Monday, May 19

Back to the Drawing Board: Keeping train transit off University Avenue


The MN legislature re-introduced bonding legislation that funds the "Central Corridor" University Avenue light rail train, the legislature passed it, and Gov. Pawlenty promised, as part of budget negotiations, not to veto it.

I don't even know whether to call the governor and ask him to veto that line of the budget bill or not.

I mean, it probably wouldn't help if he was working all weekend and, as a result of a whole week's/weekend's work, said he'd sign the bill, including that part.


I THINK my time--and especially the time of the people I'm trying to organize--would be better spent calling those who have yet to make any decisions about whether or not to fund the University Ave. train plan.

Still, it's really hard to imagine trying to convince all the people I'm organizing to move on to the next stage. I think half of them signed on because the questionable status of state funding gave them hope that they could do something.

I don't even know how to get myself up out and at 'em enough to get as many of my 130 contacts as possible writing letters (which is what it's going to take at the next level of funding decisions, I think).



I could use some advice about how to further organize the people on my petition.

I think we have to write the next organization that'll be making a funding decision now. I don't know if calling that organization will work.

I mean, I'll write a letter, and I'll tell the organization that my petition has about 130 people of the University Ave. area on it so far, but I doubt that'd be nearly as effective as 50 of those petitioners EACH writing a letter. A good swarm.

Thing is, I'm no experienced activist! And a ridiculous number of people of my race and social class (that is, the people I actually strike up conversations with easily) are for this stupid train because they're upper-middle-class privileged people who just don't happen to see what a poverty-creating clusterfuck this thing is. Everybody makes mistakes, but theirs are particularly frustrating to me right now.

I only have phone numbers for most of the people I've gotten contact info of who're against putting light rail on University Avenue (sometimes addresses, sometimes not--almost never e-mail addresses). So getting sample text to them is either going to be hard & slow (going door-to-door) or super expensive.

I'll bite the bullet & choose one of those two ways of trying to motivate them to get a letter written and get it off to next organization making a funding decision if I have to...but are there better ways than providing sample text to get working people to write letters?

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