ABAG, MTC Leaders Issue Statement Supporting Social Justice Activism

Black Lives Matter banner hangs on the front of a brick building

Agencies Aim to Repair Local Governments' Role in Denying Opportunity

Dear Bay Area Residents,

Communities nationwide and across the Bay Area are expressing their anguish and outrage over the recent violent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the systemic injustice that their deaths, and too many more, reveal in our society. As regional agencies charged with bringing the Bay Area’s diverse residents and our many governmental agencies together, to unify our region and increase access to opportunity, we want to say simply and unequivocally that we stand side-by-side with those working towards a fair and just society.

We acknowledge and are seeking to repair the historic role local governments and the planning profession have played in systemically denying opportunities to Black people and other minorities through redlining, urban highways that uprooted too many neighborhoods, exclusionary zoning, redevelopment and outright discrimination and segregation.

During this challenging time, the compounding impacts of a pandemic and deep economic disruption have starkly displayed the disproportionate burdens that exist in our society.  Especially so with respect to those us who are working to improve access to transportation and to overcome the Bay Area’s chronic and punishing housing shortage.

As regional leaders of local government, it is clear that we have roles to play in transitioning to a more just, inclusive place where everyone can participate and prosper, regardless of race, color, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender or gender expression or identity or national origin.

We stand with those calling for systemic change, to break down barriers that reduce opportunity that undermine our shared prosperity. We are committed to meaningfully advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion within our agencies,  to redouble our already substantial outreach, and to lift up the voices of those who have been historically kept away from the decision-making table.

We are confident that the nearly 8 million people who live in the Bay Area can meet this moment together.

Signed,

Jesse Arreguin, ABAG Executive Board President
Scott Haggerty, MTC Chair

Related: 
Social Justice