Transit Equity Day 2022

Santa Cruz County’s First National Transit Equity Day Feb 4, 2022, chosen in honor of Rosa Parks’ birthday, was a Success!

Check out media coverage, activities, and speeches by Santa Cruz County community leaders below.

KSBW News and other local Media covered our Santa Cruz event.

Transit Equity Day is a National Coalition movement celebrated on Feb 4th, in honor of Rosa Parks’ Birthday. TED was founded by Civil Rights Leaders, Environmental Organizations, Labor Unions and Laborers working together to bring awareness to the public about the critical importance Robust Public Transportation has to ALL members of our community and activate people to support public transit.

Educate. Agitate. Organize.

Santa Cruz Transit Equity Day 2022 In the News!

The Pajaronian: March Calls for equity in public transit

Lookout: ‘The time is now’: Santa Cruzans call for transit equity, accessibility

KSQD Talk of the Bay, with Chris Krohn, Feb 1,2022: Transportation Equity and a Carbon Free Future

KSQD Talk of the Bay with Suki Wessling, Jan 17, 2022: What Does Everyday Equity Look Like?

A coalition of organizations participated and community members of all ages marched along the Coastal Rail-Trail to Lighthouse State Park. A local funk band Sonic Architect set the mood.

Robust Equitable Public Transit is a CIVIL RIGHT providing opportunity access to all. Prioritizing the creation of robust transit systems across our nation is one of the most important ways we can address our Equity and Environmental crises and reduce traffic. Our entire community benefits. For every $1 spent on public transit, $4 comes back into our communities. – APTA

Video and post-production by Chelsea George

Local Sponsors/Endorsers of Santa Cruz County’s Transit Equity Day included Equity Transit, the Santa Cruz NAACP, the Santa Cruz Climate Action Network, Roaring Camp, Regeneración, Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative, the Youth for Climate Action Network, Shared Adventures, the Black Student Union, Slugs for Coast Connect, Friends of the Rail and Trail, and Santa Cruz for Bernie. A special thanks to the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation.

Our National Sponsor is Labor Network for Sustainability which is endorsed by a large and growing number of civil rights leaders, environmental organizations, labor unions and members including the NAACP, Sierra Club, The Sunrise Movement, Hip Hop Caucus, Citizens Climate Lobby, Elders Climate Action, and many more. See link below.

Sponsorship: ).

VOICES: 10 Local Leaders, public transit users of all ages from underrepresented communities, spoke for National Transit Equity Day 2022

Dr. Justin Cummings is a current Santa Cruz City Council member, past Mayor of Santa Cruz, Co-Founder and Associate Director of the UCSC CITRIS Initiative with a PhD in environmental studies. Justin is running for District 3 Supervisor.

Tamarah Minami is a local high school student, climate science activist, and leader of the organization Youth for Climate Justice, a group of local students working to change policies that impact climate.

Felipe Hernandez is former Watsonville City Council member and former Mayor, a Cabrillo College Trustee, and is running for District 4 (Watsonville) Supervisor.

Mary Offermann is a philosophical spunky 80-year young artist who studied English and Dramatic Arts at UC Davis. Mary spends summers painting at her studio in La Montagne Noire, France, finishing her work in Santa Cruz on her urban farm compound with her children and grandchildren.

G-SPEED is a poet, artist, performer. Solid. Grounded. Soft spoken, Former US Army Soldier, staff member at UCSC, Grandfather to Miss Marlo and Miss Melody, and Great hugger.

Foster Andersen is an engineer, inventor, and founder of the non-profit Shared Adventures, dedicated to improving quality life and bringing outdoor adventures for those with disabilities. Foster advocates for robust public transit which many

Vanessa Quiroz-Carter dedicated the past 20 years to public service, community building and education including Americorps, SCC Women’s Commission, the City of Watsonville Parks and Recreation Commission, and as VP of the Board for Families in Transition. Vanessa works as an Adjunct Professor at Hartnell College and was recently elected to the Watsonville City Council.

Thairie Ritchie, part 1: Born in Atlanta, GA in 1995, Thairie is a young local organizer and activist involved in bringing forward change in the social ecosystems with events such as the Juneteenth 2020 march and the Community Forum in Sept 2021.

Thairie Ritchie, part 2: Thairie is a KSQD interviewer for the program Unheard Voices, works for the Farmer Markets, and is a student at Cabrillo College.

Michael Wool and Zennon Ulyate-Crow are UCSC students whose primary source of transportation is the Bus Metro. Their passion for transit and housing justice has translated into organizing and activating UCSC students.

Michael Wool is a 3rd year environmental studies and economics major at UCSC and founder of Slugs for Coast Connect. Michael and his organization, Slugs for Coast Connect, was a key partner in creating the Transit Equity Day 2022 event. Michael Wool joined the board of Friends of the Rail and Trail in 2022 and is a transit justice activist.

Zennon Ulyate-Crow is a first year student at UCSC and founder of the UCSC Student Housing Coalition. Zennon was one of three full-time paid staff with Grassroots Democrats in Los Angeles working against the Republican Recall Campaign in California and led a canvassing program in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area that knocked on over 5,000 doors, with a volunteer base of 125 people, he personally managed distribution of over 60,000 postcards to volunteers.

The United States once had the world’s most advanced public rail, trolley, and bus transit systems! Q: What happened?

A: Starting in the 1940s, the auto, oil, rubber tire, trucking, and asphalt industries formed a powerful lobby that steamrolled communities that fought to keep their public transit systems intact, ripped up valuable rail & trolley infrastructure, and built highways in the bedrooms of Black and Brown communities.

The systemization of racism and classism through the destruction of our once robust transit systems by the Highway Lobby undid over 100 years of work done by Civil Rights Leaders. Systemized racism and classism due to poor public transit is an issue which continues today across the US and even in our own community. Automobile and hi-tech industries play a role when they advocate prioritizing government spending on self driving e-cars over robust public transit.

What IS Possible for Santa Cruz? Our Path to an equitable, clean, traffic-free future is Robust Public Transit; electric light rail, a trail, and safe streets all integrated with a robust bussing system!

In October 2021, Coast Futura brought affordable State of the Art Electric Light Rail to our Santa Cruz Branchline! WE CAN DO IT!!!

The Coast Futura ran in Watsonville and Santa Cruz over 2 weeks in October 2021 and the community was very excited!

Electric Light Rail in Santa Cruz County IS Possible!!! The community asked, when can we have this permanently?

Taken For A Ride  – The U.S. History of the Assault on Public Transport in the Last Century

April 5, 2022 Sally Arnold discusses preserving our passenger rail future versus Greenway’s Measure D.

Zoom Presentation in partnership with Indivisible Santa Cruz County.

In Northern California, our once great rail system connected us from Santa Cruz to the North Bay all the way to Sacramento!

By the 1940s, the United States had the most extensive network of clean electric trolleys and passenger trains in the world. Americans fought to keep their ‘public’ transit but the public was steamrolled and most of these transit systes were destroyed by a handful of powerful industries seeking profits building highways and automobiles. Now we are far behind much of the world, but we can pivot.

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