A Jolt of Youth Energy for the CTC
The California Transportation Commission gets a youthful welcome to the Sacramento region

Youth Leadership participant Abby Fenton addresses the crowd at SACOG's reception for California Transportation Commissioners.

June 27, 2019: When the California Transportation Commission rolled into Sacramento this week, SACOG greeted them with a youth quake.

The commission rotates its monthly meetings around California and SACOG executive director James Corless was asked to present the Welcome to the Region address that kicks off each meeting. He brought along Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) participant Kale Almeida, an incoming high school senior. The YLA is SACOG’s civic engagement program for emerging high school leaders. 

Yesterday Kale told the commissioners that his generation would be the people most affected by the decisions they made for transportation investments for California. “I hope my presence here will put a face on who is impacted in the long run with your decisions and investments, and that you bring youth to the table when decisions are being made about our future,” he said. 

CTC agendas routinely run over a thousand pages (June’s was 1,417 pages) and the meetings can be a long slog for the commissioners but they perked up at the youthful energy Almeida brought to the slightly intimidating venue of the Lincoln Plaza Auditorium at CalPERS. 

“Don’t get jaded” commissioner Bob Alvarado told Almeida after his speech, while chair Fran Inman chimed in with “great to have you here and good luck”.  

The youth theme continued at the reception for the CTC commissioners that SACOG hosted that night, along with the El Dorado County Transportation Commission and the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency. YLA participant Abby Fenton, an incoming freshman at UC Berkeley, told the group of a hundred transportation professionals about her YLA design-thinking workshop that looked at how to increase carpooling to school in her hometown of Folsom. 

Only eight percent of people in Folsom carpool and Fenton said she wanted to increase that so students begin the healthy habits of carpooling at a young age. 

“Promoting carpooling to high school students will help with wear and tear on the roads (because we all know how expensive that is), and will also lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and families saving money,” said Fenton. 

The CTC reception at Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse was sponsored by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and engineering consultants Mark Thomas. 

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