Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Plans for May 4th. Progressive Community Circle Rally Advance in Charleston, SC area


Leadership for Nov. 4th Environmental and Social Justice Community Circle Rally Stepping Forward
Charleston, SC, USA- Leadership for the East, Environmental Justice; the West, social and economic justice; and the the South, family and community have stepped forward to lead the formation of the Community Circle at the planned May 4th rally in the SC Lowcountry.
New Banner Illustration for Event Postings

Leadership in the Time of the Virus

Environmental activist Carol Dotterer will hold the Eastern Position on the Circle. To the South, Christian King, director of Pink House, a West Ashley neighborhood resource center will take charge. Erin McKee, Union Leader will coordinate the western quadrant of the circle. Jesse Williams, Charleston County Council candidate and North Charleston Community activist will lead the safety ranger team. William Hamilton, Attorney and Executive director of the Up is Good, PAC will provide overall leadership. Off site social media will be coordinated by Todd Chas, founder of the Goodsharing.net social network for Charleston area progressive activism.

Wendell Galliard, SC Legislator, has stepped up to work with local community leaders to find an appropriate location for the socially distanced demonstration in Charleston or North Charleston with proposed locations including Brittlebank Park on the Ashley River, the greensward at Riverfront park in N. Charleston, locations around the Felix C. Davis Center in Park Circle and the front lawn of the old Navy Hospital.
6 pm, Monday, May 4 has been selected as the time for the rally. A new graphic for social media postings has been prepared. A new summary event and social distancing plan for the event has been issued, dated. April 27. Previous versions are now out of date. A more more detailed operational plan is being drafted and will be reviewed during a Thursday, 9 pm zoom conference.

Possible Rally Footprint at N. Chas. Riverfront Park
Plans for social distancing at the rally are being refined now. Over 200 people will be able to gather without making contact which might transmit the Covid-19 virus. A group of ranger volunteers have been assembled to patrol the demonstration to prevent the sort of careless, instinctive social actions which can transmit the virus. The rally will gather separated household groups around a circle with a radius of 98.6 feet with speakers and musicians in the center. Stations, marked by surveyor’s flags will be spaced 12 feet apart around the circumference of the circle and participants, who must be in a household group isolating together must stay within arm’s length of their assigned flag during the event. Music, speakers and leadership will emanate from the circle’s center.  Input from the stations will be facilitated by FRS radio links provided by the rangers.

A team of off site social media experts has been organized who will work from their homes or places of isolation during the rally to capture and transmit content generated on the ground, in the center of and around the circle. The event will be live streamed on Zoom and Facebook.

Local Effort Connected to Continental #EarthDay2Mayday Mobilization

Lowcountry Up Is Good, PAC 2016 Referendum Campaign
The rally is part of the #CHS #EARTH RISING, a 12 day series of over 20 virtual and real world actions to reenergize the struggle for Environmental and Social Justice in the SC Lowcountry (USA). All planned events comply with social distancing guidelines and best practices. Organizers are challenging what they see as a right wing takeover of the civic square and free speech space in SC society. The effort is part of a continental #EarthDay2MayDay mobilization running from the 50th. Anniversary of the 1st Mayday to the 50th Anniversary of the Kent State Shootings and Charleston’s own Right to Ride Day commemorating Mary Bower’s reconstruction era victory in her fight to desegregate Charleston’s horse drawn streetcars in 1867, considered the first Civil Rights victory in Charleston’s 350 year history.

Other events included in #CHS #EARTHRISING are community participation in CARTA’s online board meeting Wednesday, immediately followed by a community response on Zoom. On Thursday, a masked avenger will deliver handmade, artisan face masks to local leaders. On Wednesday evening Millicent Middleton will webcast a session of Wine Down Wednesday from Johns Island and local socialists will present a night class on Marx.

Carol Dotterer discusses transit with community member.
On Friday, May Day, a banner demanding a return of public transit to Charleston beaches will be pitched along a major roadway and a live stream will be offered. Legislator/Chef JA Moore will sell lunches which include a gourmet snack provided to local healthcare workers and first responders on Friday called "Feed it Forward." The East Side Community Pot Luck is being supported on Sunday. The effort concludes with the Community Circle Rally on Monday at 6 pm. All events are on the calendar at https://www.goodsharing.net/events on Goodsharing.net online.

