A Word of Thanks to the Changemakers


Toks Talks Transportation blog logoThe start of a new year often holds important symbolism for opportunities and action. As we welcome the new year, many see it as a time of focused reflection on changes, challenges and standout wins that emerged over the prior 12 months. Others see it as a time of reset, to start anew with a fresh slate in our work, our home lives, health, relationships or any daily habits that impact our level of well-being.

A fusion of both is already standard practice for CalSTA, whether the calendar shows January, August or any other time of the year. In order to achieve our goals, we certainly must reflect from all angles at all times: what has worked, what hasn’t― and create new strategies to get us there and hit all targets. 

However, as we progress in the new year, I’d like to express my predominant emotion at this time: overflowing gratitude. I am thankful for our union with countless and invaluable allies in transportation. In real time, my appreciation continues to expand for our eight CalSTA teams, all sister agencies, the Newsom administration, the Biden Harris administration, transportation stakeholders and every partner whose goals overlap with ours. And perhaps, most important of all, the people of California―it is you for whom we do this critical work. You are at once both our frame of reference and our purpose.

I’m also grateful for the sense of “we” that is embraced by everyone who works by our side, every day, every year, in transportation. I’m grateful that the words we put on paper are backed with significant, tangible action.

Image of quote, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

I also have a lot of optimism for the impact of our Core Four priorities of Equity, Safety, Climate Action and Economic Prosperity, as this foundation serves as an essential guide in every step we will take this year. These core priorities are also now the nucleus of our first ever agency Strategic Plan that will guide our work for the next three years. Through their funding and policies that enhance quality of life for all, I’m grateful for the support of the Newsom and Biden-Harris administrations. I’m grateful for every individual in our state doing their part for an improved planet, whether it means picking up a stray piece of trash, riding public transportation or making their voice heard on behalf of impactful initiatives. I’m grateful our teams’ efforts are implemented with a no-limits mindset, delivered with passion for people― and not done on autopilot.

Candidly, I could take up dozens more pages with all that each of us has to be grateful for in our work for Californians. But to wrap it up in a few words, thank you to all of you who understand our vision, believe in our mission and apply your valuable time carrying out both with well-deserved pride. I’m exceedingly grateful that, in 2024, we will continue to progress, together. Great year ahead!

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