtown transit connector study, and as a commissioner on the milwaukee transportation commission. as a member of the milwaukee common council, alderman bauman currently chairs the public transportation review board. he's very active in the national league of cities, serving on the transfer nation infrastructure and steering committee since 2010. in 2014 he was appointed vice chair of that committee. our next panelists, mayor you ewell.
he earned a bachelors degree in accounting from quinnipiac university in hamden connecticut in 1972. he was elected to a three-year term on the alexandria city council in may 1990 four. he was reelected in may of 1997 as vice mayor, and reelected again in may of 2000. ll was elected the city's first african-american mayor. he was really did in 2006, 2009 and 2012. the northern virginia transportation authority and the local emergency planning commission. he is chairman of the northern virginia transportation commission, and president of the virginia transit authority.
steve fawley was elected to the arizona state legislature in 2006. he served as house assistant minority leader from 2011 to 2012. he was elected to the arizona in 2013 where he serves on the senate transportation and finance committee. his focus and legislative priorities have been transfers -- have entranced partition infrastructure, liberal communities, and establishing passenger rail services between tucson and phoenix. senator frawley has been recognized as a legislative hero by the arizona league of cities and towns. they told fellow by the council state of governments. a friend of economic development by the arizona economic development petitioners. senator frawley is an avid lover of the arts and has been recognized by countless organizations for his work in arts and culture. i will say, you have a great ceo
out in phoenix. he paid me to say that right before i came up your. lastly, hans reamer was elected on the montgomery county council in 2010. he represents more than one million residents in a thriving and diverse community. as a councilmember, he has worked vigorously in advocating public transportation is a passport member and president of action committee for transit. hans helped a strong grassroots citizens group work to prioritize funding for public transportation. he served on the transportation infrastructure, energy and environmental committee of the county council, as well as the government operations and fiscal policy committee. he also serves as a council's leed for digital government, a role that he has pushed -- has used to push the county forward in its use of technology, innovation and citizens and
easement. lastly, he was a senior advisor for aarp before joining the county council. he graduated from the university of california santa cruz. so please help me welcome all of our panelists. [applause] the goal of this session is to facilitate real thoughtful dialogue among local and state elected officials as i said earlier. i am going to ask each one of them to give us a three to five on whatpening statement is happening in the area, specifically summarizing these three questions. describe one or two successful transit initiatives in your district or area, or initiatives that are in the planning stage. describe how federal program mandates or guidelines have helped or hindered those local
initiatives and how have federal resources contributed to your local transit initiatives. let's start with the alderman. >> thank you very much, bill. i appreciate being here. good afternoon, everyone. the city of milwaukee is a city of about 600,000 people. it is a count of 900 70,000 people. the metro area is about 1.6 million people. that gives you general context. milwaukee county runs a bust this some -- a bus system which is fairly large in scale, about 450 vehicles. it is in a death spiral for the past 10 to 15 years. it is entirely reliant on state and theg assistance milwaukee county property tax levy. that may surprise some of you. what, they are still relying on the property tax levy?
majorone of the few transit authorities that is not have a funding source. not that there have not been efforts. at the present time, there is probably between no and zero chance of there being a regional transit authority established in the state because as many of you know, wisconsin, from a public transit standpoint am generally, has really entered a dark age with the election of scott. i will say just the way it is. he is an avid transit opponent. some will say it is not true, he's just a conservative guy. later we will get some details. back in 2007 when he was the county executive of milwaukee, basically in charge of the transit system, he made a comment that his goal as county executive, and by extension, presumably as governor, and by extension presumably as president, that his goal is to grow the economy so that those dependent on transit can all afford to have cars.