Updates and More Information

Updates on planning are posted several times a day to the #CHS #EARTHRISING group on Goodsharing.net, Charleston’s new social network for progressive activism, at https://www.goodsharing.net/groups/2218670/ online. Those wishing to contact the organizers may call (843) 870-5299 or email wjhamilton29465@gmail.com.

END END END

For more information contact W. Hamilton (843) 870-5299 or email wjhamilton29464@gmail.com  

Sunday, April 26, 2020

West and South Point Leaders for May 4th. #chs #EARTHRISING Community Circle Rally Selected


West and South Point Leaders for May 4th. Community Circle Rally Selected

Charleston, SC, USA, April 26, 2020- Erin McKee (West, Social and Economic Justice) and Christian King  (South, Community and Family) have stepped up to the Circle.

Cardinal Point Leaders for South and West Selected
The Good Old Day, We don't do this anymore
Erin McKee is a local union leader with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The electrical union has a long and necessary history of dealing with safety issues with physical proximity elements. McKee has spent decades working as a union leader. Earlier in her career she worked as a flight attendant, dealing with safety issues, including the transmission of illness on aircraft. She’s a determined advocate for a $15 an hour minimum wage and workers rights in SC. Erin will take up the West position on the circle and be responsible for supervision and organization of those demonstrator’s stations between the Western point and North where people working for Social and Economic justice will stand at numbered stations along the circle, 12 feet apart.

Christian King, Executive Director of Pink House, a community support organization located West of the Ashley will take up the South location, dedicated to Family and Community. Pink House provides tutoring for children in their area, enrichment activities, food support and labors to build up human dignity in the neighborhoods East of Citadel Mall. King is also a Christian minister and leads the West Ashly unit of Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit.

Leaders for the North and East Locations are now being selected. William Hamilton, Attorney and Executive Director of Lowcountry Up is Good, PAC and Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit and a technical team from Up Is Good will run the center of the circle, where speakers, art and music will originate. A separate team of online communicators, off site will amplify and retransmit elements of the event to virtual participants. Spring 2020, a new song by local activist Sharon Robles has been selected as the Anthem of the gathering. It’s part of the nationwide #Earthday2Mayday mass mobilization.

Plans for and Reasons for the Rally
Piston Cap from Best Friend
Plans for the May 4, Community Circle Rally, a socially distanced real world gathering for renewed work to rebuild family, community, social and economic justice, environmental justice and Government and world leadership is currently recruiting leadership to take up the cardinal leadership points on the 197.2 feet in diameter circle of community that participants will take up stations around at 6 pm on Monday, May 4th, the anniversary of the day Charlestonian Mary Bowers gained the right to ride the City’s Horse Drawn Streetcars in what may have been the Lowcountry’s first Civil Rights victory in 1867. It is also the 50th. Anniversary of the Kent State shootings.

The Community Circle Rally has been conceived as a way to enable renewal of a progressive presence for Social and Economic Justice in the public physical and mental space. Our public squares have been monopolized by armed groups of anti science reactionaries focused on weapon ownership, anti-immigrant activities and resistance to public health measures implemented to contain the spread. These gatherings have been characterized by a dangerous and unconsidered disregard for the likelihood of biological hazard transmission of the Covid-19. A summary version of the safety and operation plan for the rally is now online in the Goodsharing.net event listing for the rally as text and a downloadable PDF.
   
More Information
We can't do this anymore either. 
For more information about the rally see postings on Goodsharing.net, the Lowcountry’s new social media platform at https://www.goodsharing.net/groups/2218670/ or you and contact William Hamilton at wjhamilton29464@gmail.com or (843) 870-5299.



