Policy + Advocacy

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Cal Walks works at the state level to shape the creation and use of safe streets and public spaces that work for everybody. Together with our partners, we advocate against forces that displace, threaten, and harm people and poison our planet. We value our partners and work to keep their interests at the forefront while leading the state work.

We lift up stories of the local community impacts of active transportation investments to educate key decision makers and stakeholders. We work to shift and leverage funds to support communities in investing in infrastructure and programs that help create a future where moving under your own power is safe, healthy, and welcoming for all Californians of any race, age, identity, or ability, and in all neighborhoods.


Our state efforts are not limited to legislation. Throughout the year we work with many state agencies including: Caltrans, the California Transportation Commission (CTC), California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), California Air Resources Board (CARB), California Strategic Growth Council, and many more to share the need and inform how programs they oversee can have beneficial impacts and create more walk friendly communities.

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Transportation Funding:
Creating Complete Streets + Whole Communities

Although complete streets are an eligible use with much of our transportation funding, transportation agencies across the state continue to prioritize leveraging transportation investments to create whole communities. Additionally, Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) provided an infusion of funds to not only the state’s Active Transportation Program (ATP) but also to all transportation funding programs across California, and it included language that encourages complete streets implementation and considerations around climate change. Cal Walks’ advocacy helps ensure that all of these elements don’t get lost in bureaucratic processes so that we have the resources need to make communities healthy, equitable, and walkable.


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Transportation Funding:
Active Transportation Program (ATP)

Cal Walks was instrumental in the creation of the ATP and has been involved in its implementation since its inception. The program runs on two-year cycles. In odd-numbered years, Cal Walks provides input and participates in the ATP Technical Advisory Committee. In even-numbered years, the ATP conducts calls for projects and Cal Walks provides Technical Assistance (TA) to low-income and/or disadvantaged communities in high-need areas of the state.


Administrative Reform

Working on legislation is key to advocacy, and equally—if not more—important is working on administrative reform. This reform is about building champions within state agencies. This work is about ensuring that the needs of disadvantaged communities and those who bear the greatest burden of our transportation network are prioritized and understood by those in leadership. The Cal Walks team works to identify opportunities for changing leadership, educating existing leaders, and building champions to help build broad support for mobility and transportation justice. To accomplish this, we work with staff and leaders at the California Transportation Commission (CTC), Caltrans, and the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).