and i have that with me in case you doubt that. i have extra copies in case you would like them to pass back to your folks in your various communities. this is serious stuff. seldom do you get elected officials seeking higher office to be that candid, but that is the fact. we really have been going backwards on major heist beat real grant. returned to the federal government. $810 million. -- whatever project it is, streetcars, local rail, light rail, the state is active in its opposition. they have a real problem with anything having to do with rail. they generally have a problem with public transit as well. they can't quite pull the trigger and figure out how to get rid of it entirely. so they have grudgingly supported it. operating systems have declined over the last several budget
cycles. in the city of milwaukee in particular, we do have a streetcar project that is basically a very small project, three point six mile route. we have federal funds and local funds to build the initial two-mile segment. again, the state of wisconsin has done literally everything in their power to stop it. they have no direct financial involvement, so instead they changed 100 years of state law and state practice, the relationship between utilities and standard utilities. if a public works project was coming through community and required utility lines removed. that was a practice for a hundred years in state of wisconsin in the city of milwaukee. all of a sudden, that is not fair and reasonable to the suburban rate pairs of the electric company. once the legislature got the law amended. no city of milwaukee has to pay for utility relocation. we have to pay for relocation. i think i will conclude there in
terms of opening comments. i hope that gives you a flavor of what we are dealing with in the state of wisconsin in general and in the city of milwaukee and milwaukee metro area in particular. thank you. >> thank you, alderman. very candid remarks. i wasn't expecting that. but we're going to have some fun with this. >> thank you very much. i'm honored to participate on this panel. of --e mayor of the city a historic city of over 100000 and growing. we are one of those cities in this entire region that enjoys many amenities we have, particularly situated here in washington dc, over 5.5 million people. washington and its regional partners have residents who exhibit some of the nation's
highest transit ridership, with 14.1% of the people in the washington region using transit to travel to work very it, i also serve on the washington metropolitan area transit board of directors. i see some of my colleagues in the audience, as well. as such, almost 10 years ago, the city, working closely with the task force, began its review of a transportation plan. in order for the city to continue to prosper it must become a thriving multimodal place links to the rest of the region. the linchpin of the plan was developed by this effort, was the development of three high-capacity transit quarters. the city'slink neighborhoods with each other and with the rest of the region. isd you, we are an area that less than 16 square miles. we are very dense area we are the second densest city of the state of virginia with -- we are the 11th densest city in the entire united states of america. we don't have the land base to
grow and expand, so everything must go up. we must be able to have a direct link and interconnection with the cities and towns around us like the county of arlington, virginia. , andarge county of fairfax in the nation's capital, prince george's county and montgomery county. approvedhas previously as such, over 65% of our capital system transportation dollars focused on roads, bridges and highways. further, this year marks our ,ocal bus system known as -- 30th anniversary. is important to note that our bus system is an integral part to our new mobility plan as well. the revised plan committed to the city building three high-capacity transit quarters, and to that end the city with a
great deal of public input performed a preliminary design. undoubtedly, the most interesting transit project we have undertaken recently has been the construction of the first of those high-capacity corridors, known as crystal city potomac yard transit way. yard was a large railroad switching yard, the largest on the east coast, which became vacant as that railroad functions it held moved elsewhere. it consists of nearly 400 acres. was the subject of extensive planning by both communities. the plans call for 12 million square feet of office and retail development, 1250 hotel rooms, and almost 3000 residential units in both communities. it was decided but the arlington , alexandria, that both communities needed to make a significant investment in transit. instructive alexander's portion
is a bus wrap and dedicated lanes along the route. these lanes will be used exclusively by buses of median route one. the federal government has been very helpful to us in providing funding for the construction of the transit way to such programs cmac. virginia has been very helpful in supplying us with matching grants. probably the most significant and important assistance the federal government gave us was to provide $8.5 million in the first round of tiger funding to construct the transit way. this is part of the original grant developed by the washington area councils of governments. we believe that this grant was awarded for several reasons.
this is part of an inter-jurisdictional project. the project tie together transit development and land development . again, let me pause for a second. we talk about transit and transit oriented development. it is not really done for just getting people out of their cars and using other transportation modes. it is really for economic development purposes. i think that is what people miss when they hear us talking about why we need to do this and why we want to do that. they think we're just investing money. it is all about economic development and generating tax revenue. thirdly, the transit way is providing for a gap in transit services. i can go on and on, but as a close, let me also talk about how we have assembled funds for another project, which is the .ransportation master plan
we have been using a variety of sources. we are doing this with a double aea grant and anticipation of receiving some fta small starts funds for this project. in the past year there's been a major change in the way transportation is funded in the state of virginia. the switch to a model which uses a reduced gas tax to fund transportation needs. since northern virginia has the highest level of congestion in the state, the legislature has provided funds for three taxes to fund transportation in this area beyond the state taxes. a significant portion of those funds will be used to fund regional transportation improvement. our plan is a request of tostantial amounts of funds build the van door and beauregard transit way.
