Council Continues Advocacy Against Work from Home Mandate

Today (Oct. 9) the Bay Area Council continued to speak out against a misguided proposal that would require 60% of office workers at certain businesses to work from home permanently. The proposal is included in the latest draft of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) Plan Bay Area 2050, a regional transportation and housing blueprint. Council Senior Vice President Gwen Litvak testified against the proposal at a joint committee meeting of the MTC and Association of Bay Area Governments.

The mandate is one of a many possible measures MTC is considering to reach state-imposed goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). While the Council supports reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this draconian mandate will ruin our public transit systems, decimate the economic ecosystem of our urban commercial centers and drive away business. It also poses serious equity issues since the majority of workers who are not eligible to work from home are generally lower income and come from communities of color. The Council is also working with the California Air Resources Board to properly account for how greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets are captured in Plan Bay Area.

Over the past week, Council members have signed a letter urging MTC to consider the economic outcomes of this proposal and offered alternatives to the work from home proposal. While we are in economic pain now, this policy would have a sweeping effect on our economy and the landscape of the Bay Area for decades. We cannot lock our economy into a state that we’re in now. In addition, we are now hearing that companies with leases in downtowns, and our major corporate campuses, are very actively being recruited this week to leave the Bay Area, with this policy as the lead reason. The Council looks forward to working with MTC to find a solution that works for our region. To learn more, please click here or contact Senior Vice President Gwen Litvak.

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