Posts Tagged ‘vote’
Over the past three weeks, thousands of Transit riders in Charleston, Summerville, Goose Creek and Beaufort have been given an informational flyer on the Congressional Election “We Ride Together, We Vote Together.“ (Downloadable PDF)
If you would like to help hand these flyers out on the buses to other riders, a very powerful way to encourage transit riders to vote, please call William Hamilton at (843) 870-5299.
Voters have the opportunity to choose between Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) and Mark Sanford (R). If you have trouble getting to the polls, either campaign will be happy to arrange a ride to the polls for you Monday (for early voting) or Tuesday.
- Colbert Busch- http://colbertbuschforcongress.com/welcome/
- Sanford- http://www.marksanford.com/home/
Many riders have asked how this election is relevant to the quality of public transit we have in the Lowcountry. The answer is that even basic services like transit are now under constant threat. While large, well organized lobbies exist for the oil, automotive and highway construction industry, the thirty million transit riders have only begun organizing themselves into a national political force in the past year, when Congress slashed Transit funding from 20 to 18 percent of the Federal Transportation Budget. This triggered massive cuts in service across the United States.
What Poor Transit Systems are doing to the Lowcountry
For the people who depend on transit, a number which rose by 6% across the country last year, such cuts have drastic, even lethal effects. Riders making long walks home form now distant transit stops get hit by cars or become victims of crime. The elderly find themselves stranded as they age on Daniel Island. Those who lose their car, often then lose everything. They can’t ride the bus for a few weeks, scraping up the money for repairs while keeping their job. I’ve met successful people in Charleston who have confided in me that when they lost their car to a run of bad luck, the bus helped them rebuild their lives. Some are wealthy today.
In places like Beaufort, where the bus runs only to and from work once a day, entire lives are wasted with people left to do little more than work, wait and sleep. Shopping, civic and cultural activities are out of reach for people living on St. Helena Island an other rural communities. ”Going on the Bus” in Beaufort is viewed as a sort of living death in many rural communities Younger residents would rather leave, so they take their energy and talent elsewhere. Those who stay and ride have few options for spending their hard earned money.
Even for those who drive, the highway system has reached a point where it’s so large it can no longer be adequately maintained or further expanded with existing revenue. Younger people are giving up on the automobile altogether in increasing numbers. It just costs too much and takes up too much time. Throughout our public information campaign, Republicans and Democrats have both told us they want better transit.
The Congressman elected Tuesday will be the point person for all Federal involvement with local transit issues in the district. Fixing the problems with the long delayed intermodal center, making sure basic funding remains available, or helping replace some of our aging fleet of transit buses requires a Congressman’s support. We asked both candidates to ride. Colbert Busch rode the #41. Sanford never took a ride on a bus. We asked both candidates to answer two, relevant but simple questions. Colbert Busch answered. Sanford didn’t. Five Republicans did ride the bus: Moffly, Turner, Larkin, Hoffman & Bryant. Both candidates received phone calls from many riders asking them to ride and answer. You can read Colbert Busch’s full answers on the Flyer PDF. The flyer also provides contact information for the Sanford campaign so you can try to find out what his position is.
Please vote carefully on Tuesday. It was only eight years ago that CARTA resumed full operations after a disastrous two year near shut down. People died because the buses stopped running. We can argue about art in government buildings or how much Ft. Moultrie should be open, but when transit gets cut people lose their jobs, their families and sometimes their lives.
Transit is only one of several important issues in this election, but it touches on the core controversy of our time. Are we building a society which offers dignity and freedom to more people or are we building a society which concentrates power and wealth in the hands of a few? Real wealth requires a shared prosperity which has to include opportunities to travel, change jobs, shop, learn and enjoy our golden years for most people. Even those fortunate enough to be wealthy benefit from customers who can travel, employees who can get to work, patients who can access medial care before it requires an EMS trip, fellow citizens who participate in civic and cultural life and tourists who can enjoy our coast.
Free Markets, Competitive Economies
Free markets mean nothing to an elderly woman stranded on St. Helena Island who can’t get to a store. If we don’t have transit services which meet these needs, many capable people will relocate to, travel to or invest in other places which do. I’ve met gifted young people in Portland, Seattle and New York from South Carolina building lives which are rewarding without cars who left South Carolina and have no intention of returning. It wasn’t just about transit, but they abandoned their cars, built lives and they swear they’re not coming back. In the intensely competitive future, SC needs such talent and skill.
On Tuesday, vote like someone’s life depends on it, because it does.
