Friends of Transit: Getting There Together Weekly

May 4, 2009

The Final Four Edition

Folks,

No basketball hoop-la happening here–we are simply down to our final four days until the Silver Line election. Some might even call it May Madness!

So, suit up and get in to the action!

Friday’s task–did you send that e-mail yet to your family, friends and neighbors to ask them to VOTE YES on May 5th for the Silver Line? No better time than the present!

Saturday’s task–how about walking through a neighborhood and dropping off some literature to get folks to the polls voting YES for the Silver Line? Details are at the Friends of Transit website. We’re meeting at the Kent Ionia Labor Council Hall, 918 Benjamin NE (off of Fuller Ave) at 9:30 a.m. that morning. If you can’t walk with us, how about a stroll up and down your own street encouraging the YES vote for the Silver Line? The weather should be fine.

Sunday’s task–the blogosphere is calling. Seems that the few opponents to the Silver Line are jamming the message boards on the local media outlets. This Sunday, the GR Press will be running an article on the Silver Line and we need you to log in to www.mlive.com, find the article on the millage campaign and then post a message in favor of the Silver Line.

Monday’s task–this one’s easy. Just call a couple dozen of your family or friends to remind them to VOTE YES for the Silver Line!

Of course, Tuesday is saved for voting and then the celebration that evening of some very hard work.

All for today.

Dave

April 28, 2009

The Silver Line Express Special Edition

Folks,

One week to election day.

Have you e-mailed your family, friends and neighbors to ask them to VOTE YES on May 5th for the Silver Line?

This special edition of GTT Weekly is focussed only on this critical need–the Silver Line’s future needs you to send a very brief, “express” message to every one you know via any and all means available.

The express message:

Vote YES on May 5th for the Silver Line.

If you want to send along additional information, how about a link to the Silver Line commercial which shows the animated Silver Line in action.

Or, you could send along a link to the video of bus rapid transit in action in Cleveland.

At the risk of overloading your e-mail, there is always tons of info at the Silver Line website or the fact-packed Friends of Transit website.

Enough from me–please don’t delay in sending your VOTE YES e-mails!

All for today.

Dave

April 3, 2009

The Calling All Volunteers Edition

Folks,

We are 32 days from the Silver Line Millage election day. Believe it or not, people have begun voting this week as absentee ballots began going out from city clerks in the six cities. Friends of Transit has been equally as busy sending information to these voters in order to garner a “YES” vote for the Silver Line – a Rapid Transit Service of The Rapid/ITP.

It now time to step up our efforts in the public square and at people’s doorsteps in order to get all of us to vote “YES” on May 5 for the Silver Line.

As for action in the public square, there are many ways you can help!

First, have stated your support for the Silver Line out on the World Wide Web? It’s not too late to place your moniker on the list of hundreds of persons and organizations who have already endorsed the Silver Line. Head to the Silver Line endorsement form to get signed up today!

Next, how about seeing your name in favor of the Silver Line in print? Please consider a letter to the editor to your favorite local newspaper. For the Grand Rapids Press, simply send an e-mail to pulse@grpress.com — limit your submission to 200 words and include your name, address and daytime phone number. Then look each day to see if your name is in the Press.

Finally, how about a sign for your front yard? As the public walks and drives by, you’ll want to show off your support!

Others are looking at the campaign–Article on the Kick Off Celebration in the March 31st Advance/Cadence.

As for one-on-one action, Friends of Transit has many options for you as well.

The best (and most fun) is sending information on to your family and friends. Head to the Friends of Transit website in order to learn how you can get connected via Facebook to let your “friends” know about the Silver Line. You could also grab a fact or two and send them along in an e-mail to people you know. Finally, in the next week, we’ll have electronic versions of all our campaign materials for you to forward to every one you know in the six cities. (Just think of all the trees you’ll save!)

How about volunteering to make some phone calls later in April? As election day nears, we’ll want to contact as many voters as we can in order to get out the vote.