Saturday, April 25, 2020

Come Stand With Mary in Defiance of the Redneck Reactionaries in SC or
How a Square White Guy & Jesse are Trying to Build 

a Big Colorful Circle While People Get Sick

Sidewalk Pitch for #CHS #EARTHRISING and #HEROESMOVINGHEROES. Part of #EARTHDAY2MAYDAY

Jesse William talks to drivers waiting for the light to change.
Charleston, SC, USA, April 24, 2020- There were two demonstrations in South Carolina today. One was about the future, human dignity and saving  the planet in Charleston. The other, around the Statehouse, was a gaggle of violent ignorance, demanding that the workers of SC be fed into the grinder of the Coronavirus epidemic in the service of Donald Trump’s tiresome cortege of fear and hate.
Since stupidity and prejudice gets more publicity than it deserves, I thought I would tell you about today’s street corner banner pitch for better public transit that was part of #CHS #EARTHRISING and #HEROESMOVINGHEROES.  At the intersection of Meeting Street and the I26 onramp, Jesse Williams, activist and candidate for Charleston County Council and William Hamilton, Attorney and Executive director of Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit. This location was half a block from the former site of Charleston-s tent city of homeless people, cleared out four years ago.

At the North end of what was once Charleston’s now forgotten street car system that Mary fought to ride (her story later) and a few hundred feet from the planned route of the long promised, mostly paid for, over planned and as yet unconstructed bus rapid transit line, we made our stand while the rednecks surrounded the statehouse.

This banner faced the I26 on ramp
We pitched large banners declaring that it would be “Better on the BRT” an long delayed rapid  transit line between Summerville and Charleston we helped win voter approval of four years ago. Since then we’ve been fighting to force our elected leaders to spend the sales taxes we won for them on the transit system they promised to build. We have that promise in writing, incidentally.

The other banner, painted by the transit deprived people of the Johns and Wadamalaw Islands, declared “Sea Island Transit, There is Power in Togetherness,”  That one was so well received in it’s outdoor debut that Christian King of West Ashely started a project to create a large banner for their campaign to increase transit frequency there. We also have a twenty foot monster that demands bus service be returned to area beaches. That one is going up somewhere appropriate on Mayday.  We have tool boxes of bungee cords, rope, tent stakes and zip ties to put these up and keep them up in the wind.

Sticking It by the Side of the Road
Every pitch is different. This one’s curse was hidden concrete underground. Plastic tent stakes cannot be pounded into it with a rubber mallet. We finally found a soft spot. Jesse put up the chairs and cranked up our sound system and we were ready to go online.

Meta demo- This passerby  livestreams us livestreaming him
There are lots of people better at livestreaming that we are. Most of them aren’t putting up banners, greeting traffic and trying to manage a phone attached to the tripod with medical tape because the phone clip on the tripod broke. Tape is not an adequate substitute.  We finally got a shaky stream running shortly after 3 pm, as planned.  Then we had to finish staking up the other signs and banners. After that, when the tent stakes got pulled out in the wind due to soft ground, we put them up again.

It took us a while to get everything working but we get it all happening about 45 minutes into the stream. We call out our US Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, greet bus drivers, meet the public and wave at all the cars slowing down for a peek at the resistance.  You can see how we did on the record. The first 45 minutes are full of putting stuff up and the phone falling off the tripod. It isn’t exactly Avatar or Casablanca after that, but we hold it together for about 45 minutes until our failure to connect the booster battery to the phone catches up with us and we go dark.

Jesse worked at it hard, pushing through the mask and helping  out. We got it done. We threatened non- one. People smiled. The young people walked by reveling in the spring with the soulless pleasure that their doctors prescribe for them. They seemed unworried, but they should be. We were that small, persistent   voice among the noise warning the redneck army the future has it supporters here, even in reddest, most backward South Carolina.

Not Staying Home, Managing the Social Distance
Folly Beach Hates sent the Police to take this banner down. 
We wore masks and gloves and got out of the house.  We’re going to pitch our big “Bring Buses Back to our Beaches” banner on Mayday, to remind the community of the fierce injustice of relying on the low wage service labor of thousands of transit riders to keep it’s tourism economy working while refusing, year after year, to offer those without a car a way to take their children to the beach. 

The angry men with guns in white pickups demanded the beaches be reopened to them. The governor gave that to them. The people who own the governments that control access to those beaches then closed them again, sort of. That was injustice, the white pickup army declared. The people on the beaches and the shite pickup guys still remember the time when there was a gate on folly road that black people were only allowed to pass if they had a job cleaning a white person’s beachhouse. They want that world back.  We’ve got twenty feet of hell no to put up on the workers day. We’ll be livestreaming then too.

