A Transit Riders' Association for San Francisco
P.O. Box 190966
San Francisco, CA 94119-0966
Hotline: (415) 273-1558
Email: board at rescuemuni.org
|FOR RELEASE MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2000
Chair, Steering Committee / Chief Spokesperson
Vice-Chair, Steering Committee
Muni Reform Leaders Oppose Mayor's MTA Board Nominees
Rescue Muni, San Francisco's transit riders' association, announced today it cannot support the list of nominees to the new Municipal Transportation Agency Board submitted last week by Mayor Willie Brown. Rescue Muni was joined by the leaders of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) and the Environmental Organizing Committee (EOC) in their opposition to the slate of nominees. Additionally, Adopt-A-Muni, led by Joe Blue, joined the three organizations in urging that the slate be rejected.
"This is just unacceptable," said Andrew Sullivan, chair of the 550-member riders' organization. "After all the work that went into Proposition E last fall, it's terribly disappointing to see the mayor take a politics-as-usual approach to Muni. The Board of Supervisors should send this list back to the drawing board immediately."
"This is not what San Franciscans voted for," added James Chappell, president of SPUR. "The nominees do not appear to have the degree of independence, objectivity, commitment to public transit, and disassociation from the failed policies of the past that the voters expected when they voted last fall for Muni reform."
"The clear intent of Prop E was to create an independent body with people who really know about transit," said Beryl Magilavy of the EOC. "This list is very weak on professional transportation expertise. This seems to be a list of special interests. Is the administration serious about fixing Muni or not?"
"There are two union seats, two business seats, seats for various neighborhood constituencies, even a seat for the Republican party," observed Daniel Murphy, vice chair of Rescue Muni. "But where is a member whose first priority is the Muni rider? The voters trusted Mayor Brown to bring the city together to put consumers first at Muni. This slate is a big letdown. Muni exists to serve riders, period. It doesn't exist for labor, business, or other special interest groups; its purpose is to get riders where they're going."
Sullivan noted the reappointment of Public Transportation Commission President Welton Flynn with particular dismay. "Mr. Flynn had a long and illustrious career, but it's time for the changing of the guard. During the Muni Metro Meltdown of 1998, we came to the commission to demand immediate action, but Mr. Flynn would have nothing of it; he hadn't even ridden Muni that week. Mr. Flynn fiddled while Muni burned."
The nominees, announced by Mayor Brown last Monday are: James Bourgart, Shirley Breyer Black, Mike Casey, Jose Cisneros, Welton Flynn, Enid Lim, and Cleopatra Vaughns. Under Proposition E, which Rescue Muni and SPUR co-authored and Mayor Brown strongly supported, these nominees are subject to confirmation by the Board of Supervisors before March 1. They will be scrutinized at a public hearing of the Rules Committee this Thursday, February 10, at 10:00 a.m.
Rescue Muni urges the public to attend and ask tough questions of the nominees. In addition, Muni riders are urged to call the members of the Rules Committee and other supervisors to demand that the list be rejected. The Rules Committee members are
Rescue Muni, a transit riders' association for San Francisco, is an organization of concerned riders who seek to make service faster, safer, more reliable, and more responsive to riders' needs. Founded in 1996, it now has more than 550 members throughout the city.