-- the van doren beauregard transit way. -- from the planning to the implementation of a project. we believe strongly in the power of extensive and quality civic engagement in developing transportation solutions. we rely on the active support of our partners at fta, fha and the virginia department of rail and public transportation, as well as the states department of transportation. thank you very much. i was listening to the alderman talk about scott walker and thinking i have a few stories about a state that is run by conservative and anti-transit people. one of them may be that our current senate transportation chair is a major tea party leader. held a hearing
against agenda 21, which if you have read the glenn beck press, you understand it was a series of declarations in rio de janeiro in 1991 that the you and used to spearhead a common his conspiracy to mind american way of life. -- to undermine the american way of life. i heard a lot about that last year. as you might expect, arizona legislature has not been entirely helpful when it comes to moving our state forward in transportation projects. however, i just moonlight as a state senator. my real job is a public artist. and added a way to put photographs unglazed ceramic tile. been doing large projects all over the country since 1997 since doing that. i come at things from a slightly different perspective. leftght hemisphere and my hemisphere.
consequently, i don't think we necessarily need to go to the traditional sources to generate new and innovative transportation projects. we can do a lot of these things ourselves. there's a tremendous amount of entrepreneurial spirit out there in the public. well beforebecause i was in politics, i headed up one of those entrepreneurial inlsprings in tucson, where 2001 i was the first person to start talking about a tucson streetcar. i have five people with me at that time and folks in the audience were throwing tomatoes. as he moved along, we gathered steam. i had not acted in any public capacity and in of these things. i did have people understand that what real transit could do for tucson, even a sprawling western american city, would be transformative and absolutely necessary to not to survive and thrive in the 21st century. down, as a say at the
university of arizona wildcats, and we gathered together more people. agentt around and had an overhead projector with a flat-panel lcd screen. we gave a presentation about the benefits of transit for everybody, for quality-of-life, for quality-of-life, for better transit. our system has improved over the years. our son transit that had not been invested in since 1990 was going downhill. there was a city road tax that would have stopped transit further in 2002. the same time, circulating an alternative vision of a truly multi modal transportation plan for the tucson area. we got 18,000 signatures on the one by standing out in front of the video store in town. basically, budget right back activists who do nothing about what we're doing. we got on the ballot in 2003. it had light rail, street
maintenance, and more. because we didn't know what we were doing, and homebuilders and car dealers were afraid of us and have a lot of money, they threw that money against us and we got defeated 60-40. we could have left it there. but we did not. the next day, after we got defeated, i got on my bike and rode over to the homebuilders office. i said look, we're going to keep beating each other up until we figure out what we have in common and get together and get it done. for previous plans up to that point had gone down. they had all broken down to armed camps throwing things at each other. we could not do that anymore. it was clear to me. the ceo agreed with me. that investment into the structure to our future. and a lot ofer
other people who were former rivals worked together across boundaries and we came up with a consensus plan with citizen input for the entire region called the regional transportation authority. in may 2006 for the first time in 30 years, we actually got a 60-40 yes vote on a transportation plan tax which included 89 million dollars for the tucson modern streetcar projects. some of the people agree to put that in the plan were doing it on the assumption that we would never get that money from the fed. we had a great deal of help from our congressional delegation, particularly congresswoman giffords. queue, and once the president came into place and started the tiger grant, we got the largest single tiger grant the first year, $63 million from d.o.t.. i am internally grateful for that -- i am eternally grateful for that. [applause] they recognized how much we had grown that community support,
that grassroots effort. this came from us. it was not just some agencies idea. it was a community saying we can change ourselves and we can do it now. we got the money, we put into place, we are going to open july 25 of this year you are all invited. it is going to be an amazing party. we have artie generated more than $1 billion in development within three blocks of a four not beene. if you've to downtown tucson in the last two years, it will blow your mind. it is incredible when you see the activity every day of every hour of the day or night. thele of all ages down on street. trust, clubs, retail activities. we have 2500 and are units of housing that of gone on in that corridor. it has completely transformed who we are as a city and how we are going to grow in this century. artie talking about expenses to do that. we're looking at funding it locally. we all know that there are some serious doubts about whether or
