Bay Area Bus Riders Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Rosa Parks
Bay Area Bus Riders Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Rosa Parks & the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Condemn Injustice in Public Transportation
OAKLAND – Fifty years ago, on December 1, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to protest segregation; on December 5, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was launched. Fifty years later, access to public transportation is STILL unequal. The culprit is the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) which supports a “separate and unequal transit system.” At a community event in Oakland, bus riders will honor the memory of Rosa Parks and demand that the MTC acknowledge and address the consequences of their unequal funding decisions.
WHAT: COMMUNITY EVENT
TITLE: Moving the Movement: Transportation Justice and Access Fifty Years After Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
WHEN: Monday, December 5, 2005
TIME: 4:00PM – 5:30PM
WHERE: Frank H. Ogawa Plaza (in front of city hall) in Oakland
A federal civil-rights lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco against the MTC, which plans and allocates funding for the Bay Area’s transit needs, states that public monies are spent to expand a “state-of-the-art rail system” – BART and Caltrain – into relatively affluent suburban communities, at the expense of a shrinking bus system…” Funding and service cuts disproportionately affect youth, the elderly, people with disabilities and low-income communities.
“When funding for roads is inadequate, we have to endure a few more potholes,” according to Lila Hussain, one of the event organizers, “but when funding for buses is inadequate, people are unable to get to work and school.”
In addition to local speakers, the event will include music and poetry. The Joy Gospel Choir will sing and members of Oakland’s Kids First! will perform a skit about transportation justice. At the rally, Urban Habitat will unveil a new issue of its quarterly journal, Race, Poverty and the Environment titled Moving the Movement: Transportation Justice, 50 Years After the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The event is sponsored by Urban Habitat. Urban Habitat works in partnership with low-income communities and communities of color to advance social, economic, and environmental justice in the Bay Area region and beyond. Urban Habitat is building a democratic society in which all communities have the power to influence and benefit from the decisions that impact their neighborhoods.
Founded in 1989, Urban Habitat’s mission is to work in partnership with low-income communities and communities of color to advance social, economic, and environmental justice in the Bay Area region and beyond. Through advocacy and the promotion of equitable policies, leadership development, research, and participation in strategic coalitions, Urban Habitat helps to build a democratic society in which all communities have the power to influence and benefit from the decisions impacting their neighborhoods.
Urban Habitat works in four key areas:
Policy and Advocacy:
Within the area of policy and advocacy, UH focuses primarily on transportation and housing, environmental health, and equitable development issues. Our long-term goal is to ensure that local, regional, state and national policies support principles of social, economic and environmental justice. To achieve this goal, we work with our community partners to hold elected officials and other decision-makers accountable to the needs of the Bay Area’s low-income communities and communities of color.
Capacity Building and Technical Assistance:
Since 1998, Urban Habitat’s Leadership Institute has trained community organizations, labor, faith-based organizations, and youth on issues related to transportation, housing, economic development, and environmental health. The overall goal of the Leadership Institute is to increase the capacity of organizations to move a political agenda for social equity in the region. We customize our trainings to meet the specific needs of our partners and their campaigns. Each Leadership Institute employs interactive popular education techniques to engage the participants in a strategic examination of the political, economic, and social forces that shape the region. To date, more than 200 leaders spanning the entire Bay Area have participated in Urban Habitat’s Leadership Institute.
Reframing the Debate:
Urban Habitat recognizes that social and environmental justice organizations must provide more than a critique of what is broken and inequitable in today’s society. We must turn our vision of social justice into concrete solutions. Through our national biannual publication, Race, Poverty, and the Environment we offer cutting edge analysis, best practices, and alternative frameworks for addressing community development and environmental justice issues. Leading thinkers and organizers contribute to our journal to showcase exciting work taking place throughout the country.
Regional coalition building:
Urban Habitat works with a wide range of partners because we understand that no single organization can succeed on its own. UH works within several coalitions and continues to build alliances with non-traditional partners such as environmentalists, business and government to share strategies and build power in the region. We also convene the Social Equity Caucus (SEC), the Bay Area’s only body dedicated to promoting a regional vision for social justice. SEC members represent economic, social, and environmental justice community-based groups, as well as labor, public health, advocacy, faith, and youth organizations. By connecting local issues and priorities to a broader regional equity agenda, the SEC works in strategic partnerships to build power within the Bay Area’s low-income communities and communities of color.