SAN DIEGO – Dozens of teachers held a rally Friday against a county measure that voters will consider in November which would levy a half-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects across San Diego County.
Measure A would raise an estimated $18 billion over the next 40 years to fund several highway and transit projects proposed by the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
On Friday, teachers gathered outside SANDAG’s downtown San Diego headquarters. The protesters are not opposed to the plan from a fiscal perspective, but are instead against it from an environmental standpoint. They claim that SANDAG is emphasizing road projects over public transportation, which might encourage more traffic congestion and ultimately accelerate climate change.
"We look at this as kind of a ‘no’ that means ‘yes,’” opponent Jim Miller said. “If we reject this deeply inadequate plan, we can go back to the drawing board and create perhaps another measure that will address the needs of the 21st century."
San Diego City Councilor Todd Gloria, who helped pen Measure A, counters that 42 percent of the money raised would go towards public transportation and claims only 14 percent would go to roads. Gloria didn’t specify what the other 44 percent would go to.
"What we know is the cost of the status quo is pretty darn expensive to San Diego families,” Gloria said. “We recently had an independent group come to San Diego and look at what the cost of traffic congestion, and the poor condition of our roads cost the average San Diego family, $1,900 a year."