Dear Friends of the Bus Riders Union,
The MTA is voting in January on whether or not to appeal our Consent Decree to the U.S. Supreme Court. We need you at our December 19 rally at the LA County Board of Supervisors to pressure the board to vote against an appeal. Read on for more political and tactical details...
Bus Riders Union Rally for Civil Rights
Make Our Civil Rights Real-Don't Appeal!
Dec. 19, 2001 3:00 pm
County Supervisors Bldg (corner of Temple/Hill, Downtown Los Angeles)
Bus Lines 413, 418, 419, 91, 92, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, Red Line-Civic Center station
(respond to this email or call 213-387-2800 to let us know you'll be there)
Why you should join the BRU's December 19th Rally for Civil Rights:
1. To convince the County Supervisors not to appeal our Consent Decree to the U.S. Supreme Court. The MTA board is voting in January on whether or not to appeal. There are 13 people on the MTA board, and we need seven votes to stop the appeal. Mayor Hahn is against the appeal and he controls three votes. But we need four more. The County Supervisors (Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Gloria Molina, Zev Yaroslavsky, Don Knabe, and Mike Antonovich) control five seats . Our rally, in front of the County Board of Supervisors, is part of our strategy to convince at least four of the Supervisors to join Mayor Hahn and vote against the appeal.
2. To stop the right-wing Supreme Court from overturning more federal civil rights laws. We think the MTA's legal case is so weak that even the conservative Supreme Court will refuse to consider it. Still, the Supreme Court is looking for cases it can use to dismantle civil rights protections. If the Court does accept the appeal and overturn our case, it could be a serious setback for the civil rights of 400,000 LA bus riders and for federal civil rights laws. An appeal would endanger Title VI and Title IX of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the laws that bar government agencies from discriminating against people of color and women. For these reasons, we hope to reach agreement with the board that an appeal would be unethical.
3. To ensure that our movement is strong enough to win no matter how it goes in court. The BRU has defeated four MTA appeals in the federal court, has won 1200 new clean fuel buses to replace the old killer diesel buses, and has forced the MTA to start buying 350 expansion buses for overcrowding. But we wouldn't have won anything in court without our political movement and without winning the public transit debate in the city. These days, almost nobody running for office in Los Angeles dares to say that he or she supports rail over buses. This rally needs to be a demonstration of that strength to help pressure the MTA board to do the right thing. If our movement is large and visible, the board will know that no matter how it votes, we are on the rise and we plan to win. The strength and size of the rally matters, and we really need you to be there.
4. To challenge the right wing. President Bush is moving the whole country to the right, jailing immigrants, holding secret military trials, and spending education and health care funds on bombs and missile shields. We're building a response and an alternative to that plan. This rally furthers efforts to expand civil rights, civil liberties, and social services.
5. The rally will be vibrant, inspiring, and fun. We sing, drum, chant, spin poetry, and carry beautiful puppets and flags. Whether the last rally you went to was in 1965 or this is your first, now is your chance to help us drive the bus of history.