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.
Transportation Equity Network (TEN) gathered members from all over the country for a Washington D.C. fly-in to advocate for flexible transit operations funding, job creation and the inclusion of civil rights in transportation policy. TEN's theme for the two day conference is that improvements to transit policy can be a unifying force for advocates, unions and policy makers.
The MTA Board approved yesterday a package of bus service cuts that will be the biggest single reduction in bus service in Los Angeles County in more than 15 years. A total reduction of 387,000 bus service hours this year - 5% of the entire system - will include the elimination of 5 rapid lines 5 other local lines and partial elimination of service on other lines. What does this mean? It will mean longer waits, more overcrowding, and more transfers that will result in an added financial burden to already struggling bus riders.
The Bus Riders Union (BRU) and community allies held a press conference at a LA Unemployment Office in conjunction with the Transportation Equity Network and labor and environmental leaders across the country to strongly urge the use of Federal Infrastructure spending to strengthen transit and create more jobs.
According the the LA Times, "Demonstrators effectively shut down the meeting and interrupted a hearing involving the 710 before authorities ordered union members to clear the room." Glendale News Press and La Opinion also recognized the BRU. Pasadena Star News and the San Gabriel Valley Tribune ran the same story, which quoted...[Read on for links and more media]
After months of campaigning and an intensive week of fasting and organizing at the Rosa Parks Tent City, 150 BRU members and allies shut down the MTA Board. We were left with no choice but to stop business as usual. We brought the MTA Board meeting to a halt for the better part of 4 hours. In the process, two of our organizers, Sunyoung Yang and Gabriel Strachota, were arrested in an act of civil disobedience. Here's a recap of the day...
The hunger fasters have been using their facebook page to blog, give live updates, and post pics and videos from each day's actions and happenings. After the first night at the Rosa Parks Tent City, Manuel Criollo, BRU member, testifies, "We greeted the morning with the help of a mexica indigenous saumadora with the sweet and earthy scent of copal. In an act of solidarity, Rosa Miranda, one of the BRU fasters for justice, goes to LA City Council to..."
On May 19th in front of the MTA Budget Committee, Esperanza Martinez,
lead organizer for the Bus Riders Union, announced the beginning of the
Hunger Fast for Justice. The Bus Riders Union, wanting to graphically
illustrate the true cost of the MTA's fare increase will begin a hunger
fast on May 20th.
Yesterday on the front page of their local news section, the LA Times ran a strong story on our fight to stop MTA's racist fare hikes. We also saw excellent coverage in La Opinion, by radio and on television (so far we have confirmed coverage on Channel 7, NBC Channel 4). The Times article quoted BRU Co-Chair Barbara Lott-Holland and lead organizer Esperanza Martinez talking...
Housing and Civil Rights advocates gathered to attend a special meeting of the LA City Council for Housing, Community and Economic Development committee. Giving testimony in front of a panel chaired by Councilmember Herb Wesson, residents of public housing and renters from all over Los Angeles county gathered to address the housing crisis. Speakers covered the pending descruction of public housing and down sized workers unable to keep up with annual rent increases.
Last Friday. we achieved a City Council resolution that urges a public hearing for the MTA fare hikes. Sunyoung put the gears in motion in the meeting she led with Councilmembers Rosendahl and La Bonge, both members of the council's Transportation Committee.
The resolution acknowledges the economic hardship that...
Last November, I blogged about being disturbed by the absence of anger and the outrage in the middle of the worst economic crisis in 80 years. But maybe things are starting to change. Last week the L.A. Daily News was talking about people feeling left out if they didn't have a protest...on Wednesday.
UPDATE 4/22: On Thursday, April 15, Mayor Villaraigosa introduced Motion #49 to the MTA Board, with L.A. DOT General Manger Rita Robinson and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. The motion proposes an informational briefing to announce the fare increase and listen to “comments”; this is not a public hearing and not...
The BRU rallies after our Press Conference at MTA Headquarters to demand a stop to MTA's racist fare increase. BRU calls public attention to MTA's staff attempt to silence the public by denying them their rightful opportunity to speak on the impacts that another fare increase will have on the lives of half a million Black, Latino and Asian working class bus riders!