Action Center

Urgent Priority: Ask Your Members to Respond to Rep. Cantor’s Attack on Safe Routes to School

House Republican Whip Eric Cantor has targeted the federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program as wasteful government spending as part of his YouCut program. Each week, Rep. Cantor asks people to vote for which of five options they would cut from the federal budget. Republicans then hold a floor vote in the House of Representatives to try and eliminate the program that gets the most votes.

This week, the federal Safe Routes to School program is one of Rep. Cantor’s choices to cut. He argues that SRTS duplicates other bicycling and walking programs, and that bicycling and walking infrastructure is a local government responsibility. We need your help to show Rep. Cantor that Safe Routes to School is important to his constituents and that it is not wasteful spending.

The Alliance, America Bikes, and the SRTS Partnership are asking our organizations to engage your members to action. Please see below for all the details, and contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with any questions.

If your members are residents of Virginia’s 7th district:

please ask your members to take 3 minutes to call Congressman Cantor’s office.

  • Call Rep. Cantor’s office at 202-225-2815
  • Tell whoever answers the phone that you are a constituent and have a message for Rep. Cantor
  • Provide your name and where you live
  • Use the following talking points to give a succinct message on Safe Routes to School:
    • I’m calling because I heard that the Safe Routes to School program is included in Congressman Cantor’s YouCut program this week.
    • This is a program that Congressman Cantor should be supporting – please do not cut Safe Routes to School.
    • Each year, 25,000 children are injured and 650 are killed when they are struck by cars while walking and bicycling. This represents one-third of all traffic deaths for children.
    • The federal Safe Routes to School program helps communities make critical safety improvements, such as putting in sidewalks, pathways or crosswalks, to make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school. Transportation safety is a federal priority and deserves federal funding.
    • Safe Routes to School is the only dedicated program, federal or state, that can help with these issues. It is not wasteful or duplicative.
    • I hope Congressman Cantor reconsiders and supports Safe Routes to School.

Thanks to the League, you can also directly link these members to http://www.capwiz.com/lab/callalert/index.tt?alertid=15140561&type=TA, for a targeted action alert.

If your members are Not residents of the state of Virginia or Virginia’s 7th district:

Please ask your members to take 3 minutes to send a message to their Member of Congress to ask them to vote against any effort to cut Safe Routes to School.

Sample MESSAGE BODY FOR YOUR MEMBERS TO USE

I write today to inform you that Congressman Cantor has targeted the federal Safe Routes to School program, established under SAFETEA-LU, for cuts through his YouCut program. I urge you to oppose any efforts to cut this important program.

Each year, 25,000 children are injured and 650 are killed when they are struck by cars while walking and bicycling. This represents one-third of all traffic deaths for children. The U.S. Department of Transportation has made safety its number one priority, and Safe Routes to School is critical to improving safety for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

More than 6,500 schools and communities have received grants made available from the federal Safe Routes to School program to make important safety improvements—such as putting in sidewalks, pathways or crosswalks—to make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school. Studies have shown that Safe Routes to School improvements reduce bicycle and pedestrian collisions by 49%.

Additionally, due to state and local budget deficits, school districts all across the country are facing challenges in providing school bus transportation for their students. In fact, many schools have had to cut service, forcing students to find other alternatives such as bicycling and walking.

Now is not the time to cut the federal Safe Routes to School program. We should be strengthening it to ensure that communities across the country are able to access Safe Routes to School grants.

Should there be a House vote on cutting the federal Safe Routes to School program, I urge you to vote against such a measure.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this matter, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

[Your member's signature]

Thanks to the league, you can also link your members directly to http://www.capwiz.com/lab/issues/alert/?alertid=15141271&type=TA for a targeted action alert.

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