Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Safe Routes to School avoids a House vote to cut it—for now

Here is the latest news on the potential House vote to cut federal funding of Safe Routes to School. Your message to our representative has been HEARD!

On Monday, June 14, 2010, we alerted you to the possibility that the federal Safe Routes to School program could be targeted for a House floor vote to cut the program. Rep. Cantor (R-VA) had identified Safe Routes to School as one of five options that the public could vote on cutting through his YouCut initiative. Fortunately, Safe Routes to School was not subjected to a vote at that time, selling off excess federal property, got the most votes.

On very short notice, advocates across the country sprang into action and contacted their Members of Congress to ask them to vote against any effort to cut Safe Routes to School. More than 1150 people used the League of American Bicyclists' advocacy system in a 24-hour period to contact their Members of Congress via email. We also heard from many others that made phone calls or contacted a Congressional staff person directly that wouldn't be included in that tally.

WalkBikeBerks, the League and Safe Routes to School National Partnership is grateful to all the national, state and local organizations that helped quickly spread the word about this threat. And, thank you to everyone who took the time to contact their Members of Congress. Even though there was not a vote this time, it helped raise awareness about the importance of Safe Routes to School and the wide support it has across the country.

However, we will have to remain vigilant. This isn't the first time Rep. Cantor has attacked bicycling and walking, and his press secretary has stated that bicycling and walking will likely be the subject of future YouCut votes.

If you have not done so please contact your Representative to urge them to support Safe Routes to Schools.

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