Vote for Transit in the Primary, March 19
The Primary phase of this election has ended- Updated information on this election and Transit Voter activities can be found on our Farebox to Ballot Box Page
Thanks and congratulation to the Seven candidates for the First District US Congress Special election who took one of our four guided rides on CARTA in February and March. Early voting is now available at the Election Commission Warehouse on Headquarters Road in N. Charleston, a short walk from the CARTA stop on Dorchester Road, near it’s intersection with Leeds Ave, served by the Dorchester Road #11 Bus. Google Transit Directions to the Election Commission from Mary Street, Downtown Charleston. Anyone over 65, full time students and people who have to work on election day, and seven other categories of voter can vote now. Everyone can vote on the Primary election day, Tuesday, March 19 from 7 am to 7 pm. For questions about voting, contact the Election Commission at (843) 744-8683 or see their website at http://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/BEVR/index.htm
When you are contacted by candidates before the primary, remember to tell them you ride, you vote and you want to know what they’re going to do if elected to help our community continue the journey to better public transit. About one third of CARTA’s budget comes from funds appropriated by the US Congress, including grand funding for the purchase of new buses and funds to pay operating expenses.
Thanks for Taking a CARTA Ride with US
Below are the Candidates who got on board with the riders before March 15, 2013. Best wishes to all of you who made part of your campaign’s journey with us. The links take you to their websites or facebook pages where you can study their positions and ask them questions which you need answered to decide how to vote. Those without a date or route listed did not ride with us despite a vigorous recruitment effort by local Republican and Democratic transit riders.
- Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) Colbert Busch Facebook rode with us on March 14, Coleman Bvd, 41.
- Ben Frasier
- Eugene Platt (G)
- Larry Carter Center (G) rode with us in the rain on Feb. 7, The Green Party selected Platt to be it’s nominee at their meeting on March 9. Greens use a meeting system to pick their candidate instead of a primary.
- Keith Blandford indicates that he will not be riding, and that he is opposed to public transportation,
- Curtis Bostic or Bostic on Facebook
- Ric Bryant rode in the Morning on Feb. 28, North Charlston Exp.
- ‘Larry Grooms or Larry Grooms on Facebook
- Johnathan Hoffman rode in the rain, Feb. 7, Mt. P. Exp & 40
- John Kuhn
- Jeff King
- Tim Larkin rode on Feb. 13, Mt. P. Exp & 40
- Chip Limehouse or Chip Limehouse on Facebook
- Peter McCoy
- Elizabeth Moffly rode on Feb. 13. Mt. P. Exp & 40
- Ray Nash
- Andy Patrick
- Shawn Pinkston or Pinkston for Congress on Facebook
- Mark Sanford or Mark Sanford on Facebook
- Teddy Turner rode in the rain on Feb. 7, Mt. P Exp.
Thanks also to Linda Page of the CARTA Board and Mount Pleasant Town Council who met with four of the candidates during their rides.
Charleston, SC- Lowcountry public transit advocates affiliated with the Hungryneck Straphangers and local off duty bus drivers will join the nationwide votetransit.org campaign, on Tuesday, October 23, handing out literature and obtaining voting commitments from Bus riders at Express Bus stops along Calhoun Street in Downtown Charleston, SC from 3:30 to 5:30.
Transit supporters will be at express bus stops on Calhoun near MUSC and the College of Charleston. Materials to be distributed will include a “Thank You, Transit is Patriotic information card” which includes a photograph of and quote from wounded warrior Major Tammy Duckworth, and former Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, now running for the US Congress, who points out that transit reduces our dependence on the foreign oil which funds attacks on our troops overseas and encourages riders to vote.
This week’s national effort will inform and empower over a million transit riders in battleground states and others throughout the country to use their power as voters to help sustain and continue the progress public transit is making in the United States. Locally, that includes an 11% increase in ridership on the CARTA system this year. The following day, transit advocates and drivers from Charleston will travel to Columbia, SC to assist the referendum campaign to restore the transit system there which lost almost half its capacity to budget cuts last spring.
Candidates for public office who are supportive of Public Transit are welcome to participate. Participants will meet at 3 pm at the columns at Cannon Park 131 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29401 (former site of the Charleston Museum, across the street from MUSC), distribute materials and then walk to the Express Bus stops, which are nearby
Persons needing to reach the area can use any Express Bus, the Lockwood/Calhoun Dash or the North Beltline CARTA bus routes and plan their trip online using Google Transit by going to the CARTA webiste www.ridecarta.com or using the maps app on their Android Smart phone.
For More information see the website www.busec.org or contact William Hamilton, email@example.com or 843 870-5299.