A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Endorsement: Robert Raburn for BART board

Most people in Alameda are talking about the race for Mayor and City Council, and are probably wondering a bit about the plethora of state propositions. Little attention is being paid to the "bottom of the ballot" races.There is one race that I have some very strong feelings about: the race for the BART director that represents Alameda (and part of Oakland).

As Alamedans, we have a love-hate relationship with BART. So close, and yet so far! And you might have heard about the current BART leadership's work on a $500 MILLION Oakland Airport extension -- that will drop people off in a parking lot rather than the terminal.

The leadership of BART is out of touch. Even though they lost $70 Million dollars in Federal funds for civil rights violations, they are still going ahead with this boondoggle project.

This is outrageous. We need to send our current BART director, incumbent Carole Ward Allen, packing.

Fortunately, we have a WONDERFUL candidate who is running against her:

ROBERT RABURN is somebody whom I have known for over ten years, and I have nothing but the highest respect for him.

Robert has been a tireless transportation advocate and expert from his Ph. D. training through his recent activism, working with me and Lucy over the years in his capacity in the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. He was instrumental in getting the bike station and the parking garage at Fruitvale BART, both of which I have found invaluable whenever I head over to San Francisco. He's also been involved in the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, helped replace the "world's shortest freeway" in Oakland, and chaired the Measure B Citizens Watchdog Committee.

Robert is the kind of guy who shakes things up and gets things done. He has gotten unanimous endorsement from the Sierra Club, and has lately been racking up endorsements from the City of Alameda Democratic Club (of which I am a member) and other clubs in the area.

Ward Allen and several of the other BART incumbents seem to be interested in laughable attempts to get re-elected by, for instance, lowering fares temporarily right before an election.

I hope you have a few minutes to watch this panel sponsored by the League of Women Voters. I found the incumbent to be oblivious to the current problems of BART and its misguided direction; other challenger Rivera had a few nice ideas but was light on specifics; Raburn, on the other hand, showed his understanding and expertise over and over in his answers.

Here are some profiles about the three candidates, and an article about the several challengers in the Bay Area trying to "Change Culture at BART."

I hope that you will vote for Robert in the upcoming election. And be sure to talk to your friends and neighbors about the BART race. In a low-information, bottom-of-the-ballot race, many voters tend to just vote for the incumbent. We can't let this happen this year.

If you, too, believe that we need a significant change, and you are sufficiently impressed by Robert Raburn's approach, feel free to contact me (see the info at the top of this blog page) and I will personally deliver a lovely sign for decorating your front yard!


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