Commissioners’ Panel – Raising the Bar: Building political capital to implement key design initiatives

This panel took place at NACTO's Designing Cities Conference, on October 26, 2012, in New York, NY, and was sponsored by IBM.

Political support for sustainable transportation initiatives is a precursor to success. The combination of agency champions, political champions and savvy advocacy groups is coming of age across the nation. Not all cities have all three and diverse agency structures determine the alliances needed to garner support. Visionary mayors and elected officials must be there to open doors and communicate your agency’s objectives to their constituents.

This session explores the political dialogue which governs local transportation initiatives. How can your agency build credibility and support without causing sticker shock? What are the key milestones of success and how can you work with the press to reinforce your accomplishments?

Moderator: Chris Hayes, Host, MSNBC’s UP w/ Chris Hayes  Featuring: Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation, Gabe Klein, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Transportation, Ed Reiskin, Director of Transportation, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Tom Tinlin, Commissioner, Boston Transportation Department and Rina Cutler, Deputy Mayor of Transportation and Utilities, Philadelphia.

Selected highlights from the panel are below:

09:00 - Ed Reisken "we need to make public transit accessible, reliable and enjoyable"
11:30 - Gabe Klein  talks about young people and transportation's vitality to a city
15:14 - Rina Culter on "Money Matters"
17:23 - Tom Tinlin "Mayor Menino has said, 'The car is no longer king in Boston' "
23:50 - Gabe Klein talks gas prices in Netherlands vs. U.S. and transportation infrastructure
31:03 - Janette Sadik-Khan - "We need to find partners in creating public spaces in NYC."
33:30 - Chris Hayes refers to cars as "speeding machines of death"!
36:56 - Janette Sadik-Khan: "in New York, two-thirds of New Yorkers get around without a car, less than half own a car"
48:21 - Chris Hayes asks the panel about public criticism from the media and giving advice to future commissioners.