MLK Day Greetings
On this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday we salute the late Dr. King, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, and Civil Rights workers whose names may be less known. Their determination–in the face of horrific racist violence–inspired many movements, including the fight for Disability Rights.
Student transportation is a key part of equitable access to education. If school bus riders miss part of each day’s lessons or therapies (due to heartless routing and preventable workforce shortages) then their civil rights are being violated. This was stated to PIST and friends in the 2013-14 school year by Attorney Norm Siegel who had babysat the King children 50 years prior.
Action calendar (not in date order)
Today we pledge ourselves to the following actions. We hope you will be able to join us:
National TRANSIT EQUITY DAY is held on February 4, Mrs. Rosa Parks’ birthday. PIST will cohost a Press Conference to kick off our 2022 School Bus Bill of Rights campaign. Date: Friday Feb 4, 2022
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Place: outside NYCDOE Contracts Office
Address: 65 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
SHARE on social media: https://www.facebook.com/events/359014619284299/
VIRTUAL Meetings to organize the Transit Equity Press Conference will be held on:
Friday Jan 21 at 6:00 p.m.
Thursday Jan 27 at 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Feb 2 at 11:30 a.m.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend, comment, or support.
As promised, we will speak and strategize among ourselves as school bus families, advocates & self-advocates (including any school bus workers & their organizations who choose to participate).
Outreach at the VIRTUAL IncludeNYC annual resource fair
Saturday January 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Register at https://events.chalkbeat.org/event/2022-includenyc-fair and please visit PIST NYC’s virtual table to discuss any school bus issues your family has, or to learn more about our work.
Thursday January 20, 6:00 p.m. Citywide Council on Special Education virtual meeting with official speaker on Special Education Recovery Services - Many families need transportation, to make these services realistic!
Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItfuqvrD0uHd16JM2Hw7xiT4O_cVlhs5
Please read each petition and decide whether you agree enough to sign.
A--> Deadline today! Smaller class sizes & more https://actionnetwork.org/letters/comments-on-nyc-does-c4e-plan
B-->Stronger safety measures in the public school system vs Covid variants https://www.change.org/p/stop-covid-spread-in-nyc-schools NOTE: you can also call 311 or text 917.335.3179 to advocate for only the measures that you personally favor the most![Optional background reading: https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/nnu-RNs-call-for-schools-to-offer-remote-learning-to-protect-nations-children and https://www.the74million.org/article/nyc-students-walkout-protest-in-person/]
C-->Family & child benefit funding in Congress (also involves transportation infrastructure and home/community based services for people with disabilities) https://actionnetwork.org/letters/families-are-counting-on-the-build-back-better-act
Winter “Pick”-- we’ve been told by school bus drivers that in late Jan/early Feb most companies will redo route selection based on seniority. [NYCSBUS formerly Reliant, will do this in March and we'll remind folks again]. This is a contract provision, but the union has not enforced it during the pandemic until now. Please ask your students’ attendant or driver if, when, and how the routine may be affected.
[Generally there is a transition week so the riders, workers, families and school can get used to the change. Example: If bus crew B is taking over a route from bus crew A, Attendant A will actually stay and ride the route with Driver B for the first school week. The second week, Attendant A goes wherever Driver A went, and Attendant B joins Driver B. Again, calmly ask the crew what to expect; make sure school is aware also.]
Media coverage of our Nov 11, 2021 rally for student transportation justice: https://www.laborpress.org/bloombergs-strikebreaking-continues-to-haunt-citys-school-bus-system/
Recent Data Analysis by college students of school bus delays in Manhattan https://marionetteshf.github.io/DS_final.github.io/landing.html?fbclid=IwAR2WFRYiatRWa94CnJSGKm_AE5WoWmrGxQ8OBeSNjt3NrapiwaKMYGD_Usg
School Bus Driver Shortage Impacting Children, Families (in nearby NYS counties)
2 minute video after ads, dated Jan 6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIkBc5Eqgr0&t=123s
Request for interviews - Families can still contact email@example.com to share about your bus struggles this winter for a piece he is writing in “The 74”.