Next, many of us will be heading out to the many doorsteps of our community the two Saturdays before the election, April 25th and May 2nd. We’ll be gathering at about 9:30am those days for a good ol’ fashioned lit drop to pass out another piece of literature on the benefits of the Silver Line. You won’t want to miss these spring walks!

And, of course, you need to VOTE YES on May 5th.

Your help will be indispensable. Contact the campaign at info@rapidyes.org for more information on any of these volunteer roles or to sign up!

All for today.

Dave

February 7, 2009

The Ice Fishing Edition

Folks,

Sorry for the delay in getting this edition to you on a Saturday. I’ve been off Thursday and Friday hanging out with about 60 third-graders and a handful of parents and teachers. We were on the annual camp overnight for this C.A. Frost class and, boy, did we have fun. You’ve got to love walking through the woods, sitting around a campfire and sliding down a snowy hill in a homemade cardboard, plastic and duct tape sled! And, yes, ice fishing! I will spare you my true feelings with you about ice fishing. Suffice it to say that sitting on a block of ice staring into a six inch hole hoping that a near frozen fish grabs a hold of your insect larva on a hook may not be in my top ten things to do on a February morning. But this day is not about me. It’s about the kids and their outdoor education.

Which brings me back to transit. You see, as we debriefed the ice fishing foray onto Little Bostwick Lake, Mr. Peterson, the awesome Environmental Lab teacher, spoke with excitement about the upcoming fifth grade excursion to Reeds Lake to try their luck at some ice fishing. My contribution to this conversation was that a couple ice fishing poles and a five-gallon pail was all a kid needed to get out to a day of ice fishing fun at Reeds Lake. They don’t even need their parents to drive. All they need is the know-how to grab a Route 6 bus. “That’s right,” another parent quickly chimed in, “They need to learn how to ride the city bus.” “Yes, the bus can get them there,” another added.

Can you see it now? Packs of third-graders roaming through Rapid Central Station carrying ice fishing gear in five gallon pails! Hours and hours of outdoor fun await out on Reeds Lake and it’s only the price of a bus ticket away! And, as the kids get older, they can move up to bigger fish and head to the Fourth Street Dam and try their luck while pursuing steelhead when they’re running. Route 7 or 11 will get you pretty close depending on what side of the river you want to wander into (http://www.ridetherapid.org/ride/routes). (Before you know it, there will be a kayak run on the Grand River downtown and then The Rapid will have to put kayak racks on the back of the buses!)

As for more direct transit news, nothing too exciting to report from Washington or Lansing. The governor did mention transit in her State of the State Address on Tuesday evening (full text at: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/SOS2009_265915_7.pdf), but this was only a teaser for things to come: “Soon, I also will recommend long-term reforms to achieve affordable but stable funding for maintenance and repairs to our roads, bridges and transit systems.” In the U.S. Senate, the fight continues on the Stimulus Plan. We’ll see what the weekend brings. (Maybe the congressional leaders need to head out to an ice shanty and work this out.)

On the local scene, plans for the upcoming Friends of Transit campaign are starting to get into focus. I hope you’ve been doing your work to get ready for May 5. Remember:

(1) Mark your calendar for 8:00pm, May 5, “party to celebrate our hard work;”

(2) Read up on Bus Rapid Transit and what we’re planning to do in The Rapid service area (http://www.ridetherapid.org/about/great-transit) or see what’s been launched in Cleveland (http://www.rtahealthline.com/); and

(3) Book mark http://www.rapidyes.org/. This still is the “thank you” page from the last campaign, but you won’t want to be unprepared when the new, “Vote Yes for the Silver Line” page goes live!

So, grab your five gallon pail and enjoy the ice fishing while we have it. Soon enough spring will be here and we’ll all be too busy campaigning to enjoy any leisurely day of fishing until May 6. That’s good since trout season kicks off the last Saturday of April and then bass season at the end of May.

All for today.

Dave
RapidYes.org

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