This was originally written 2-4yrs ago … My point to posting this, is because we are now being asked to save Metro again!?!
We did it! You and I, with our coalition partners and all the individuals we set in motion, have saved metro. The King County Councilenacted the $20 Congestion Reduction Charge last night, after some intelligent, bipartisan negotiation and compromise, and I am so proud of them. Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert, in particular, really rose to the occasion. They not only made those controversial “yes” votes that carried the day, but they improved the proposal by giving 8 free bus tickets to everyone who pays the $20 car tab fee and letting those who don’t want them donate that value to social service organizations. Doesn’t it feel great to see your democratic government working the way it’s supposed to?
The lesson we can learn from this success is that our participation matters. Without the outpouring of “overwhelming” support for transit, this deal never would have happened. When democracy works, it is because we push our elected officials to do the right thing. I know this success has inspired and energized me, and I hope it’s done the same for you.
If you feel a little giddy at this vision of what participating in your democracy can do, here are some ways to keep at it:
1. Join me in going past this temporary 2-year solution. We need to find permanent, progressive funding for transit, and convince the voters to vote for it. If you would like to work on this issue with me and our local organizational partners, please reply to this email. We’ll be starting the discussion with a free movie screening of the film Contested Streets (a transit documentary) on Fri. Aug. 26th at 7pm at Bethany UCC, corner of S. Beacon St. and Graham St. in Beacon Hill. Please join us for the screening and discussion. RSVP
2. If transit is not your pet issue, and you just like standing up for common sense, progressive causes and social justice, there are ways to do that, too. Since last November, I’ve been volunteering with my local MoveOn Council and have found it to be a great way to develop my skills and learn from more experienced and active citizens. Each council is a group of active individuals that works on national campaigns with the national MoveOn.org organization, but can also weigh in on local issues or help members get involved with local advocacy groups.
3. Last but not least, you can make your own petition on signon.org at any time! Any individual can start a petition about any issue, so consider it, and let me know if you have questions.
These are dire times in many ways. We are struggling economically, environmentally, and politically. But there are rays of hope, like this victory today. Just remember, there are more of us than there are of them, and all we need to do is stand up and make our voices heard. Please stand with me in the years to come and help make King County the kind of place we all want to live in.
Thank you and Peace be with you,
Julia Deak Sandler