Council of Senior Professionals 9/24

The Council of Senior Professionals seminar for next week Tuesday, September 24 (2:00 - 4:00 p.m. in SCC 103), features Kevin Hall on "Dodging the Bullet Train: Plus or Minus for the Valley’s Future?” Faculty and staff are invited to attend as guests of the Council.


Ever since the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger and continuing through the governorship of Jerry Brown, there has been strong interest in building a high-speed rail system from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and potentially connecting to Sacramento and San Diego. Such a system was seen as reducing pollution by getting more people out of cars, providing more efficient transportation between major population centers, and stimulating economic development in the state and particularly the Central Valley. Indeed, the latter prospect caused civic leaders in the Valley to see high-speed rail as a “magic bullet” that would allow the region to join the state’s post-industrial, technology-heavy economy by linking it to coastal cities and thus enabling it to diversify the Valley’s agriculture-centered economy and lift its residents out of poverty, 


Then newly-elected Governor Gavin Newsom took a look at high-speed rail’s seemingly untenable financial situation and potentially limited impact on reducing climate change and decided to limit it to a San Joaquin Valley-only route. At the time our presenter today, Kevin Hall, wrote an editorial in the Fresno Bee posing the question: did the Central Valley just take a bullet to its economic dreams, or did it dodge a bullet instead? You will find Kevin’s answer to this question most interesting and enlightening! 


Kevin Hall is a strategic consultant to community-based organizations seeking to craft policy campaigns related to environmental justice, climate change, transportation spending, and land use planning.