We couldn’t stand by while the white pickup rednecks for the exurbs started their government takeover in SC. We gathered the weary, frightened survivors of our long, mostly losing struggle here on the phone and cajoled them into putting on their masks and picking up their flags. We begged, we promised and occasionally, we lied. Some came. More are coming. We’ve put together 12 days of struggle in the Lowcountry and Charleston and branded it #CHS #EARTHRISING, a part of the larger #EarthDay2MayDay celebration. Ours goes past Earthday because we needed to reach an anniversary in a city where the past from Francis Marion to the Civil War casts a long, dark shadow in our shared lives.
Sol Legare Island Transit Activists

May  4, is the 50th. Anniversary of the Kent State shootings. It is also the 153rd anniversary of the date Mary Bowers, a free woman of color, won the right to ride for all in Charleston. It was a month-long campaign that proves Mary would have consider us wimps. Mary’s approach to change was breaking things and setting them on fire.  Riots surged around police stations ended by shaky alliance confrontations with ex Confederate white police officers and very black Civil War Veteran US Army occupation forces. Mary wanted to ride the new horse drawn streetcars. They represented the future. So did her new freedom. The campaign began after a mass organizing meeting for the black reconstructionist Republican party in SC on Marion Square.  Mary decided to ride even though the “colored cars” were still allegedly on order. The conductor put her off. She said she would dismount, but there would be trouble.

Mary Does Not Do Zoom, She Summons Stones
Mary did not convene a zoom meeting to propound the value or her online petition and beg for donations for her new nonprofit on act blue. Mary did not beg for permits and pester Susan Dunn over at the ACLU. She went out and found a crowd. They found cobblestones. There was shortly a grave shortage or window glass. Charleston was then a city which had only two years before had so many windows blown out by the union bombardment that a yankee reporter, walking  through the weed wild streets South of Broad said the wagon ruts appeared to be paved in diamonds. After a month, General Scott commander of the Freedman’s Bureau suggested the street car company allow everyone to ride without discrimination as the new reconstruction act required. The board of directors held a meeting and concluded the implied idea that black federal troops would be riding streetcars with bayonets to increase the racial sensitivity of the conductors would be bad for business. On May 4th the affirmed the right of all to ride.

Talking to a Member of the CARTA Board
It has taken me ten years of advocacy to get new bus shelters up in Charleston and the long promised rapid transit line that votes agreed to fund in 2016 is still only a plan after four years. We need to be shovel ready now.  It took Rosa Parks and the mighty Martin Luther King over a year to desegregate the buses of Montgomery Alabama. It took Mary only a month to liberate the Holy City’s streetcars. Of course Mary broke and burned things, lots of them apparently. So many, in fact, that the conservative newspaper refused to admit it had happened.

Evidently breaking things accelerates the rate of progress on social justice in Charleston. I suppose that’s why they don’t tell the tourists about Mary Bowers and why she doesn’t appear in our kid’s school books. I still don’t advise setting cities on fire to change them. However, it apparently works.  If the redneck army wants to escalate, Mary has warned them about where we can go and who wins we do.  Perhaps our elected officials should listen to people who don’t bring assault rifles loaded with thirty round clips of live ammo to their rallies. I and Jesse saw police officers all afternoon, every one of them glad to see us. Let’s keep it that way if we can.  We buried nine friends here after Dylan Roof shot up a prayer meeting at Mother Emanuel Church five years ago. Violence has no charm for us.

Mending the Circle, Claiming the Center
On May 4, her day and the day of the martyrs of Kent State, we’re planning a socially distanced demonstration in the Lowcountry, a great circular gathering. The circle has a radius of 98.6 feet and family groups will gather around the 300 foot circumference 12 feet apart. Speakers and musicians will take the center and the noise we make will move out through those gathered to the community and across the World Wide Web. We will restore the fractured circle of community and reclaim the center. The North axis will be dedicated to leadership and Government. The South axis point to family and community. The East will be dedicated to environmental justice. The west to social justice. To learn more, see the #Earthrising Rally event listing on Charleston’s new social network for Activists www.goodsharing.net

Even in the midst of this epidemic, we cannot surrender access to the roadside and public square. We can’t agree to stand on the street while our transit system serves the priorities of tourists instead of the hard working people who serve them. We can’t stand quietyly playing TV on Zoom while people are forced to return to work without even the flimsy protection of an 80 cent disposable mask. We are not their children, we are not disposalble pieces of meat and as Mary Bowers knew, we should not be slaves.

