Portland City Council Candidate Jason Barbour Resigns from Transit Riders Union
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Friday, March 5, 2010
Contact: Jason Barbour, info (at) electjasonbarbour.com
"Quality, usable, dependable public transportation service, whether provided by bus or rail, is a key component of a good major city," Portland City Council candidate Jason Barbour says. "I believe that continuing my interest in public transit service advocacy and activism as a candidate for public office, as well as a daily public transit rider and Portland Community College student, sends a strong message to TriMet that it should provide Portland, as well as the entire metropolitan area, more service at less cost to riders, not less service at more cost as they propose for September 2010."
With these words, Barbour resigned as a Co-Coordinator of the Transit Riders Union today, effective immediately, citing professional differences between co-coordinators.
He continues his candidacy for Portland City Council.
"We won't have jobs, commerce, educational opportunities, libraries, hospitals, parks, arts, social services, or anything else if citizens cannot reach these destinations in a timely manner," Barbour argues. "Public transit serves as a way for pedestrians to extend their trip range. Public transit is a backup for motorists and bicyclists. Public transit is also the primary mode of transportation for thousands, including myself."
Barbour points to the passage of Ballot Measures 66 and 67 by Oregon voters as proof that the citizens of Oregon are willing to see additional permanent funding for essential services. Barbour believes public transit is an essential service. TriMet says they have 'no choice' but to eliminate service due to falling revenues from traditional sources of funding.
Barbour also hopes his candidacy in Oregon's largest city sends a message to Governor Kulongoski and candidates for the next term, that public transit riders should be appointed to the TriMet Board of Directors. It is currently unknown if any member of the TriMet Board relies on TriMet for daily transportation needs. Barbour ultimately wants to see an elected TriMet Board.
"It is unfortunate that, in the ten months I was involved with the Transit Riders Union, differences of opinion and irrelevant side conversations at meetings have dwindled interest and diluted its message and purpose," Barbour comments.
Barbour has previous successful experience with public transit advocacy and activism as a volunteer with The Committee to Save C-TRAN in 2005. Barbour believes the group was successful in part due to everyone putting aside their differences for one goal: help keep public transit service on the road.
A sampling of irrelevant topics discussed at Transit Riders Union meetings included partisan politics, personal pronouns, structure of nonprofit organizations, and sociological context. All of these were absent from the 2005 Clark County, Washington, effort.
Jason Barbour's campaign website is ElectJasonBarbour.com.