One Region at Five
- Eight Funders Come Together
Eight Funders become One Region
In 2006, the transportation-challenged NY-CT-NJ metro region faced myriad problems. Congestion. Inadequate access to public transportation. Skyrocketing housing costs that pushed families to the outer suburbs. Seeing an opportunity to organize philanthropy to improve transit and catalyze growth in the right places, eight funders came together as the One Region Funders’ Group. Five years later, a broad group of funders is participating in the collaborative, more than $3 million has been invested in change-making projects, and funders are celebrating numerous successes.
- The Funders of One Region
The Funders of One Region
Citigroup New York Community Trust Fairfield County Community Foundation Rauch Foundation Ford Foundation Rockefeller Foundation Fund for the Environment & Urban Life Surdna Foundation Local Initiatives Support Corporation Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation Long Island Community Foundation Westchester Community Foundation
- Forming Coalitions
In January 2007, a One Region Fund grant sparked creation of the Transit for Connecticut Coalition, managed by Connecticut Fund for the Environment. The Coalition, now comprising 31 business, social service, environmental, transportation, planning and civic organizations, has taken the lead organizing and mobilizing groups and individuals in support of expanded bus transit. The Coalition has been instrumental in increasing state support for bus transit services and capital investment in clean buses, maintaining funding during a time of deep recessionary budget cuts, and working to make the New Britain-to-Hartford Busway a reality, the state's first venture in true rapid transit.
- Achieving Policy Success
Achieving Policy Success
When 14-year-old Brittany Vega was struck and killed trying to cross Long Island’s Sunrise Highway on her way to school, One Region grantee the Tri-State Transportation Campaign joined with her mother, Sandi Vega, residents and 60 other advocacy groups to advance a Complete Streets bill in New York State. Thousands of signatures, phone calls, and meetings later, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would sign the legislation. The law will require all major state transportation projects — those undertaken, funded, or overseen by NY State DOT — to plan for the needs of all road users including drivers, cyclers, and walkers.
- Ensuring Services Continue
Ensuring Services Continue
Faced with devastating service cuts and steep fare increases, transit advocates rallied to make sure that funding for the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) would meet increased demand for services even during tough economic times. The Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax was passed in May 2009, helping the MTA close a $2 billion operating deficit. The legislation also provides for additional transparency and improved governance that will help address long-standing mismanagement within the agency.
- Promoting Transit-Oriented Development
In launching a Transit Centered Development (TCD) Grant Program managed by Tri-State Transportation Campaign, One Region and The Fund for New Jersey awarded grants to eight cities in the NY-NJ-CT region in support of efforts to encourage mixed-use, mixed-income development around transit hubs. “Being chosen as a recipient of the TCD Grant Program will enable Mount Vernon (New York) to capitalize on the things that make our city great, like our diversity, our location, our manageable size and our dedicated citizenry,” said Mayor Clinton I. Young, Jr.
- Building Funding Capacity
Building Funding Capacity
With support and encouragement from the One Region Fund, and a $3.5 million Sustainable Communities grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium was launched. The grant marks the first time that a bi-state consortium of cities, counties and regional planning organizations from the two states have come together to support coordinated regional planning and implementation. The Consortium will expand economic opportunity by developing livable communities and growth centers around key transit nodes in the most extensive and robust transit system in the nation. One Region is providing matching funds to engage equity and social justice stakeholders in the place-based projects, and direct leadership with two funders serving on the Consortium advisory board.