Date: 3/11/97 6:35:48PM
Subject: URGENT - CALL CONGRESS DAY TOMORROW!
Dear Friends of Amtrak:
THIS IS AN URGENT NOTICE!
***TOMORROW IS CALL CONGRESS DAY: WEDS MARCH 12TH***
URGENT!! CALL YOUR SENATORS AND
REPRESENTATIVES THIS WEDNESDAY AND
URGE THEM TO SUPPORT A STRONG ISTEA
Congressional Switchboard: 202/224-3121 or call TOLL FREE = 1-800-962-3524.
On the Web: www.house.gov or www.senate.gov
(to get e-mail or phone information for specific members).
A more direct site for House e-mail addresses is:
A more direct site for Senate e-mail addresses is:
To find out who your representative is:
The Surface Transportation Policy Project and the American Public
Transit Association are sponsoring a Call Congress Day on Wednesday,
March 12 to support renewal of the Intermodal Surface Transportation
Efficiency Act (ISTEA). For more on ISTEA see the Friends of Amtrak
Action is needed as highway construction interests are attempting to
turn back the clock six years, before ISTEA, so more roads can be built
at the expense of better transit, pedestrian facilities, rail stations
and existing neighborhoods.
Many organizations that support transit will be meeting with
Congressional and Senate representatives to urge reauthorization on that
day and constituents' calls will reinforce their message. STPP suggests
that phone calls stating ISTEA has been good for your state, the environment
and local control will be helpful.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
**Urge your Representatives to protect and strengthen ISTEA. Ask them to
reject STEP21 and sign on to the "ISTEA Works" letter being circulated by
Rep. Molinari & Rep. Gejdenson. The letter clearly states that differences
between the states over funding will have to be worked out, but that they
ought to be separate from ISTEA's policies and programs which have proven
successful and ought to be retained.
**Urge your Senators protect and strengthen ISTEA. Ask them to reject
STEP21 and to cosponsor the "ISTEA Works" legislation currently being
WHAT YOU NEED TO SAY:
**ISTEA HAS BEEN A SUCCESS
In the five years since it passed, ISTEA has made [your state] rethink the
way we approach transportation. [reference 1-2 specific projects if you
can]. It targets funding towards new programs and projects that benefit
the environment, providing better and more affordable travel choices.
**ISTEA = LOCAL CONTROL
Local and regional governments have a seat at the table now thanks to
ISTEA's emphasis on the metropolitan planning process and it needs to be
**STEP 21 IS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT & LOCAL CONTROL
STEP21 tries to rework the federal funding formulas so that the current
"donor" states get more money. But STEP21's fine print -- what it does to
ISTEA's programs -- is what's so dangerous: it increases funding for
highways ("the National Highway System") by 40%, makes current
environmental programs "optional" (i.e. they won't get funded), and cuts
money going directly to local governments by 30%.
Also, ask that one-half of one cent of the federal gas tax now used for
deficit reduction be dedicated for Amtrak's capital needs.
--A tip of the hat to the NARP and the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers!
Thanks for your support!
Craig O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Friends of Amtrak
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