Don’t defund ST3

EHB 2201, a bill that is currently being considered in the state House, would rejigger the evaluation process for car tabs, and cost Sound Transit about $2 billion.

Although the Legislature has long thought that Sound Transit should be able to absorb the costs, recent developments in the building process suggest that such defunding may delay long planned expansions out to South King and Pierce counties. This is an objectively bad thing to do, since transit-focused development and transit availability is one of the best strategies for fighting climate change and income inequality. Transit means that commuters don’t have to spend hours in traffic, that living without the expense of a car is possible, and that car-related emissions, the highest source of carbon emissions in the state (and increasingly, the U.S.) will decrease dramatically.

If you’ve followed local Auburn politics at all, you might be wondering why you should care. Specifically, the ST3 issue and its costs were used as a club in the mayoral election, and we were consistently reminded that Auburn did not vote for ST3. I think there are strong reasons to favor it.

According to American Community Survey data, seven percent of commuters in Auburn use transit to commute. Transit has also had a revitalizing effect on the downtown, as it provides a central space for communities to gather and create an urban core. Finally, transit makes Auburn attractive to people moving to Washington state. I should know, because I moved to Auburn from New York City, and one of the main reasons was because it had available and easy-to-use transit, and transit to Seattle is an important part of what’s fueling the current population growth in Auburn.

I’m asking you to call your state senators and representatives to keep ST3, or if the car tabs need to be reevaluated, to at least replace the revenue streams. And I’m also writing this to appeal to all the representatives of Auburn in Legislative Districts 31 and 47, but especially to Pat Sullivan, the House Majority Leader: don’t defund Sound Transit.

– Nathan Schumer

More in Letters to the Editor

Time to pay attention, support real candidates

In response to the article, “Pulling no punches,” Auburn Reporter, Sept. 20:… Continue reading

Adopt your best friend

September is Puppy Mill Awareness Month, and as a citizen of Auburn,… Continue reading

Support the ban on fireworks in Auburn

I am an almost 80-year-old nurse Vietnam veteran and still get triggered… Continue reading

We’re ill prepared for a major earthquake

September is National Disaster Preparedness month. Washington is second behind California in… Continue reading

We need to learn from the past

I read with sadness and horror Jesse Jose’s letter to the editor… Continue reading

My take: Report attacks Trump

On my daily walk from where I live on Lakeland Hills to… Continue reading

Principled Pearson is the one for City Council

As someone who has had the privilege of meeting Auburn City Council… Continue reading

Make early learning facilities a top priority

As a parent and a Save the Children Action Network volunteer, I… Continue reading

Chuck Booth was a special, giving person

Chuck Booth worked for the Auburn School District at the same time… Continue reading

Auburn needs new leadership, thinking

Auburn leadership must think Auburn citizens are stupid, and they probably are… Continue reading

Auburn is growing too quickly

I’ve lived in Auburn for about 40 years now and it has… Continue reading

A home is a human right, not a privilege

What an instrumental step the city of Auburn has taken by hiring… Continue reading