END END END
By William J. Hamilton, III
Attorney, Executive Director
Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit
wjhamilton29464@gmail.com
(843) 870-5299

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Charleston Toots a Salute to Transit Drivers Friday Afternoon

Charleston Toots a Salute to Transit Drivers Friday Afternoon, Apr 24

Due to expected high winds and storms, this event has been moved to Friday

Charleston, SC- Friday, April 24th. From 3 to 5 pm (note new date due to weather) Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, is asking the Charleston, SC community to join us in saluting our Transit Operators, #herosmovingheros as they take our medical care workers home at the end of the work day on CARTA’s buses. We'll pitch our Power in Togetherness Banner (above) at the intersection of Meeting Street and the I26 onramp, a block north of Huger St.) where several major bus routes taking people to and from our Medical Complex pass. We’ll be positioned on the NW corner. The closest nearby address is just to the North at 623 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403-4222, United States.

Transit drivers across the US are moving people to work in our emergency response, healthcare facilities and volunteer organizations at the grass roots national response to Covid-19 evolves. Transit vehicles have been repurposed to deliver emergency food supplies and meals for children who are not in school. Operators have been exposed to the virus, many of them senior drivers with millions of miles driven behind them. Several have already died. Locally riders are asked to wear masks. CARTA drivers are now protected by a plastic curtain. Buses are being sanitized daily. Riders are being asked to limit travel to only essential trips.

You’ll be able to follow the effort and help us spread awareness online by connecting to the Facebook Live video stream well be sending out from the corner. You can obtain updates and get background on Charlestons now social network for activists at  #CHS #EARTHRISING discussion group on www.goodsharing.net  This effort will operate at our strict social distancing standard of 10 feet.

You’ll be able to follow the effort and help us spread awareness online by connecting to the Facebook Live video stream well be sending out from the corner. You can obtain updates and get background on Charleston’s new social network for activists at  #CHS #EARTHRISING discussion group on www.goodsharing.net    This event is part of #CHS #EARTHRISING, a twelve day series of events planned to reinvigorate the struggle for Social and Economic Justice in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Have ideas, give us a call at (843) 870-5299 or Email wjhamilton29464@gmail.com


Sunday, April 12, 2020

Transportation Equity after the Pandemic by Charlie Smith Video Online



We've just posted a video version of Charlie Smith's great article on the future of Transportation here in Charleston and the Lowcountry. We asked him to cut his message down, record it in his own, authentic voice of local leadership and made it the soundtrack of a video. If you want to read his original column. you can find it on Charleston Currents, titles FOCUS, Smith: Pandemic lesson: Time to stop the asphalt gravy train

Everyone maintained radical social distancing during the production of this video. A musical video with the theme Together, We Go Forward is now in development.

Charlie Smith
Smith's article is well worth reading and sharing. He writes in part, "When the corona virus quarantine is over, let’s be sure to remember one of the most important lessons that we have learned: Let’s remember what it was like living in Charleston without traffic. The lesson we should learn from this experience is that it’s time to stop building bigger and bigger roads that only invite more and more cars and trucks that divide our community and diminish the health and well-being of our citizens."

A major national infrastructure bill with hundreds of billions of dollars for transportation is being drafted in Washington now. Signals from both sides in congress about when it will be introduced range from April 20, 2020 to after the fall election and are conflicted and changing. As a community, we need to be prepared to be informed and active citizens in this locked down world where most of our traditional methods of making ourselves heard aren't available. CARTA is already approved for over ten million dollars in emergency funding, most of which will be used to replace lost farebox and sales tax revenue.

Sign our online petition, Be Heard. 

