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E-M:/ Detroit Bus Riders and Drivers

Enviro-Mich message from CSim592951@aol.com

Jul 31, 2000


The Committee for the Political Resurrection of Detroit (CPRD) expresses the 
strongest  support for your efforts to improve the working conditions and 
Livable wages of Transportation employees while improving the  number, 
efficiency and quality of available buses for Metro Detroit bus riders.

We believe that the issue of public transportation is one of the most crucial 
issues facing the city and the nation today and in some way has a direct 
impact on most economic and environmental concerns of the society. 
Transportation employees have the responsibility of transporting senior 
citizens to receive medical services, they carry the physically challenged to 
receive their necessary services and to their places of employment. Bus 
drivers service the factory and office workers and they take students to 
their elementary, high school and college campuses. However, because of a 
national and local move to corporatize and privatize public services across 
the board, public transportation for the populations which are most in need 
of such services have been allowed to rapidly deteriorate.  There are not 
enough buses, many of those which are available are not functional,  the 
schedules are a disgrace, the employees are overworked. 

In addition, there are safety and health problems that must be addressed. 
Because of the massive closure of mental health facilities across the state 
and the nation, some of the bus riders are in need of psychiatric and medical 
attention. Because of the massive cuts in social services and corporate 
downsizing,  the city, state and the nation have the burden of caring for an 
enormous homeless population, many of whom ride the buses as a means of 
shelter. In addition, the emissions from the buses contributes enormous 
toxicity to the already unsafe air quality. 
All of these problems are beyond the capacity of transportation workers 
although they are the ones who must make decisions about the welfare of the 
riders on a daily basis. 

We believe that the solution to these problems will only be found by 
including transportation workers, bus riders and environmentalists in the 
decision-making process and at the highest levels including the offices of 
the governor, the mayor and the city council. In addition, the workers must 
continue to organize in coalitions with representatives of the neighborhoods, 
senior citizens, the physically challenged, students and rank and file 
workers.  We cannot leave these policies to the Chambers of Commerce nor to 
the City Council and Mayor alone. We must build policies from the ground up 
and not the top down. Such a movement has been successful in Los Angeles with 
the Bus Riders Union, and Detroiters need to consider such an organization 
and right now !

We also want to stress that such a movement represents the Human Rights of 
all the riders and their families and neighbors and that we are not begging 
but demanding that which we deserve as human beings to satisfy our 
fundamental needs. Furthermore, it must be understood that once we  embark on 
this movement that it will be a long and difficult struggle but one that we 
can win. Ain’t No Stopping Us Now!    Free Detroit!

Elena Herrada and Charles Simmons
Co-Chairs, Committee for the Political Resurrection Of Detroit
POB 44474
Detroit MI 48244

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