Transit Investment, Talent Attraction, & Urban Vitality

Transportation for America Chair to give special lecture

Kaitlin Larson, 509.625.6719,

Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 9:03 a.m.

Councilmember Amber Waldref and Mayor David Condon, along with Avista, Downtown Spokane Partnership, Futurewise and WSU Spokane, welcome John Robert Smith, Transportation for America Chairman, to Spokane for a free lecture on Wednesday, May 4. Smith, former mayor of Meridian, Mississippi, will discuss how cities across the country are enhancing urban vibrancy and attracting talented workers with transit and other strategies.

The event, Public Transit Investment, Talent Attraction and Downtown Vibrancy: Lessons Learned from John Robert Smith, begins at 8:30 a.m. May 4 at the Philanthropy Center (1020 W. Riverside Ave.). Light breakfast will be served.

“I’m excited to hear from John Robert Smith,” said Waldref. “He is going to bring to us some great stories from his own experiences, as well as national trends in transit, specifically regarding Bus Rapid Transit, which we’re looking to implement here in Spokane.”

To RSVP, contact Kaitlin Larson at or 509.625.6719.

Mayor Smith currently serves as Chairman of Transportation for America, where he advises on strategy, capacity building, and national outreach. He became chairman in 2012 after leading Reconnecting America as President and CEO. Prior to his role there, he served as Mayor of Meridian, Mississippi for 16 years. A recognized authority on public and private transportation and development funding, he guided the development and construction of the Southeast’s first multi-modal transportation center, Meridian Union Station.