The following statement is from Mid-City CAN, Environmental Health Coalition, SanDiego350, Center on Policy Initiatives, and City Heights Community Development:
The environmental, health, and community organizations we represent are deeply grateful to Hasan Ikhrata for five years of visionary leadership at SANDAG that transformed our region’s thinking and progress on transportation and equity.
We are calling on the leadership of SANDAG and our region to hire another preeminent transportation planning expert to succeed Hasan, someone who will expand on his accomplishments and not only reach - but surpass - state mandates to achieve an equitable, sustainable future for all residents of San Diego County, with clean air, healthy communities, and green jobs. We call for an open, transparent, inclusive, and community-involved hiring process in order to identify the best candidates.
To do that, we must renounce the narrow, isolationist thinking that led SANDAG to approve a Regional Transportation Plan that was rejected by the 4th California Appellate Court because it would have resulted in more congestion, toxic, lung-damaging pollution and climate change-causing emissions. We must move towards real solutions like the 10 transit lifelines - community-led priorities to advance affordable and frequent transit solutions and benefit all San Diegans.
Under Hasan’s leadership, SANDAG showed what we can accomplish when we work together to chart a bold, new direction - such as creating SANDAG’s innovative Five Big Moves, completing the Blue Line extension to UCSD on time and within budget, stabilizing the Del Mar Bluffs and securing funding to improve the LOSSAN rail corridor, successfully lobbying for project funding, securing Youth Opportunity Passes, and reaching agreement with Mexico to expand the Otay Mesa border crossing.
We know we have the technology and tools to address the climate crisis, create good-paying, green jobs, and prioritize environmental justice for communities neglected or harmed by previous plans. What we need to see right now is political will - an immediate commitment from SANDAG leadership.