Good People of NOC,
Many of you have heard about the recent energy of our transit equity campaign. In three short months we've managed to gather over 300 on-the-bus surveys and insert real community folks into the SWLRT (South West Rail Line) negotiation, a 1.7 billion dollar project in the final stages of development.
ON Saturday, May 10th, NOC and our allies hosted a public meeting with four powerful members of the Metropolitan Council in a discussion with over 100 transit riders and community folk.
The results were incredible and resulted in the following wins:
- The SWLRT project has been effectively stalled for weeks. This meeting and the follow up meetings could unstick the process and lead to a commitment to begin construction. We've been in coalition meetings with the Governor in the past few weeks and we know that an agreement to build would immensely valuable to the Governor's bid for reelection. NOC's profile as a primary catalyst would prioritize our relationship to whole new level.
- NOC was able to establish itself as an organization able to effectively mobilize a base of transit riders. This moves us to another tier of negotiating power with the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County and the Met Council when it comes to issues of regional equity.
- Currently the Met Council is staffed by a board of Governor appointees, including 15 total members and exactly 1 person of color. The 4 members of the Met Council at Saturday's meeting agreed to push for the establishment an Equity Advisory Panel, composed of transit riders and prioritized for people of color, that would be included in regional transit decisions and negotiations. This would be the first panel of it's kind and a game changer for regional equity decision.
A few of the 16 total media hits:
Transit Coalition website (NOC, ISAIAH and Take Action):
A big shot out to new organizer Michael McDowell for leading this work and Ryan Stopera for offering real support (including this great campaign video.)
Onward and upward,
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