Yesterday, in between yawns and "oh, was there some kind of election in the news that I missed?" 8 candidates ran in the "fight for the soul-less city" mayor race. Meanwhile, on the same day, in Venezuela, a true champion of the people, the amazing Hugo Chavez, died.
FIGHT FOR THE SOUL OF THE CITIES OFFERS OUR BEST HOPE
The Bus Riders Union and the Community Rights Campaign were able to see an early screening of the new documentary about Mumia Abu-Jamal, an American political prisoner currently serving a life sentence for an alleged murder of a Philadelphia police officer. Incarcerated since 1981, in a trial that was plagued with blatant judicial disregard, Mumia was originally sentenced to death and that was successfully appealed in 2011 and commuted to a life sentence.
Leaders and organizers from the Labor Community Strategy Center, the Bus Riders Union, and the Community Rights Campaign reached out to the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral candidates. The letter outlines a series of priorites for the next mayor and urges the candidates to adopt our Fight for the Soul of the City proposal.
MTA is once again on track to eliminate bus service on 9 bus lines and cut service to 11 others. The February 27 Los Angeles Times article focused on the impact these cuts will have on South LA residents who use the 305 bus line to travel to jobs, health appointments and school on the Westside.
After two months of nominations it's now time for the 2012 BRU/SDP planning committee elections. There are 11 candidates running for election, 5 of whom will be elected. Learn about the candidates here. BRU/SDP members this is your chance to decide who should lead the BRU/SDP in 2012!
The Bus Riders Union and a broad coalition of allies put Metro's backs up against the wall today in the first Metro Board meeting since the release of the scathing federal civil rights audit earlier this week. The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) report calls into question the legitimacy and legality of policies that punished 100,000's of low-income bus riders and bus riders of color with repeated cuts in bus service and fare increases.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has found unprecedented levels of racially discriminatory impacts in its civil rights audit of Los Angeles Metro, the second largest transit agency in the country. These findings represent the most serious civil rights compliance deficiencies by an agency in at least a decade. By finding Metro "deficient" in 5 of 12 civil rights categories, FTA went beyond its more typical findings of procedural 'deficiencies' to also find that Metro ignored evidence that its transit service cuts had a discriminatory impact on riders of color.
Joining forces with Communities for a Better Environment, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, and Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA, the BRU marched to demand the Mayor and the MTA "Expanding the bus system, not the 710 freeway. Meanwhile, BRU organizer Francisca Porchas is representing Grassroots Global Justice Alliance and Transit Riders for Public Transportation in Durban, building our connections with the international climate justice movement.
The BRU, Communities for a Better Environment, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, and Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles have sent this letter to Mayor Villaraigosa and the Board of Directors of MTA calling for swift action on climate change. We demand restoration and expansion of bus service and a halt to the multi-billion dollar expansion of the I-710 freeway as two immediate actions that would benefit the health and well-being of LA's low income communities of color while reducing LA's carbon footprint.
In selling new bus passes that are only good for 30 days, instead of
the old 31 days, MTA has once again limited our mobility and forced us
to pay more for less."With this new policy I can no longer get my child to school on the last day of the month because MTA found a way to make low-income families pay them more money." A single mother speaks out on the impact of the new policy.
Check out news coverage on the new report co-authored by the BRU and 14 other civil rights, labor, environmental, public health, and housing organizations from around los Angeles. The report Transit Civil Rights & Economic Survival in Los Angeles: A Case for Federal Intervention in LA Metro details the 4 year storm since the end of the consent decree. LA Opinión, LA Weekly, and Streets Blog report.
Civil rights, labor, environmental, public health, and housing organizations argue bus service and fare increases result in civil rights harms for transit-dependent people and obstruct economic recovery for low-income transit-dependent Angelenos.
On Tuesday, October 11th, the Bus Riders Union held its first Tea Time
with Korean elders in two years. Eleven Korean bus riders attended the
Tea Time to listen to a presentation that provided historical and
political context around the Bus Riders Union, and the environmental
justice campaign, Clean Air, Clean Lungs, Clean Buses
On Tuesday, September 20th the Bus Riders Union and Transit Riders for Public Transportation, joined with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) to send a call to local allies and advocates in 13 cities around the country. Together we sent a message to President Obama and Congress, that protecting the funding for public transportation should be a national priority.
On Tuesday, September 20th the Bus Riders Union joined in the APTA National Day of Action to urge President Obama and Congress to protect funding for transit. Joined by transit riders, transit and environmental advocates, and community organizations, the BRU, using the slogan "Put Yourself in our Shoes!" gathered on the corner of Wilshire and Vermont.
With a federal review of MTA's civil rights record still in progress, a standing room only-crowd of over 200 and an all-star panel exposed LA MTA's civil rights crisis at the Transit Justice Town Hall meeting Saturday. Overo 100 bus riders people gave three hours of testimony on the harms caused by deep cuts in bus service, inadequate bus service, increases in fares - all of which will be used for a report on the crisis to be released in September. The event was organized by the Bus Riders Union and sponsored by a city-wide multi-racial coalition of 35 organizations.
Saturday August 20th, the BRU and members of over 30 ally organizations packed Parish Hall at Immanuel Presbyterian Church with over 250 members and allies for our Transit Justice Town Hall!
Over 100 people gave compelling testimony on the adverse and disparate impacts that the elimination of critical bus lifelines have had. The expert panel spoke amazingly of the intersections of race/the environment/gender/ public health and public transportation.
From bus benches to bus lines, transit-dependent Angelenos are being left stranded.
Facing the scrutiny of a federal civil rights review for disappearing bus service and an exploding controversy over disappearing bus benches, LA's political leaders are straining to convince the federal government and the public that the region's transit policies genuinely protect the needs of vulnerable transit-dependent people
On August 20th, the Bus Riders Union will be hosting a Community Forum on Civil Rights and transit to access the real impacts of the MTA's bus service policy. The event will be held at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church at 3300 Wilshire, starting at 9:30 am.
Today at the MTA board Mayor Villaragoisa and the MTA board passed a motion calling
for a suspension of cuts in Tier 1 bus service and for a report on
expanding Bus Rapid Transit improvements throughout the county.
With the MTA subject of a civil rights compliance review by the Federal Transit Administrations, a new pamphlet report from the Bus Riders Union exposes the policy and human sides of the crisis created by MTA slashing bus service and raising fares.
On July 4th, the New York times ran an article highlighting the impacts of service cuts on daily riders. Using the Line 305 as a example, the article tells some of the stories of riders whose line is targeted for elimination.
Friday, June 24th the Bus Riders Union, Unite Service Workers West representative Marx Guitterez, and Xiomara Corpeño, Organizer Director with CHIRLA, gathered on the steps of the Los Angeles regional office for the Federal Transit Administration