Sol Legare Transit Advocates on Folly Rd.
You can sign this online petition about how Corona Virus funds should be used to improve Lowcountry transit now. In the absence of being able to organize in the community with traditional outreach, online activity is very important. We can't ask our congressmen to fight for something we don't ask them for. We have been in contact with both Clyburn and Cunningham's staff, but they need to hear from you as well. Telephone works best.
  • Joe Cunningham (202) 225-3176, ask to speak to Jose’
  • James Clyburn  (202)225-3315

Contact Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit

Please feel free to contact Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit with your ideas and input. Contact Executive director William Hamilton at (843) 870-5299 or by email at mailto:wjhamilton29464@gmail.com?subject=Public Transit in the Lowcountry

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Trump Must Provide PPE to Return Transit and Enable Lowcountry Covid-19 Recovery

Trump Must Enable South Carolina to Return to a Transit Enabled Lowcountry Recovery.


April 9, 2020- For Immediate Release
For more information or comment call WJ Hamilton, Executive Director of Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, (843) 870-5299 or mailto:wjhamilton29464@gmail.com?subject=Challenging Trump on PPE & Transit

Charleston, North Charleston, Summerville, Lincolnville and Mount Pleasant, SC- Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, Joins National Challenge to President Trump to compel him to make sure basic safety supplies and equipment are available to confront the Covid 19 epidemic to enable the return of fully functional transit and our local economy.

Mask Now Needed for Lowcountry Drivers and Transit Riders. President must resolve national shortage.


The Covid-19 epidemic has crippled public transit operations and the people who depend on them across the SC Lowcountry.  CARTA continues in limited operation on a modified Sunday schedule but much of the economically productive activity it once linked is shut down. One bus driver in Detroit has already died. Many others are ill. Tim Liszewski a SC Activist who worked with us as part of the SC Progressive Network passed away last week.
Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit has joined the Labor Network for Sustainability’s national effort to compel President Trump to fulfil his Constitutional duty to take the steps necessary to obtain the basic safety equipment and supplies needed to support our healthcare workers, first responders and transit operators and lay the foundation for a national recovery. Over fifty other organizations are involved.  The four page letter to the President, Vice President and other national leaders can now be read online.

The letter says in part, “Nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals are treating patients without the basic protection and equipment they need to do their jobs. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that we have just 1 percent of the N-95 respirators and surgical masks needed.1 A US Conference of Mayors survey found that an alarming 91% of cities lack the N-95 respirators needed for first responders and medical personnel, and 88% lack other necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”
While no one should be making unnecessary trips now, millions of people depend on transit to make their lives work. Many are disabled, elderly and don’t earn the pay necessary to pay the overhead of maintaining and parking an automobile. Downtown Charleston’s Tourism economy, medical complex and educational institutions cannot function without CARTA Transit. CARTA has just issued a request for local transit riders to wear masks while on board.Here in the Lowcountry our tourism sector is shut down. Our Food and Beverage Sector is on life support. Many of those workers here must ride transit. We have been forced to postpone or cancel the Spoleto Festival, house tours, Cooper River Bridge Run and Azealia Festival with the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars.


 Suffers Infected and ImmobileThe Low country


For the Lowcountry to return to work and our local economy recover until a vaccine is fully deployed over a year from now, we must have a system of supply, testing, isolation, treatment, tracing and medical treatment in place which contains the virus. Without this Transit is impossible. For those who dismiss transit, it may help to understand that tourism, sports, schools, farmer’s markets and entertainment will not be possible either. A shared Uber used by 20 people in the last eight hours you do not see is not safer than a bus which is professionally decontaminated daily driven by a professionally trained driver with a mask where you see everyone on board.

No return to a life which is economically sustainable is possible without these supplies and equipment, first to our hospitals and first responders, to our transit operators and now, as CARTA has requested, to regular bus riders.

Like a trip on CARTA transit, the journey back to national recovery takes careful planning and the use of limited resources. We cannot charge back into the workplace without protection and a plan without inviting a full scale return of the virus and the possible infection of the millions who have sacrificed their income and freedom by staying at home to contain the spread. The estimates being promoted assume effective social distancing and containment measures leading to a limited, carefully monitored return to work and community. A careless drunkards walk through more waves of infection towards a herd immunity where 80% of the population has survived infection would mean the death of millions of Americans.

