Kline: HSR discrimnatory to minoritiesBy Alan Kline
Mike Brown, whose letter "HSR Hurts Minorities" (Sept. 22 edition of the Daily Journal), has gone up and down the Peninsula claiming that the high-speed rail project will have a discriminatory impact on minority groups, and that the High-Speed Rail Authority has failed to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. Both claims are false.
Both the original 2008 Final Program EIR for the Peninsula and the recently revised sections contain extensive information concerning "economic justice" groups. Call it what you will, but the HSRA has plainly complied with the law. It's important to remember that in the Town of Atherton case, the court found that the 2008 EIR complied with CEQA in every way except the few limited areas that it ordered the HSRA to revisit. "Economic justice" was not one of those areas. If it had been, it stands to reason that the groups which tried to block BART's Oakland Airport Connector would have done so here.
There is no evidence that this project will have a disproportionate effect on minority groups. The economic justice sections of the EIR found that there would be minimal impacts on any group of residents along the Caltrain line, because the property acquisitions are not expected to be extensive, given the size of the project.
It's time for Brown to "put up or shut up." If he has better information on minorities than the U.S. Census, he needs to bring that information forward when the draft Project EIR is released. If not, he needs to stop spreading falsehoods.
Copyright ©2010 HSR and minorities. Published 09/29/2010.