Here’s a fabulous letter to the Rev. Jackson from ibright5, pulled from comments today.
Dear Rev. Jackson,
I am a concerned Chicago citizen who has been following the CTA
debacle recently. I am saddened by the breakdown in talks between the
CTA and the Union. I thought the Unions would realize that we’re in a
recession and would forego wage increases to keep their own from being
laid off. I was wrong. Instead, we’re now locked in a fight between the
CTA and the Union and you’re not doing anything to help.
YOU choose to
play the race card and say that the South Side of the city has been
disproportionally affected. Is that true? Do you have factual proof? Do
you know that 60% of Chicago’s geographical area is on the South Side?
So by just the number of routes, it may *seem* that the residents are
more impacted. But did you look at the routes that were affected and
see the number of riders on each one? Did you look at the reductions by
percentage and compare them with routes across the city? No, you just
look at it from a black vs white perspective. Everyone is so quick to
blame race without looking at the underlying issues of why transit is
so bad here.
Before the Unions cry and say that they’re hurting, how about the CTA
middle person (non-union employee) who hasn’t had a raise in 4 years?
Or the same person who has been forced to take unpaid holidays and
furloughs? I don’t see you arguing for them. Oh wait, they’re not a big
enough constituent for you.
It would be nice to see you arguing for real change here in the city.
The stuff that does impact transit more than anything else: the lack of
funding in the region for transit.You can also talk about the extreme
waste of having THREE boards to provide transit in the region. Or talk
about how the president of the agency shouldn’t be in the hands of the
mayor but in the hands of a legitimate search committee. You can even
talk about how the unions have been holding the city hostage because
they’re demanding more money in a recession. They are so wrapped up in
their own self-preserving attitudes that they couldn’t pass up a raise
and keep 1,000 of their own from losing their jobs. So you tell me,
whose at fault here?
In closing, please stay of this if you’re not going to be helpful.
This is coming from a black Chicagoan who lives on the Northwest Side
and who happens to know a thing or two about public transit.