New advisory group puts environmental justice at the forefront of transportation planning and research

On September 23, the Transportation Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Group (TEEJAG) met for the first time, with the Policy Institute’s Austin Brown and J.C. Garcia Sanchez among the participants. This new advisory group will help ensure that social and environmental justice considerations are deeply integrated into research initiatives and policy proposals at all stages—from conception through implementation.

The TEEJAG includes leaders committed to social and environmental justice and to reducing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions in disadvantaged communities throughout California. It will provide feedback on current and future initiatives conducted by the Climate Smart Transportation and Communities Consortium (CSTACC). Funded by the Strategic Growth Council and led by the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies, the CSTACC multi-university initiative dedicated to leveraging existing knowledge on climate-smart transportation, generating new research, and applying insights to public policy.

The day-long kickoff meeting, co-hosted by the UC Davis Center for Regional Change (CRC), was an opportunity for TEEJAG members to get to know researchers and policymakers affiliated with the CSTACC. Much of the day was devoted to exploration of power networks and how such networks affect equity and environmental justice. Attendees also considered various options for empowering communities often disadvantaged by and/or overlooked in transportation planning.

Future TEEJAG work will include development of environmental justice research guidelines to ensure that CSTACC research is conducted in a way that honors community experience and enhances community well-being.

Group photo at the kickoff meeting for the Transportation Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Group (TEEJAG).

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