not we will be able to get the kind of federal funding we have had in the past. last, we will be able to do it faster and cheaper if we do it ourselves. while we can't depend on what the federal government is going to give to us anymore, we can certainly act with the entrepreneurialism and the vision and the pragmatism that we have ourselves in our local communities to get things done that we know need to be done and don't have to depend on somebody and easy to get the money to us. the more we can allow the reauthorization to plug into that local entrepreneurialism, the better off we're going to be. that is what this entry is about, getting innovative and trusting the people we serve. then we are going to do great things like the tucson streetcar. hope to see you there in july. >> thank you, appreciate it. am one hans reamer and i of the members of the montgomery council. we're members of the outfield here. we are very well served by
public transportation. we are fortunate to have the washington metro transit authority. two branches of the red line coming into montgomery county. course state funding is critically important to our county. a fantastic bus system called ride on. we are breaking ground in all kinds of ways that i'm excited to talk to you about today. say, you can't avoid these big questions about why people are for transit or against transit. public transportation is like public education. it is like universal health care. it is a core public service that our government is here to do. it helps make this country and our community a better place to live for everyone. there is an essential element of social justice that is at the
core public transportation. we like it for environmental reasons. we like it for economic development reasons. it is kind of a nerdy thing to get excited about, but public transportation is also about social justice. i think that is not often sufficiently perceived. it is not sufficiently defended by people who otherwise care about social justice issues. great --ay i met a .ore money in the future elected officials can't complain too much. we are overjoyed to get the decisions in the obama budget. that is too significant rail systems in maryland. for theing designated short list of seven. if anyone is here from the fta, i will gladly carry your bags up stairs on your way out the door today. we love you. is calledse projects
a purple line. it is a fantastic light rail system about 14 miles, 22 stops, my entryway to local politics was around the purple line. when i first moved to silver spring maryland, i tended the local civic association meeting and i found out there's this thing called the purple line that was coming down the street a block from my house. everyone in my neighborhood was opposed to it. a few weeks later i got a phone call from an activist who said he was advocating for the purple line. could we talk about it. they called me out of the blue and i got involved with this committee for transit. it has really true for grassroots organization. it was activist from that organization that conceived the idea. ago, maybet longer almost 30 years ago now. it trolley from bethesda to silver spring. if you look at the ramada map here in the district, you can see how the system is designed
to get people in and out of the core. one of those connections is the east-west connection between the legs of the red line. that was proposed long ago as a trolley. we bought an abandoned rail yard and rail line. grew overproposal time to become the purple line, which now goes from bethesda all the way to new carrollton, where it connects with amtrak and other lines of the metro. -- afterengineering hundreds of millions spent on engineering, tremendous , we have just been selected for federal funding. we have a few more hurdles at the fund -- at the federal level. private partnership will be the biggest yet. certainly not the first area we are going to do it anyway -- i
don't know if an american system has done this yet which was design build operate and -- design, build, operate and maintain. we hope that will go very well. another project you're working on is called the corridor city transit way, which was planned as a light rail from the end of the red line further up county. torecently reconfigured that propose a bus transit line. we are now working very hard to get the scope of the project to a fundable level. then we are weighing whether to opt out of the federal new starts program or not. we have property owners along the route of this transit way that are voluntarily willing to tax himself to the tune of $150 million in a special taxing district. we are supporting legislation to create that. it would also like to move as quickly as possible. they argue that the federal process can take so long that it is worth it in terms of cost
savings to opt out. we are weighing that very carefully right now. we are fortunate to have a state transportation fund that is now -- that now has funding in it. for this we can partly credit our friends in virginia who acted to raise their street transportation last year. there was not a lot of hope that maryland was going to do the same thing, but then virginia raise their gas tax and maryland letslators felt they could virginia get one up on them. it was a good thing. that enabled us to go to the federal government this year and say we have the money, you show us the money. now the purple line and redline in the region has been designated. tax districts.on i mentioned that in relation to the corridor city transit way. we've also done tax districts, although not stricken for othert, but related in areas of the county. just this morning i recommended
one. partly on virginia models where private property owners get together and do design, build, turnkey operations for infrastructure. the last thing i want to comment on his bike share. bike shares all the rage in many of the cities. of course, i love it. i used to use it a lot when i worked in washington dc. one of the lightbulb moments i had was we were debating how to find it at the monk emery county council level. we conceive of it as a public transportation system. that is fundamentally what it is. when you look at it in that light, it begins to make more sense as part of an integrated public transit network in your jurisdiction that can range from heavy rail and commuter rail to light rail, bus rapid transit, bus service, bike share and pedestrian infrastructure. they all fit together. so looking forward to the discussion and thank you for having me here.
