Everything Has Changed. Urban Activists Have New Battles to Fight

Tuesday night was a great night for transit in Seattle, where the region’s $54 billion light rail measure sailed to a win. Under normal circumstances, transit advocates would have been elated.

Supporters of Seattles $54 billion light rail measure learn they have won, but are still losing. Photo: Seattle Bike Blog
Supporters of Seattle’s $54 billion light rail measure learn they have won, but are still losing. Photo: Seattle Bike Blog

But Tom Fucoloro at Seattle Bike Blog writes that the election of Trump has cast a shadow over the victory. Everything has changed, he writes:

By the time the big King, Pierce and Snohomish county vote totals hit the Crocodile stage during the ST3 victory party, it was hard for the crowd to muster much of a cheer.

Sure, people made sounds that were a lot like cheers. But it could also have been the release of nervous, distraught energy as it became more and more clear that the Midwestern votes Hillary Clinton needed weren’t going to come in.

When someone who has made such horribly racist, sexist and Islamophobic promises is given this level of power, it’s time to question everything we are doing as transportation activists. ST3 is great — yay! — but holy shit, the terrain of our nation just shifted. What are we going to do to fight for justice, equality and a sustainable future? We got good at passing big transportation funding measures, but the challenges ahead will be very different.

Elsewhere on the Network today: U.S. PIRG reports that the United States set a one-month record for gasoline consumption in June. Transport Providence makes the case for abandoning the Electoral College, and considers how it would influence the political power of cities. And Free Public Transit says the world can forget about the international goal of limiting climate change to 2 degrees Celsius thanks to the Trump election.

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