Bus Riders Union: Meet the Nominees for the 2014 Planning Committee

After two months of nominations it's now time for the 2014 planning committee elections. The Bus Riders Union Planning Committee is the leadership and decision making body for the union. It is made up of 5 volunteer members who serve for one year, and 4 LCSC staff members. There are 8 candidates running for election this year. Each candidate has written a short statement to introduce themselves to the membership.

Aracely BarbozaHello Everyone! I'm Aracely Barboza, I also go by Chelly. I'm a working class student from East Los Angeles. I am the youngest of three children and both of my parents are immigrants from Mexico. In my family household I support my family by providing income. In 2009 my father who was head of household was laid off and since then capitalism, racism, ageism, sexism, and gentrification have been more transparent in my life. And that is where I get my passion to fight back by becoming a better organizer with the Bus Riders Union! I came into the BRU with a desire to grow and learn so I can make changes in my communities.  

English y Español.

 

Joshua ClaytonMy name is Joshua Clayton. I am genuinely blessed and honored to have this opportunity to be in the running for a prestigious office and position like this. I do not say that in an empty way, I say that in the fullest and most blessed and honored way possible. Let me explain: I have been a Bus Riders Union Member in some capacity since 1996, either a "dollar level supporter" or (later) "a full supporter of the cause". Not only that, I believe in many of the other things we all stand for such as the environment, the right of women to be treated as equal and never as subordinate human beings to men, meaning as fellow human beings in this existence and not as anything else, the right of all people to a genuinely fair shake in life and exist equally, meaning all people should get what they rightly earn positive or negative whether it is Eli Broad/Michael Milken type corporate raider getting their just desserts, or a restaurant worker at McDonald's getting fair and good pay. Every person deserves to have a decent life that works.

English y Español.

 

Juan HernandezMy name is Juan José Hernandez and I am proud Salvadoran. More than 20 years ago I migrated to the U.S. because of the repression and dictatorship. I migrated out of fear of being conscripted into the war and the lack of job opportunities as result of the Civil War. Throughout my work with the BRU, I began by participating each month in the Monthly meetings. When I was invited to workshops, I realized that it was the organization that I had been seeking. I realized that it not only fought to improve public transportation here in Los Angeles, but that the fight was much more than that. When talking about how the police criminalize youth in schools, or the climate crisis affects third world countries, I learned that no matter the conditions or the time, as human beings with political consciousness we have to fight. 

English y Español.

 

Lawrence LancasterHello fellow BRU members,
I'm thankful for this opportunity to run for a seat on the planning committee this year. We're gathered here with shared and common interests: social justice, an improved public transportation system, safer communities, fewer police officers, and increased resources, among other concerns, not least of which is the support and encouragement of our young people by providing a means for them to achieve their highest potential. I'm thankful for all those Black men and women who came before me and nurtured my own awareness. As a Black man in America, social political awareness and activism is a way of life in the act of living. Our historic record acknowledges this to be true because if it wasn't for the strength of Black women nurturing the dreams of their children and standing steady for their men, many of us wouldn't be here today. 

English y Español.

 

Keita MellionHello my name is Keita Mellion. I was born in Plaquemine, Louisiana on May 17, 1981. At the age of four, I along with my mother and older sister moved to the Inglewood section of Los Angeles. I grew up just on the outskirts of Beverly Hills, now to you or me that may not seem like much but where I come from it was a big deal and though really we didn't have much we had a lot of pride. Growing up in Los Angeles in the 90's I saw a lot of things such as the Riots of '92, Northridge Earthquake of 1994, things which divided the city racially as well as economically. I believe that the racial disparities, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the war on the middle class in this country are human rights issues. The first time I heard of the BRU was in 1994 when they won the Civil Rights lawsuit against the LACMTA I remembered it as a victory for all of LA County. When I was first introduced to the BRU in the early 2000's I was not in a position to devote the time needed to effect the change that needs to happen. I'm now in a position to make a strong commitment toward the goal of alleviating transit racism.

English y Español.

 

Bianca SadiHello, my name is Bianca Sadi. I feel privileged to have been part of the 2013 planning committee member. Being a Planning Committee member has given me the opportunity to learn from an amazing body of people. It has been a school learning environment. Every campaign that we have had, has so many components from the idea, to conversations, and taking action.
The Voting Rights Referendum for Trayvon Martin campaign demanded justice for the insidious act of racist violence against a black 17 year old teenager. This campaign was very personal for me as a mother. I can only imagine what I would feel if the murder of my child happened simply because the color of his skin. To be out in my community of South Central Los Angeles with the Black and Brown residents was exciting and gave me an opportunity to raise their consciousness during the Voting Rights Referendum for Trayvon Martin. I was determined to speak to as many people and have the conversation of changing the racist system.

English y Español.

 

Steve SamayoaSteve Samayoa: Each of us, I believe, replay certain events of our lives over in our mind's eye. Whether regretfully or nostalgically, there is no doubt the lessons learned from our personal experiences are immensely valuable to us and those around us. I am remembering our fallen revolutionaries; revolutionaries that represented in their times the will and fight of the people. Although the physical dies, the impact, memories, and work of the individual live on in those who felt their love. Nelson Mandela's unbreakable will and determination to destroy apartheid in South Africa and Hugo Chavez's arduous fervor to smash the United States' imperialistic tendencies in Latin America and the rest of the world are an example to us that the work to bring about any sort of change is to always keep the people in mind. Conscious youth leaders are in such short demand. This isn't a coincidence.

English y Español.

 

Beverly Taylor PC 2014 NomineeMy name is Beverly Taylor and I'm running for the 2014 Planning Committee. I've been a member of the Bus Riders Union for about 3 years and have worked on some of our largest projects, including "The Fight for the Soul of the Cites" and the "Voting Rights Referendum for Trayvon Martin". I've attended countless MTA board meetings, listening to our Mayors make promises that they don't keep! I've participated in many marches and rallies calling for non-unions to UNITE. If elected to the Planning Committee I will do whatever is necessary to ensure the strength of the committee. I have lived in Los Angeles since 1989, so I am in tune with and have experience some of the problems that we have in this city, from our bus service being eliminated and fare increases to police brutality to gentrification and the attacks on the homeless on Skid Row. 

  English y Español