>> i want to pick up on the federal funding piece because mayor and councilman, you talked about unique funding initiatives. avoiding or waving federal funding process, i don't know if that is a good testimony to the federal process or what. talk about those unique funding initiatives. mayor, you talked about private funds, private sector funds. you talked about the potomac yard area talk a little bit about that and then councilman, talk about avoiding the federal funding process and where you got that money, how you funded your project. >> thank you, a very good question. feel very certainly comfortable and positive about the fact that we can go directly
to fta to get the funds as opposed to having to go to the state first and asked the state for the funds. certainly, we also have partnership collaboration to support us as well. our relationship with fta has been very strong and very positive. i think a lot of it is attributed to our congressional delegation that certainly represents -- we thank them for that. there are no changes or suggestions i would make other than i would opt to encourage the federal government fta not to -- as changes are being contemplated, to spend the money -- to send the money's to the states directly. i think the direct relationship between localities and fta is something that must always continue. inare in the process, addition to the bus rapid transit corridor that we are doing today, and again, we used
to assist us there. we are about 50% complete with that process in arlington county. we started a process with arlington at the same time. both jurisdictions are contemplating light rail, streetcar, whatever. we opted to go with the light rail versus a streetcar. arlington just last week wrote the plans for streetcar line. the beauty of it is that our system is being designed so that in the near future with flexibility we can, if we so choose, to have a streetcar. yard also, to make that development 100% successful in terms of all of the full development that is being contemplated, we are making plans for a metro station stop. we have not yet gone to the feds, but we are doing that as
with the tax district business and residents going into this development as well as -- to citiesthe going to go out and borrow money we continuereet as to have conversation with the feds about them providing funding. we are not going to not build this metro station for lack of federal support. we're going to move forward. councilman, forgoing the federal process. >> well, it is a difficult question. i welcome any thoughts from the audience. for singer would say is, the federal process, the federal government, we need to put more money behind this. -200ink it was $225 million $50 million. there's only the possibility of the repayment of federal
government that even makes a consideration. if the federal process breaks down, these projects are not going to move forward. for everybody what works best is more federal funding. what we are contemplating at this time is a very specific thing. lineve a bus rapid transit that we think costs in the range $450 million-$700 million. many advocates in the business need this line to go forward in order to develop. we have staged development to this line. the federal funding process takes so long and is so uncertain that it is more of an advantage to the county to move forward without it, at least under the new starts program,
because of the positive revenues that come from acting now outweigh the loss of federal money's if you get a project seven or eight years sooner than you have made up for what you might have got from the federal process. we have to look at whether maybe the small starts program would be better than the new starts program, but there is some logic to that on a smaller scale, what we would call a smaller scale project in the half-billion dollar range. the federal money is absolutely essential. i don't think states and counties can really go it alone on big stuff, but on smaller projects, you have to wonder. senator, from your opening statements, it sounds as if you are operating in a sea of transit negativity. [laughter] covering -- sounds comforting. >> i'm curious as to how you're
dealing with that and how does the federal government in your opinion look at that third senator, you got a tiger grant. $8.5 million. what is the playback and forth between that sea of negativity and the federal process? i will go with the alderman first. >> believe it or not, are $64 million streetcar project has 85% federal money, unheard of in today's environment. that is why, when i listen to -- if you like a pop warner football player on a podium with the green bay packer's. my colleagues from milwaukee are here, one of whom is a very avid fan. [laughter] i hear about referenda being passed involving local dedicated taxes. i hear about significant investments being made, largely .y local tax jurisdictions
of course maryland and montgomery county, specifically to invest a lot of money on tragic projects -- on transit projects. city had to come up with a grand total of 9.7 million dollars, which is pocket change in the world of the investment. aere was an argument over $9.7 million investment. people wanting to transfer the money for pothole repair, four police officers. transfer the money for extending bus service into the suburbs. so that is the environment we're dealing in, and now we have to deal with the utility relocation costs, somewhere between 8 million and $20 million. the fda has been as good to us
as any city can reasonably expect from the standpoint of having been arguing about this for 21 years with the source of money that is now 54 million and federal funds, an old interstate program. long obsolete, long abolished. they save the money is still laying around? we thought that was on 20 years ago. back in 2000 and 1991, it was $281 million. it has been whittled away, taken back. mr. but there. direct appropriation. 54 million. city of milwaukee. so i have no complaints. takes a long time to shuffle the paperwork and, to environmental impact you can have if you are building on the street? buses are running on streets,
heavy trucks. how many people do you have to shuffle to do a street-based rail system? i understand process and competing needs. fta has beeneen -- professional and tried to move us along as quick as possible but the message has been you have to get your act together. a city that is surprising high density. milwaukee is 14. milwaukee is a very transit -friendly city. every transit has high density neighborhoods and upscale urban neighborhoods. so transit will work there. , ie we get something built suspect the fta will be more supportive. so if you are looking, thank you for your support.
