Thank you to everyone who came out for Monday’s Rider-Driver Solidarity event. It was a great success! We had a lively crowd of riders and drivers, impassioned speeches, good discussion, good music, and of course food.
Transit Riders Union organizer Sam Smith was our MC for the evening, and Metro driver Verita Alexander (also an ATU Executive Board Officer) gave a welcome on behalf of the drivers. Next came a number of short speeches that explored the theme of solidarity, tying it to the effects of austerity on riders and drivers, the trend toward privatization, the state and local transit funding crisis, the bus as a public space for conversation, and the TRU’s plans to organize. The speakers were Metro drivers Paul Bachtel (also the ATU President), Tracey Davis, Linda Anderson (also an Executive Board Officer), and Sara Franklin; and from TRU organizers Scott Myers, Beau Morton, and Katie Wilson. The speeches were followed by open-mic style public discussion. Finally Seattle folk singer-songwriter Jim Page performed his song “Bus to Come”, and we wound up the evening with informal discussion and socializing.
Here are transcripts of two speeches by TRU organizers:
Keynote: The Power of Solidarity (Scott Myers)
Let’s Organize! (Katie Wilson)
A big thank you to the ATU local 587 and especially to Verita for making this event happen!! The Transit Riders Union looks forward to working with the drivers and their union to fight for better public transit in King County.