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Greetings Supporter.  We had a powerful RTA hearing in Lansing but need your help to convince the Senate Leadership to finally schedule a vote on the RTA.  Plus check out TRU's position on the anti-tax proposal 5.  Read on . . .

Great Hearing with Powerful People Speaking Out in Support of the RTA - Tell Senate Leader to Act Now!!

Thanks so much to everyone who called and emailed their legislators and those who came up to Lansing with us to speak out for Regional Transit! It was a very impressive hearing demonstrating enormous and diverse support for the RTA.

There was powerful testimony from business and political leaders from across southeast Michigan, including top leaders of Macomb, Washtenaw, and Oakland Counties, plus the City of Detroit, captured by MichiganNow.  M-1 Rail's Matt Cullen said:

“Public transportation benefits all Americans whether they use it or not. Public transportation helps to create and retain jobs. It revitalizes business districts and allows employers to tap into a larger work force. It stimulates commerce and increases property values."

Attorney and business owner Andrew Basile made an especially powerful case for RTA and improving transit, also captured by MichiganNOW.  Take a moment to read it online. 

"If you look at the Woodward Corridor . . . it’s a 3 mile wide and 22 mile long city. That territory contains all the assets of an extremely competitive mid sized American city. I’m talking about downtown Detroit and Birmingham and Royal Oak as well. They’re like slivers of successful urban neighborhoods you’d find in Chicago or San Francisco. 

"We have all the assets . . . but they’re deployed in an awkward, linear fashion. They’re too spaced apart. That’s why this transit line is so vital."

Business leaders who didn't attend in person sent a public letter of support for the RTA to leaders of the legislature, as reported in the Detroit News:

"Here in Southeast Michigan, there is great momentum to finally create a Regional Transit Authority and build the modern, transit system that Metro Detroit needs. This is an opportunity we must seize to grow our economy and prosper as a region.  Effective public transportation cannot stop at a municipal boundary any more than a highway can serve its purpose by stopping at the end of a city limit." 

Curt Guyette from the Metro Times provided the best summary of the day, along with a very essential question:

"The breadth of support for the plan, especially in a region that can be as polarized as southeast Michigan, is stunning. . . . It's the business community. It's local executives and elected leadership in southeast Michigan. It's people. It's labor. It's everybody. It's all the major interests who understand this is critical to rebuilding Michigan." 

"So why has the legislation been bottled up in both the state House and Senate all year? Because Republican leadership has kept the legislation from coming up for a vote."

Given that, what's next?  We need to convince Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville to schedule a Senate vote on the RTA bills! 

Please tell Senate Leader Richardville

to schedule the RTA vote!! 

Then urge all your friends to do the same, because he needs to hear lots of voices speaking out!!

Last Chance to Register to VOTE

In 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. In 2012, we want to make sure no one is left out.

TOMORROW is Michigan's voter registration deadline (October 9).  

Think you're registered?  Make sure!!  (The state Voter Info Center will also provide your voting location and sample ballot.)

Need to register or change your registration?  Go to any city or county clerk office or the Secretary of State, or download and mail in the form TODAY.

Questions?  Go to Michigan.gov/VOTE or Vote411.org.  

Remind your friends, family, co-workers, bus buddies, and co-workers to register too!  Thanks!!

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 VOTE NO on Proposal 5 to Enable Future Transit Funding! 

TRU has taken an official position opposing Proposal 5 on November's ballot. Proposal 5 amends the Michigan Constitution to prohibit new or additional taxes by the State of Michigan unless approved by a 2/3 majority of members in each chamber of the legislature or by a statewide vote of the people.

Even with the current rules, state funding for transit has not been increased in 25 years.  This proposal would make it far harder to fund transit and other important services.

We urge all Michigan voters to oppose Prop 5 - a radical and harmful change to our state constitution.

Proposal 5 would create minority rule on tax policy in the state Legislature. If it passes, just 13 state senators would gain the power to block tax votes supported by the other 135 members of the Legislature.

Don't just take our word for it.  Here are other a bunch of other diverse and well-respected organizations opposing Prop 5 as well:

  • Detroit Free Press
    • "There is no more dangerous change to state government on the ballot than Proposal 12-5, to require a two-thirds vote of each chamber of the state Legislature in order to raise taxes in Michigan. That is a prescription for disaster. Some call it Californication -- after the state that is so bound up in tax restrictions that it often can't even produce budgets -- but you can also simply call it a nightmare."
  • Detroit News
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association
  • Gov. Rick Snyder
  • Senior advocates:  AARP Michigan, Area Agencies on Aging, and Disability Advocates of Kent County
  • Unions:  AFL-CIO, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, United Auto Workers
  • Education:  American Federation of Teachers,  Michigan Head Start Association, Michigan Association of School Boards, Michigan Education Association, Michigan Community College Association, Presidents Council of the State Universities of Michigan
  • The Business Community:  Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Traverse City Chamber of Commerce
  • Health care:  Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Health Care Association of Michigan
  • Michigan Municipal League
  • Michigan Sheriffs’ Association
  • Michigan League for Human Services
  • League of Women Voters of Michigan
  • Michigan Catholic Conference
  • Michigan Farm Bureau
  • And many others

Given the crowded ballot, few people are really aware of this enormous threat. Please help spread the word to your friends, family, and other contacts!  

Here are some great resources for spreading the word:

Note - taking this position is fully legal and legit given TRU's nonprofit 501(c)(3) status.  While we cannot and will not support or oppose any candidate for public office, nonprofits are permitted to advocate for and against ballot measures.  We encourage other nonprofit organizations to do the same!

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For more up-to-the-minute updates, articles, links, and more, make sure to like TRU on our Facebook page:  Support Detroit Transit.  And while you're there, post a comment, add your thoughts, and share it with your friends!  I love to hear what you think.

As always, feel free to contact us before or after with any comments, questions, ideas or concerns.  Thanks,                           

                                         Megan

PS - You are subscribed to Transportation Riders United's email list.  TRU is Detroit's nonprofit transit advocate, dedicated since 1999 to improving bus service, removing barriers to rapid transit, and advocating for smart transportation investments.  

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