we have directly come here to meet with them. we have met with them in other cities where they happened to be and we happen to be. we generally have nothing but praise. >> i want your comments on the sea of transit negativity, and then failing or being defeated on a tax initiative and then taxing -- passing one. >> as the democrats in arizona, i did not give up easily. when you lookor at the latest national embarrassment, i have to say publicly we are not all like that, especially if you saw the interview with anderson cooper with one of our senators. that is something i said to people way too often in the past few years, we are very welcoming folks and innovative and grateful to come out and visit and move your business there.
problem is we have people in the legislature that is a very low-paying job, high stress. you have to be focused on your own issues and retired. so you end up with folks in the legislature that are not necessarily there because they like transit. generally because the majority has a certain list dogmatic principles they believe in, and the idea of public transit strikes them as the socialist theory. when you are dealing with a case like that you have to make your case. from an economic standpoint and make sure you get the business community involved. when i first put in my initiative to get transit done in tucson, i have not realized yet the business community would be, but once we reached out to the homebuilders thomas car builders were on plan --
onboard paying for the plan. that is the key. now i have homebuilders come to me to say is this what you are talking about? we would have supported that if we had known what you were doing back then. now there is tons of money being made by folks who used to oppose the idea. hitting the economic development facts out there is key. grateful for the tiger grants, huge watershed moment in tucson history. would not have happened if we have not put up with our own $89 million first and committed to it, something no one thought we would do when we were first talking about the issue. you have to be persistent and let stuff that knocks you back knock you down. because we have the spirit about being able to do this ourselves, we do not depend on the fta always being there for us. i think we will be able to do it
ourselves. we know when we look at the figures, we could have gotten the streetcar built in half the time and probably a third of the cost if we had done it the little over money. looking at the extension that would extend it from the initial four mile line for another four miles to connect with the university and the major mall on the north side of town. that strip if we used refurbished light rail vehicles and set a brand-new ones, using certain economies of scale and doing it with owner -- doing with their own local money, we could do that at the same cost. we could do it in about half the time. not being able to depend on the fta can have its benefits as well. certainly an open question for whether or not you can convince the community to put the money up. now that we have had the success
and private sector people making money off of this first four mile route, it is easier to get facility in place to make the case the property owners and business owners are going to make their investment back many times over if they put up a lien on property taxes over a certain amount of time in order to pay for the operations and maintenance and construction and makes everything much more effective in feasible. having a success to build on is key to build on the success. that is the direction i think we're looking at. not saying we would not love to have federal money. i think the president's budget is a little more streamlined. then potentially some of the other economies of scale might be built into there as well. hoping this goes through reauthorization and end up eating into the entrepreneurial
local-based spirit that i think could get these things on the ground faster to help constituents that are demanding this. when you see that 20-some things, the millennial's -- this is what they want. we see new renaissance and knowledge-based industries. this thing called maker house has popped up on the street where these folks in their 20's and 30's have decided to open up the workshop-studio where anyone who wants to build something or invent something can come down and use the tools and intended to remove it. there is always a entity around it. there is a collaborative workspace. it has become an incredible place where ideas are generated. i see it becoming the catalyst for the future knowledge economy in tucson. transforming in the way we think region.rselves as a so we can make the case, do it ourselves, and we see the successes and can build on them.
