May 30, 1995 - From the May, 1995 issue

SCAG Responds to BIA “Attack” Brochure

In the April 1995 TPR issue, a BIA brochure complained about SCAG's involvement in building. Hal Bernson, Regional Councilmember of SCAG, provides an apology on behalf of SCAG where he argues that a certain few in BIA aim to descredit SCAG.  


"The BIA and SCAG are aligned on that issue, a housing issue that is vital for the economic recovery of Southern California."

Reference was made on these pages to a brochure distributed by the Building Industry Association of Southern California containing erroneous allegations about the Southern California Association of Governments. 

Over the past two years, I have been very involved in discussions with the BIA in conjunction with our Regional Comprehensive Plan and Guide. We bent over backwards trying to accommodate their concerns and comments. SCAG staff members and myself spent a lot of time with BIA people, and we basically went to the wall in our effort. But apparently there is no accommodating some individuals within the BIA and apparently their goal is to injure this organization.

The purpose of SCAG is not simply transportation planning, as the BIA alleges. Basically the purpose of SCAG is to interact as a group of cities and counties that have banded together to form a plan for better regional governance so that we can live and work together to comply with the pertinent federal and state mandates, and also to make our communities more livable through good planning. 

While there is not one facet of our mandate that doesn't involve transportation in some manner, SCAG is also responsible for data accumulation and modelling for land use and other types of things that relate to transportation as well as reviewing projects of regional import and commenting on their consistency with the air quality plan. We are a lot more than an organization that deals with transportation planning. 

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The charges launched in the brochure distributed by the BIA are incorrect and without insight as to SCAG's goals. Those within the BIA who are propagating the campaign to discredit the Southern California Association of Governments are a reduced group unrepresentative of majority opinion in in the six-county region.

In fact, the stance taken by SCAG on the recent arbitrary requirement by Freddie Mae that all condominium financing by that agency as of July 1 must have earthquake insurance has received praise from the BIA. Many BIA members are supportive and appreciative of SCAG's efforts to convince Freddie Mae to lift its ZIP-code redlining of  Southern California insofar as earthquake insurance as a requirement is concerned. The BIA and SCAG are aligned on that issue, a housing issue that is vital for the economic recovery of Southern California. 

So, don't believe all you see and hear about attacks on SCAG by a few misinformed members within the BIA. As the song in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Porgy and Bess" goes: "It ain't necessarily so.''

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