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Thursday, January 26, 2012

IMPRUVE Paratransit PMA - 12 Action Ideas

Paratransit Peoples Movement Assembly – We went national in 2010!
OCCUPY Public Servants With Our Issues

Action Ideas –Jan. 26-May 15, 2012

"Never underestimate the power of one person." Eleanor Roosevelt

These action ideas are for paratransit riders, drivers and transit advocates for mass transit and paratransit. We have a plan to improve the current paratransit system and a solution to end or prevent Transit Eugenics; we plan to launch the plan step-by-step between now and 2016—it is a national plan that can be replicated city by city, state by state. Those who choose to ride the carriers of their current service boards may continue. We will set an alternative that is rider-owned, Green, and controlled by us—PWDs (persons who are disabled)!

Twelve Action Ideas for Paratransit People’s Movement Assembly

1. Attend benefits for IMPRUVE Paratransit People’s Movement Assembly (NPPMA). Donate cash. Donate items to the Silent Auction. Next benefit is: March 17, 2012

2. Write to your U.S. Senators, U.S. Representative, and Senator Rockefeller, chairman of Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee for a hearing on paratransit for Transit Equity nationally under ADA guidelines, Green Paratransit run by PWDs to provide Green jobs for PWDs to lift us out of poverty and have sustainable income. Contact for letter samples.

3. Promote the National Paratransit People’s Movement Assembly (NPPMA)on your website and newsgroup

4. Organize 20-100 paratransit riders and their advocates in your region

5. Submit names of paratransit riders who passed away 2009-2012; Make your own Memorial posters to carry to events

6. Set up your own fundraising or ask 30 people to donate $10-30 on your trip

7. Attend next meeting: TBA at AIMMC 836 W. Wellington Olson Auditorium Chicago 60657 Normally evenings 2-5:30 pm. RSVP to 773-544-9488

8. Ask to be invited to the bi-monthly Green Think Tank and NPPMA Rondee teleconferences email: or the occasional National Paratransit People’s Movement Assembly 800 planning teleconferences. Email Ernie Martinez:

9. Organize phone blitzes now through May until a meeting or hearing is granted in DC or various regions on paratransit or they bail us out or stop the FTA provision where a service board can charge up to twice the fixed route fare.

10. Choose a partner to share rides, hotel room, food when you attend the 2012 NPPMA

11. Pray for an end to any disparate impact and oppressive treatment on people with disabilities who ride paratransit, and a block on cuts to Medicaid, SSA & home services.

12. Request “The Paratransit Is My Transit” song by email: Sing, learn the melody. Bring with you to events. Add new stanzas pertaining to your city

Ayo Maat, Ph.D. 773-416-7366 Visit

Think you have no power? No money? No way to win against Big Money lobbyists and billionaires and millionaires in government?

We have 42,000 paratransit riders in Illinois, give or take a few who have passed or been terminated by the paratransit and new persons added (including returned veterans). We need to set the example and work with other states. We must convince the Congress, the U.S. Access Board, the FTA, the President and the Justice Dept to do the right thing. We must melt the cold hearts and resistance of those who set policy that affects us. We must fight with all we've got when they resist reason. Never give up. We can shatter resistance best by standing for the good and ourselves resisting the temptation to wish harm on others or to misdirect our anger.

We blocked (jammed) the switchboard years ago (1990s) during the “Amanda Wallace case” to prevent legislators from making the wrong decision about children and parents who are disabled when we protested unfair child welfare policy in the state. It worked. Legislators acted responsibly and did not pass the legislation that we felt was unfair to families. State Rep. Mary Flowers studied the issue, paid attention to or arguments, and changed her vote. She asked how did we mobilize so fast to jam the legislative switchboard in the state capital (BNICEH mobilized overnight and into the wee hours of the morning). Note, this was without major funding, without a court injunction, without paying stipends and salaries, before the public Internet, and before most people had cell phones, computers, IPods, access to cable and digital bulletin boards, and smart phones; and without advertising or doing public service messages on radio, in print media or major networks. It was perfect framing of the issue, word-of-mouth and the telephone that won the victory for us. It was the Power of the People determined and with a righteous cause.

Junto ganaremos! Together, we will win!

Email to join IMPRUVE and NPPMA:

We need not let our federal legislators off the hook. Tell them: Stop the cuts! Not on Our Backs! No Fare hikes (Metro Access in DC is set to go up anyday)! No extra tax on recipients of low-income and blue collar workers! Join us, vets and disability and transit advocates!
OCCUPY Public Servants With Our Issues!

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