>> several of you mentioned economic development. push fors on the agencies to somehow quantify that and send that in. billionr we have $1 investment. how do you quantify the economic benefits and put it on paper to tout that story? that is the only way we will convince a lot of folks out there. any comments on quantifying e2 -- economic development? example is metro system in terms of when the system evolved 30 plus years ago there was hardly any development anywhere. that really was somewhat
preplanned and organized. ofay billions and billions dollars in terms of economic development has occurred wherever there is a metro station, haps except for my city because my city was a jurisdiction that even though we have three or four metro stations we chose not to develop around them because we are a old and historic city. now we're scratching our heads and saying if we had done that 30 years ago, look where we would be today. we're are beginning the process of exercise. there are barometers and metrics to measure. folks are talking today about high unemployment. they could not find jobs. why congressreason has to fund a new transportation bill. i applaud the president for his efforts in the budget. it is more than just
transportation, it is the infrastructure that needs to be built as well. these are high-paying jobs. the incomes from the jobs will be the ones that will invest the money back into the community. i cannot think of a better short term solution to the economic crisis, other than investment in transportation infrastructure. >> i want to add i have been equally frustrated with that problem. whenever you hear people say $4 million, where will that come from? so you have firefighters saying you could not sacrifice public safety for the streetcar thing. you need to make the case in the numbers of how many direct revenues are coming back taste on what has happened already. we are working with the chief
economist at university of arizona right now that will track actual dollars coming into .he city of tucson whether it is income from people getting new jobs because of the corridor, impact fees from development and commercial leases. when you put all those things together, we are fairly certain that the operations and maintenance figure is about half of the actual direct return in revenues to the city every year. the street car does not cost money, it makes money. we need to be able to demonstrate that. looking for anyone who has that impact. how much money is going back to pay for the streetcar. you can say it is right there, that is why we built the streetcar.
>> f5 i listen to the senator, he sounds like me for 20 years. >> there was the belief that the bliss -- business community that refuses to believe it because there is empirical evidence in milwaukee of those folding. is our response. i said go to portland, salt lake city. is a growing city. salt lake city is different. literally, every excuse is that every city we mentioned there is success, discounted based on a fireman, development or growth factors of the politics of the city.
is taunting task when you make the argument about density, washington, d.c. and that would never work here. why would you want an inflexible rail line? they are great because they are flexible. you can move it around. doesn't that make sense? they want a fixed conduit, a fixed pipeline up the ball. continued demand or continued people or tracking. does not make the argument. amount would have occurred elsewhere.
so my hats off to you. you have overcome arguments that we have not yet overcome in getting the local populace to approve $89 million in local spending. populationways had and city. probably do not have a lot of congestion problems in tucson. it is a great segue to highways. part of the transit equation. you cannot discuss one without really having a feeling for the moneyand have a continued no object philosophy of highway construction, expansion at all costs him a more concrete the ,etter is killing transit
especially in a community where transit does not have a long history and constituency like you have had an washington, d.c. in new york city. etc.. here in the washington suburbs, expanding transit is more about mobility. economy cannot expand without transportation. the question is, what kind of transportation will we choose in transit is most efficient. most sustainable and cost-effective. not as good business. in montgomery county, it is more about helping people get around, because the areas where the transit will serve are fairly developed. if you look at the other half of prince williams county, there is tremendous development potential. the argument there will be more
about job development. he can vary from location to location. >> i want to spend off from transit oriented developments to transit oriented communities. communities we are building. i want to spend off from that. someone mentioned density as well. i used to think density was a bad word. is the key word now. i am interested and what is happening in your areas around the transit areas in terms of density. this is a really critical issue. we have been passing zoning plan iner zoning plan
highly-served areas like transit to increase the density. that we are is going to add a 100,000 new people over the next 10 years. if everyone comes here with two cars, no one should be able to drive anywhere. a lot of people come and walk or take public transportation, then people who drive will still be able to get around. it is an all of our interest to get the new growth in the system to take place within transit. at the same time, we face challenges with older communities that might have a affordable housing. what kind of zoning do we put in place where we will lay the new purple line in, and how much redevelopment incentives to we want to create? i have been on both sides of the equation pushing hard for more density in places i think it is
justified and really backing off to say maybe glue will come back to that in 20 years and let the affordable community remain in tact for a while to see what happens, rather than being in a rush to get the buildings torn down and replaced. i would add that there is an education process that has to take place, must take base. officer coming in to say i want to build this and what do you think. we simply say you have to work with the community that has collaboration and input. what you want is people to live, work, and play in that scenario as opposed to having to go here and go there. take my city now, growing city of 149,000 am a we have 50,000 plus people that leave my city every day. that is backfilled with another
