The Seattle Transit Riders Union is wasting no time getting started on the (not small) task of organizing the county’s bus riders.
They’ve posted a survey on their site (there’s also a hard-copy version, which they’re conducting in person at stops) and will use the responses to inform their future work. You should take it.
Also, on November 15th, they’re hosting a public forum with King County NAACP president James Bible as the featured speaker.
What: A “public forum and inauguration of the Seattle Transit Riders Union”
Why do we need a Transit Riders Union?
■ Deep bus service cuts were only narrowly avoided in King County…
■ Public transit is under attack in cities across the country…
■ Unemployment is rising and social services are shrinking…
■ The planet is warming and natural resources are dwindling…
■ The global economy is in crisis…
As individuals we feel helpless to do anything, because alone we are helpless. But what can we accomplish when we organize, when we stand up together? The new Transit Riders Union intends to find out.
When: Tuesday, November 15, 6 – 8 PM
Where: The 2100 Building, 2100 24th Ave S (served by the 4, 7, 8, 34, and 48)
See you there!
The Seattle Transit Riders Union is back—with new leadership, new energy, and plenty to do. Some excerpts from the inaugural post on the organization’s blog:
The idea of starting a Transit Riders Union grew out of the fight against bus service cuts earlier this year. King County Metro’s main source of revenue – sales tax – has taken a sharp dive since the recession began, and by spring 2011 Metro was facing the prospect of 17% cuts. Dozens of bus routes were slated to be eliminated. Some effective propaganda by Metro, combined with the organizing efforts of a wide variety of community groups, helped to raise a huge public outcry. Thousands of people attended public hearings and signed petitions, demanding that this vital public service be preserved.
This is not just Seattle and King County’s problem. Cities and counties across the nation are in the middle of similar battles, and to make matters worse, federal funding for public transportation is in danger of being cut too. And of course, it’s not just our bus service that is in danger.
This is why we have decided to found a Transit Riders Union. We, the people who depend on public transit, need a permanent organization to make sure that our voices are heard, an organization that gives us the power to shape the course of events. We are dedicated to building such an organization: a union of, by, and for the poor and working people who depend on public transit. We believe that every human being has a right to safe, affordable, reliable, and accessible public transit. We will continue to fight to preserve our bus system – and not only that, we will fight for better public transit. (To learn more about what the Transit Riders Union is about, read our principles.)
I recommend reading the entire post. There are some thoughtful, committed people involved with this organization, and I am looking forward to being involved.