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Civil Rights and Public Involvement - Español - Português

Public Involvement

Staff Contacts
Michael Moan, Principal Planner
(401) 222-1236

Public engagement is integral to good transportation planning. Meaningful public participation helps improve the decision making process and provides lasting contributions to Rhode Island’s quality of life. Meaningful public participation is central to good decision-making on transportation planning.

The Rhode Island State Planning Council, the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), and the Statewide Planning Program actively seek public input in the transportation planning process, particularly related to the following:

The Statewide Planning Public Participation Guide is being updated in 2017.

Plain Text Documents for the Visually Impaired

Statewide Planning’s Public Participation Guide details how the public can join in transportation planning activities. It also documents much of the transportation planning process so that members of the public can more effectively participate.

The fundamental objective of public engagement programs is to ensure that the concerns and issues of the public and transportation stakeholders are identified and addressed in the development of policies, programs, and projects proposed in the state and in their communities. Effective public engagement strategies include procedures to eliminate barriers to active participation by all members of the community, including the traditionally under-served and Limited English Proficient (LEP) populations. As one of a number of planning efforts to address this concern, Statewide Planning has developed a   Public Participation Brochure in Spanish and English language.

The Division of Planning maintains a mailing list for public hearing notices.  If you would like to be added to that list, please e-mail your mailing address to Cathy Pitassi

Title VI and Civil Rights

Title VI - Rhode Island Division of Planning’s Statewide Planning Program Notice to Beneficiaries
The Statewide Planning (SPP) operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal assistance. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administrated by the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, or both prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. These protected categories are contemplated within the SPP’s Title VI Program consistent with federal interpretation and administration. Additionally, the SPP provides meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited English proficiency, in compliance with US Department of Transportation policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.

Specifically, the Statewide Planning Program will comply with the following“Statutory Requirements and Related Executive Orders”.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., 78 stat. 252), (prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin);

Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973, (23 U.S.C. § 324 et seq.), (prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex); Title 23 Chapter 3 Section 324 of Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973, Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex basically states that no person shall on the ground of sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal assistance under this title or carried on under this title. This provision will be enforced through agency provisions and rules similar to those already established, with respect to racial and other discrimination, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, (29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq.), as amended, (prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability); this law set the stage for further protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.), (prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability); The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are federal anti-discrimination laws that protect persons with disabilities. While Section 504 applies only to the federal government and recipients of federal funds, Title II of the ADA applies to all state and local governments, regardless of funding source. The ADA provides comprehensive civil rights protections to any qualified person with a disability; it forbids discrimination not only in government programs, benefits and services, but also in employment practices, access to public accommodations, and telecommunications. Also, in conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, all publications of the Statewide Planning Program can be made available in electronic format. For information on obtaining Statewide Planning documents in alternate format contact the Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program, One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908 (401.222.7901 voice) (401.222.2627 tdd).

The Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, (42 U.S.C. § 6101 et seq.), (prohibits discrimination on the basis of age); This Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age in programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975applies to persons of all ages. Under the Act recipients of federal funds may not exclude, deny or limit services or otherwise discriminate against persons on the basis of age.

Executive Order 12898 (1995), entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations”
The Statewide Planning Program is equally committed to implementing in its capacity, as staff for the RI Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the responsibilities under this Executive Order. This includes; identifying and addressing disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies and activities on minority populations and low-income populations.  The Statewide Planning Program carries out this responsibility by involving minority and low income individuals in the transportation process and considering their transportation needs in the development and review of the SPP’s transportation plans, programs and projects. The Statewide Planning Program maintains an environmental justice contact list and gives notices to these individuals, agencies, and organizations regarding upcoming workshops, hearings and major transportation plans.

Executive Order 13166, (2001), entitled, "Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency" This Order directs federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation , to take reasonable steps to improve access to federally-assisted programs and activities for persons of limited English-speaking ability. As a sub-recipient of U.S. Department of Transportation funds, the Statewide Planning Program (SPP) is committed to implementing a reasonable, consistent language assistance plan so that SPP may provide meaningful access to its programs and services by persons with limited English Proficiency (LEP).

Additional Information and Complaint Procedures
To request additional information about the Statewide Planning Program’s Civil Rights obligations please contact Michael C. Moan, Title VI Coordinator at Michael.Moan@doa.ri.gov or (401) 222-1236. Persons wishing to file complaints under Title VI should do so within 180 days of the alleged occurrence. Complaints may be submitted in writing to the Title VI Coordinator using the Title VI Discrimination Complaint Form or by contacting Mr. Moan at the above telephone or email address. Compliants may be accepted in languages other than English.  Also, reasonable accommodations will be provided to anyone needing assistance in submitting a complaint due to a disability. Individuals with physical or sensory impairments requiring assistance in filing a complaint should contact Mr. Thomas Mannock, Ph.D or (401)222-6377. (voice) or #711 (R.I. Relay).

Civil Rights and Planning.
Planning must be done with the involvement and for the benefit of all the citizens of Rhode Island. The Statewide Planning Program is guided by Title VI and environmental justice mandates, and strives to not only meet these mandates, but to create an overall transparent, inclusive planning process. As the single metropolitan planning organization (MPO) staff office for the State of Rhode Island, Statewide Planning is committed to making Title VI and environmental justice a part of the planning process, integrated in all programs and plans, and a guide for public participation efforts.

In its efforts to address Title VI and environmental justice, Statewide Planning uses its analytical capabilities to ensure that the long-range transportation plan Transportation 2035 and the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) identifies residential, employment, and transportation patterns of low-income and minority populations so that their needs may be identified and addressed, and the benefits and burdens of transportation can be fairly distributed. It also evaluates and, where necessary, improves the public involvement process to eliminate barriers and engage minority, disabled, elderly, and low-income populations in regional decision-making. Therefore, age, race, national origin, language spoken, sex, nor disability, should become a significant barrier to participating in the public planning process. Whether that participation includes obtaining and or reading one of the many planning documents Statewide Planning prepares, participating in workshops, meetings or public hearings, or serving on one of several permanent or transient planning committees.

Translation Services
Any individual requiring the services of a foreign language interpreter, Certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, or special technologies such as Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART), to participate in any meetings of the State Planning Council, Technical Committee, Transportation Advisory Committee, or RIGIS Executive Meeting should contact Michael Moan as soon as possible. Translations of the executive summaries of key transportation documents including Transportation 2035, the FY 13-16 Transportation Improvement Program, and the Public Participation Guide can be provided in Spanish or Portuguese. Any person wishing to receive these documents in other languages please contact Michael Moan at michael.moan@doa.ri.gov or (401)222-1236.

If you or your organization would like to be included on our contact list contact Michael Moan at michael.moan@doa.ri.gov or (401)222-1236.

Supporting Legislation

The following key pieces of federal and state legislation address the specific requirements for conducting transportation planning in an open process that supports early and continued public involvement, provides complete information, timely public notice, and full public access to key decisions.