The President must act to supply our front line workers in this epidemic here in the Lowcountry and across the nation with the supplies and equipment they need. Local and state officials must begin planning the system of education, supply, monitoring, testing, isolation and treatment which will support limited and increasing levels of return to work and economic productivity.  For CARTA this will have to include complete protection of bus operators, masks and vehicle decontamination for riders and a local environment where limited, necessary transit travel is safe.

A Call for National Action on PPE Reported Across the Nation


The Network’s letter and Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit support is being reported across the nation, appearing first in the national media outlet the Hill in an article entitled Unions push White House for more protective equipment for essential workers. The Whitehouse has not yet returned comment.
We have also called the leaders of our nation and community to look beyond this epidemic to making construction of our Bus Rapid Transit system part of the national recover effort. Our future should be free both of Covid 19 sickness and the epidemic of automobile traffic. We are circulating an online petition now asking local, state and national leadership to include funding completion and operation of the Lowcountry Rapid Transit System in the future infrastructure recover bill.

Transit riders know that live is a shared journey. There are good weeks with Friday afternoons where we celebrate a return to family waiting on the bus home at the Mary Street Transit Center. There are tough days where we suffer, waiting in the rain for buses which are snarled in accident fractured traffic on Johnny Dodds Blvd. in Mount Pleasant. We are smart enough and tough enough to complete those trips if we have a plan for going forward as a community and a nation.

END END END


#United4Workers #PPEnow #chsnews #chstrfc #bfltransit #ridecarta

For more information and comment contact:
For more information or comment call WJ Hamilton, Attorney, Executive Director of Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit, (843) 870-5299 or mailto:wjhamilton29464@gmail.com?subject=Challenging Trump on PPE & Transit

Friday, April 3, 2020

Opportunity in an Epidemic - Transit Funding in the Covd 19 Stimulus Bill

If you act now, we can get better transit here and complete our planned rapid transit years sooner that was previously possible.

A two trillion dollar Covid 19 bipartisan infrastructure stimulus bill is expected to be introduced in the US House or Representatives on April 20. Lowcountry Congressmen James Clyburn and Joe Cunningham are both working on it now and we’ve been in contact with their staff about transit. While the current draft of the bill wastes far too much money on sprawl inducing road construction, the bill could include the funding needed to improve public transit across the US.

Please sign and share our online petition calling for the 25 billion in transit funding for Covid 19 response already approved and the trillions of dollars in future funding be used, in part, to improve transit in the Lowcountry. https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/support-covid-19-infrastructure-recovery-act-funding-for-lowcountry-public-transit.html?fbclid=IwAR3KNfHFEYTc4HTgken8qJrRmKvxI3-SkC6hRNInKSUx2I2tpLPLTREIDfQ

We just got off a national teleconference with transit equity organizers in over 20 cities. We plan to complete preparation of materials and launch our advocacy effort on Wed. April 8.

This bill could improve the quality of life and mobilty for every American, build affordable housing and needed infrastructure to deal with sea level rise and climate change, all critical issues to the Lowcountry.
These investments should be controlled and owned by the public. However there are well organized forces trying to influence the bill that want to move the US to an ownership, equity, wealth creation model where our roads, transit systems and affordable housing are privately owned and publically subsidized without accountability or transparency to the citizens. They’ve been planning a privatized transportation system which eliminates public transit and public controlled roads with free public access  for years. You can read one such Typical call for privatization of public roads, transit and infrastructure, in Forbes Magazine- https://www.forbes.com/sites/waynecrews/2020/03/31/phase-4-coronavirus-infrastructure-spending-to-start-at-2-trillion/#421c178a7099

Please sign the petition now. We know it’s a detailed document, but elected representatives will only respect the informed and precise input of voters under emergency conditions. A meaningless make public transit better blurb will only obtain a meaningless we love public transit response. Details are the mother of ac-countably, demanded and delivered.

Please feel free to contact Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit with your ideas and input. Contact Executive director William Hamilton at (843) 870-5299 or by email at mailto:wjhamilton29464@gmail.com?subject=Public Transit in the Lowcountry