Monday, January 12, 2009

Press Release: Empire State Transportation Alliance (ESTA) To Rally

The whole deal with the MTA budget cuts and the Ravitch plan is very simple: transit riders have to make the State Legislature fear their wrath as much as they fear the wrath of drivers faced with the prospect of paying for the bridges they use. So far, the riders and their advocates have been doing an absolutely shitty job of it, letting themselves be led around by the nose and distracted by every dog-and-pony show in town.

Second Avenue Sagas has a rundown of some campaigns to stop individual MTA service cuts. Sadly, the only ones who seem to be pointing the blame where it belongs - at the state legislature - are the MTA board and Lee Sander's fifteen-year-old daughter. The "Save the M8" coalition is not targeting Deborah Glick, the "Save Local Bus Service in Gerritsen Beach and Marine Park" petition does not address Alan Meisel, and Councilmember Gentile isn't inviting his constituents to complain to Alec Brook-Krasny.

The only non-MTA-related people who are doing something to target the Legislature are the Empire State Transportation Alliance. They just sent me a wonderful press release about a rally they're holding tomorrow, and I was going to post a link to it on their websites. Sadly, their PR folks at Goodman Media haven't set up a web site, and the first Google result for "Empire State Transportation Alliance" leads to a 404 page at the Regional Plan association. I don't know whether the ESTA didn't pay Goodman Media enough to put up a website or Goodman Media hasn't gotten around to it, but seriously, doesn't anyone have their shit together?

In any case, if you've got time tomorrow and actually want to accomplish something instead of whining to the MTA board who can't do squat to raise more money, I suggest you call one of these people and see if you can get on the bus to Albany tomorrow. Here is the press release.

* *Media Advisory for January 13, 2009* *


News Conference And Advocacy Day With Legislators In Albany

WHO: Members of the Empire State Transportation Alliance (ESTA) along with a coalition of officials, union leaders and mass transit advocates including:

· Kevin Corbett, vice president, AECOM and co-chair, ESTA

· Gene Russianoff, senior attorney, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign

· Jim Melius, president, New York State Laborers’

· Denise Richardson, managing director, General Contractors Association of New York

· Vernon Thorpe, Transport Workers Union, Local 100

WHAT: ESTA will be hosting an Advocacy Day and News Conference urging additional funding for Metropolitan Transportation Authority and specific components of the Ravitch Commission plan

WHEN: Tuesday, January 13 at 11:30 am

WHERE: Legislative Correspondents Association (LCA), Press Room 130, to the right of large staircase in the lower level of the Legislative Office Building

WHY: The MTA’s proposed cuts threaten to propel the New York City region and New York State into an economic, social and environmental tailspin. The Ravitch Commission plan offers fundamentally more equitable transportation opportunities for all New Yorkers. Other attendees expected to attend the news conference include:

· Mary Barber, campaign director for Living Cities, Environmental Defense Fund

· Bill Henderson, Executive Director, Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA

· Neysa Pranger, public affairs director, Regional Plan Association

· Cate Contino, campaign coordinator, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign

· Jason Chin-Fatt, field organizer, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign

· Peter Goldwasser, general counsel, Transportation Alternatives

· Wiley Norvell, communication director, Transportation Alternatives

· Lindsey Lusher Shute, director, environmental campaigns, Transportation Alternatives

· Felice Farber, external affairs director, General Contractors Association of New York

· Pat McCandless, research associate, Regional Plan Association

· Kate Slevin, executive director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign

· Marc Herbst, executive director, Long Island Contractors’ Association

· Salvatore Rinaldi, Jr., Deputy Executive Director of LICA.

CONTACT: John Bianchi, Goodman Media, (212) 576-2700 or (917) 693-4290

Bennett Kleinberg, Goodman Media, (212)576-2700 or (917) 416-4012


(Please note our new address, effective Jan. 26, 2009)

Havelock Nelson

Senior Account Executive

Goodman Media International, Inc.

750 Seventh Avenue (between 49th and 50th)

28th floor

New York, NY 10019-6829


212.576.2701 FAX

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