September 1, 2016
An Open Letter to Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Council Members Regina Romero, Paul Cunningham, Karen Uhlich, Shirley Scott, Richard Fimbres and Steve Kozachik,
I write this with a heavy heart. Your support of bus issues and defense of poor people over the years has been most appreciated.
If you now choose to raise bus fares it will be an attack on poor folk and the planet too.
In recent months, the Bus Riders Union has successfully been making the connection between climate change and the dire need for a highly functional transit system that increases ridership and can move more and more [people out of their polluting cars and on to the bus. Two hundred and forty people attended our August 25 Climate Change Summit. The keynote speakers were State Senator Steve Farley and Gregg Garfin, a climate change scientist from the University of Arizona who also served on the City’s Climate Change Committee.
Many people that make up your base are beginning to understand this connection and want to act on it. The cop union, Republicans and other assorted conservatives won’t respect you or vote for you for raising fares. Most of them don’t even live in the City. Instead you will look bad with your base and will expose yourselves to challenges to your political careers from the large number of people that support a Bernie Sanders / Raul Grijalva-type of agenda, the kind of bold, progressive agenda that could win elections in Democratic bastions such as the City of Tucson.
In the interest of bus riders living in or near poverty, the more fragile than ever environment and your own spiritual well-being and political careers, please vote NO to fare increases.