the two 2000 people coming from outside the city to work in alexandria because we are forth behind your come chicago and washington in terms of housing. over a hundred 69,000 nonprofit associations. so you have to look at the big picture. you have to balance it all teary at the reality is when you educate the developers and work with the community and convince them that as they want to plan a development, they must take into consideration the needs for transit-oriented development they get it. not only in terms of planning and agreeing to build, but they step up to the plate is in terms of providing the funding. that is a major element part of the process. you talk aboutay
public transit building community. that is why i promoted public the first place. i think what we're all going somewhere, most of us are driving along. everyone else is in your way. you need to get a-b. what are the people doing here? if you are in a bus or train and people going in the same direction, you will get there at the same time and you are building community. you might ride with someone you would never would have encountered in your life. it creates a better and more civil society. we need more of it these days. the more we can make that the more we can fix the bonds that have become increasingly frayed, that is a
huge thing to do. we are in an american democracy and have to be willing to get along with people that are different than us and figure out how to talk to each other. >> there are people in my community that did not like and city. i guarantee there are people that do not like density and think it is un-american. but it is intruding in the freedom to go where they please as fast as they please. that is the american automobile experience. it plays into that effectively. marketed that way. >> i totally agree. to your points, which i completely agree with,
it almost seems like the referendum was key. you had to give border by and in some way shape or form. if you could legitimately tell the radix to shut up. pass the rendering them to 60-40 and then came to a public meeting. it has been cleansed through the political system. it will not result in anybody getting unelected. it has been cleansed, if you will. seems like you're saying for smaller communities and medium-sized cities, you need to invite them referendum. >> i like that. that is good. to go ahead and include the audience in this in
the last 10-15 minutes. start, i want to ask you about arts and transit. you mention you are an artist. is there enough funding going to that? in terms of building out a system. right here. paratransitctor of from milwaukee county transit. thank you or speaking the truth. i had to jump up because the word referendum came up. in 2000 eight the voters overwhelmingly supported referendum. we did not get the rta. lex nonbinding. lex at any rate we have the at anyupport-- >>
rate, we have public support and when you have employees that are passionate about public support, what do you have for us cap go >? >> maximum turnout. we ranal election where out in april, a 60,000 turnout. turnout.s you the huge the referendum carried the city of milwaukee by 63-47 and clobbered in the suburbs. i do not think any suburb noted more than 40%. that is the milwaukee county suburbs, not the wider metro area. any referendum of that kind would fail easily. one could argue that is the high points.
you support a dedicated sales tax to fund public transit, parks and emergency health care -- emergency ambulances. emt services. they hobbled together a coalition of folks. we got.as far as an election in 2008. there was movement on rta's in the state of wisconsin. literally the speaker of the house that i do not like them, we will abolish enabling legislation. not only do we not want them created, we will not allow you to create them if you want them. we have soldiers over here who are in the trenches every day. increasingcing insurmountable odds. i remember a commercial i once saw for it.
are people that consult on these referendums. they said here are the ads we have run in other cities. they show these young guys in a convertible, traveling along and the tagline was, even he needs transit. his world was open and free and could go where he wanted. they pay and the picture and there was a five car train filled with people. so yes, i think you can sell the it takes a lot of grassroots energy and may take some initial failures. you may be the champion as well. >> leadership does matter, elections do matter. >> my name is rachel chambers, executive director of the association of independent rail passenger operators. i have been working with real estate advisors.
i want to say that i can speak from that perspective. i think this has been a very significant conversation. bringing back to the transportation authorization bill, i think the transit oriented development should be a major priority that we try to get our arms around. with forrest city, we put together a plan for the state of atlantafor the metropolitan transit authority, we put a ring around it for value capture. develop.nt cannot independent advisor determines the pods that would be developed. they got an idea and we testified in congress to say we think we need a national initiative.
chairman peter i introduced the bill -- petry introduced the bill. creating a national initiative encourage value capture as a source of new revenues for street rails and intercity passenger rail corridors. can be measured, quantified, a tremendous -- tremendous source of revenue. the nextbe a part of transportation round. we really ought to make this a major initiative. point, i moved to alexandria two months ago. the reason is i moved here to see what my mayor had to say. so far, very impressed.
the transportation was a remarkable bipartisan achievement, which i follow closely, and exactly the template we need right now in washington, d.c., and i will work if you on this, i think we need a coalition of republicans and democrats to get behind the concept come and take it to the senators and delegation and try to get thinking and new ways as we did in virginia and maryland and pennsylvania. >> thank you. being the politician in me, i am running for congress. >> new thinking on the hill, but particularly for infrastructure transportation. i will speak from the perspective of a member of the county council and what to make budget decisions. i have mixed feelings. value capture is ensuring that search