Happening Now

(Anti-) Transit Bros

August 22, 2019

Transportation projects in this country are under attack and dark money is to blame.

by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator

EDIT (8/23/19): Our condolences to the Koch Family on the news of the passing of David Koch this morning. We feel that this story remains important, and given the impending vote in Phoenix, it deserves to have light shed on it.

By now, I hope that everyone saw Sean’s call-to-arms a couple weeks ago against Prop 105 happening in Phoenix or saw some of the coverage of our SBR intern Madi Butler’s event in Tempe on the 11th.

Since then, a giant national spotlight has been placed squarely on the Prop 105 issue - thanks to the popular Netflix series “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” Hasan became a household name on The Daily Show and been on his own covering a variety of important topics for the last few years. As you can imagine, this one hit a little close to home.

As an advocate fighting for better public transportation options for everyone across the country, it was hard not to find myself absolutely furious while watching this full episode. As Hasan mentions in the clip above, affordable and reliable public transit means access to: jobs, education, health care, food, etc. Car culture is literally choking this planet and those in high places who benefit most are the ones making sure that projects like the Phoenix light rail get killed off.

I encourage anyone with a Netflix subscription to support the show and watch the full episode, or catch it on YouTube here while it's up. It takes a much more indepth look at how the Koch Brothers are singlehandedly to blame.

We saw what went down in Nashville last year, it’s happening now in Phoenix (early voting is open & Election Day is August 27th), and I now pray that Houston does not share the same fate.

I will leave you all with a quote from Madi on what she experienced on the ground in Arizona during her summer travels:

During our coalition-building event in Phoenix, I was dismayed by the anti-rail propaganda I saw littered around town. The outside influence is obvious and frankly, insulting to the voting population affected. The Americans for Prosperity is an affront to the rights of those who rely on public transportation and the irony of their attack on people who rely on the rail to seek prosperity is not lost on the community they are actively damaging. From the Urban Phoenix Campaign, All Aboard Arizona, the Mayor’s office, and numerous unions, there is no support to vote yes on this poorly worded and incredibly biased proposition. Once again we are seeing lobbyists skewing the truth of the bill to serve an interest other than the consituennts and favoring corporate interest that has no long term investment in the community of Phoenix. I was surprised by the number of people that came to our event thankful for support from a rail advocacy group as so many of their cries for help have by silenced by private interest.

Fight. Vote. Make your voice heard.