Thursday, October 14, 2010

Transit Cuts in Chicago: Update on LVEJO

As we mentioned in an earlier post, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) was one of the partners in a People’s Movement Assembly at this year’s US Social Forum. During the gathering, they lead an exercise on taking back the public transit system in Chicago, demonstrating that public control of the system was the only way to ensure fair and equal access to jobs, food, housing, etc. The participants experienced first-hand how LVEJO works “for a real voice in building democracy, including if, how, when and where any development of [their] communities takes place, as the basis for environmental, economic and social justice.

We now see that exercise taking place on the streets of Chicago, where LVEJO, in conjunction with Chicago I.W.W. (Industrial Workers of the World) is coming up with a solution to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus cuts. LVEJO is raising money to buy buses and create a system that can pay bus drivers a living wage while still providing quality service. They are taking things into their own hands until the CTA can restore service, but as David Bollier points out in a blog post on this issue, “If the Little Village neighborhood is going to wait for the CTA to restore service, it could wait a long time.”

What would it look like if we had transit systems that were adequately funded and could apply some of the ingenuity these groups are showing? In the meantime, it’s DIY in Little Village.

For more information on LVEJO campaigns and how they link democracy with environmental and racial justice, please visit their website.


Anonymous said...

IWW stands for "Industrial Workers of the World" not "International"

Caroline McAndrews said...

Thanks for the correction!