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Vote for transit!

November 2, 2010

Do you know what today is? Tuesday, November 2nd. And do you know what that means? It means that I hope to heck you’ve spent the last few weeks learning about the candidates and issues in your area, and it means that you better get off your butts and down to your local polling places and vote! I don’t like whiners who don’t vote. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain. If you do vote, and the person who won sucks, by all means, whine all you want. Until the next election.

There are two results I’ll be watching as the votes come in tonight, the election for House District 81 and the nonbinding referendum in Clayton County. Both of these have some huge transit implications.

House district 81 sees a fight between incumbent Jill Chambers and challenger Elena Parent. I’d probably rally for the Democratic Parent anyways, being that she’s adorable, from Virginia, and a UVA graduate, but she’s running against Chambers, the MARTOC bulldog. (I’m going with bulldog to be nice, here). Despite any of her shortcomings (if you can’t manage your own finances, I don’t trust you with the state’s), Chambers has made it her personal mission to unfairly hold MARTA down. Chambers prides herself on her chairmanship of the MARTA oversight committee and nags them about mismanagement, even though her last four audits of the agency have all come back clean. We need people to be supportive of transit, which Elena is, and we despretely need progress in our region, so if you live in the Chamblee Doraville area, get out today and vote for Elena!

The other vote I’m interested in comes from the south of the city. As I’m sure you are all aware of, the county commission in Clayton shut down it’s transit service, CTran, in March of this year. As a result of this, the legislation pushed through a bill which creates a straw poll on this November’s ballot asking Clayton residents if ey would support the county chipping in an additional penny sales tax and joining MARTA. This is a nonbonding referendum, as opposed to the binding one that would have been created by HB 277, but the county commission choose to not support, so it wasn’t able to go to a vote. If the nonbonding vote passes it could lead the way for revisiting HB 277 and for a true, binding vote. The folks in Clayton have been trying to get the word out about the referendum, which is the last question on the ballot. Hopefully it’ll pass so we can get a real chance at expanding MARTA. And remember, folks, the money generated would stay in Clayton, expanding the CTran service and creating commuter rail. So if you live in Clayton, vote in support of MARTA!

I’m off to volunteer for Elena, so I’ll see you at the polls!

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