“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Martin Luther King, Jr

Friday, April 12, 2013

TriMet Activists: It's Time for a Change

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Martin Luther King, Jr

We all know Cameron Johnson: he is one of our better know TriMet and OPAL activists. Tonight on twitter he spoke some words that left me with the confirmed resolution that our TriMet activism group needs to make a change. Here is what he wrote, condensed into a paragraph (but no words were changed):

"Transit blogging used to be about facing opposition with facts for the good of the city. Now it's all a bunch of self-righteousness, personal vendettas, and radical extremism for the sake of shock value. Frankly, it's become about the blogs, not the issues. What good are we if we focus on being characters, on being right, on being the hero?"

We all know that the issues at TriMet are extensive and to make any sort of change will take a lot, but Cameron is right here; the path that our attempt at transit activism has gone down in the last year, even two, is a downward spiral that needs to change. This has all become a quest for personal achievement instead of an act to achieve change in our transit agency for everyone in the city. If we want to pursue changes at TriMet we need to take a new approach than we currently are.

So who are we fighting for? What are we fighting for? Why do we even bother? I can tell you my side.

I am fighting for the public. We all deserve reliable, safe, and effective transit--we have a right to it--and TriMet is not giving us that. Our crew of transit geeks needs to unite and make ourselves all heard. If each individual fights for this, but is mainly doing it for the personal achievement gain, it just hurts our image and our message. We need to send a sharp message to TriMet that we will not stop until we have major changes and improvements to this deteriorating transit system and agency.
I do not want personal attacks or any synonym of that in this at all. That has nothing to do with any of this. We are all fighting for the same reason, right? We all want a better transit system run by a responsible transit agency.  If so, we can't let personal feelings get in the way of it. We need to work together and show ourselves as a strong force of many to TriMet and everyone involved in it if we want to make any kind of change. We have to make ourselves all known and recognized by the public and get their attention. They need to know the whole truth of TriMet and we're the ones who all need to spread that message. The more people who know the truth are the more that will want change and be willing to fight for it alongside us. We have to show that we are a force not to be ignored--too strong that we cannot be ignored.

So what is the next step? If only I knew. But what I do know is that we all need to come together and resolve to make a change to TriMet together--we cannot each do it alone. We need to do this together. Who’s game?


Al M said...

Why does it appear that there has been some important info left out of here?

One thing you might not realize, take the high road or the low road they all lead to the same dead end.

OPAL proved that.

Adri C said...

Al, If there has been, tell me what that is. I will gladly hear it. I wrote this late last night, so it would not surprise me if I accidentally left something out.
I know you feel this is all hopeless in the end, but it doesn't have to be. There are enough of us who care enough to where we can make a change even if it does take time.
We can do this--we're not completely helpless.

Lane J said...

I'm going to throw in my two cents because I can't sleep and my mind is racing. Here goes.

I know that I am an "outcast" with Adri and Alex ever since I entered the transit blogging scene. Yes, maybe I have polluted it some with my wild stories. That is the old me. Ever since I started looking at the budget, I have been attacking management. Attacking them HARD. There will be something coming out by the end of May that will send shockwaves through management. It could probably get Neil fired. I see where everyone is. But if we all "get together" and have a common goal, blog about the same thing, nobody will listen to us. If we attack from every direction possible, the more pressure we put on TriMet management to either bow out or fix the problems that are in front of them. I can understand how you want everyone to come together, but in this time of crisis it just won't work. That would wipe out any progress we have already made.

Adri C said...

So tell me this, Lane. How will making ourselves stronger in the face of TriMet wipe any progress out? We've made basically none as it is.