2012 End-of-Year Report

Dear Friends:

Thank you for being part of such a successful first year for the Riders Alliance!

With a fare hike approved this morning and the top MTA job vacant again, there has never been a more important time to build political power for transit riders.

Riders Alliance members sign up R train riders in Bay Ridge

We want to take a moment now, at the end of 2012, to update you on everything we’ve done in our first year of work, and to look ahead to 2013.

And we ask you to consider supporting the Riders Alliance with your end-of-year giving, to help us gear up for an even stronger year to come. We have ambitious goals to organize transit riders in neighborhoods around the city, and with your help, we’ll make even more progress this coming year.

Since opening our doors in May of this year, we have:

• Organized G train riders in North Brooklyn to push for better service, including more frequent trains, better communication with riders, and free transfers to nearby lines;

• Brought together Bay Ridge and Southern Brooklyn residents to advocate for better R service and restoration of the B37 bus, which was especially valuable to seniors;

Riders Alliance members are not satisfied with G train service.

• Convened an exciting first meeting of Astoria and Long Island City residents to establish priorities for a local transit campaign;

• Surveyed more than 1,800 transit riders in Highbridge and Soundview in the Bronx and Corona in Queens, and met with community leaders to discuss transit concerns in those neighborhoods;

• Held 19 house parties and happy hours to spread the word about our organization and recruit new members;

• Gained our first 300 dues-paying members, plus another 120 grass-roots donors;

• Celebrated the Riders Alliance at a launch event with more than 175 members and guests, including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, City Council Member Dan Garodnick, and Assemblywoman-elect Nily Rozic;

• Earned press coverage of our work, including stories in the Daily News, Brooklyn Paper, City and State, Capital NY, Streetsblog, the Brooklyn Eagle, the Greenpoint Star, and various other publications and blogs;

• Created a snazzy professional web site, a Facebook page that has grown from zero to more than 500 followers, and a Twitter feed that we launched the same week Pope Benedict XVI launched his—supposedly unrelatedly;

…and more, much more. After seven months, we are solidly on our way to organizing riders into a powerful political constituency—and interrupting the destructive cycle of fare hikes, service cuts and longer, more uncomfortable commutes for millions of New Yorkers.

More than 175 people attended our November launch event!

None of these valuable steps would have been possible without the hundreds of people who have contributed time, money, advice, membership dues, and more to building the Riders Alliance. Thank you for your help in this endeavor, and for your commitment to stick with us as we build a strong organization in the coming months and years.

We have ambitious plans for 2013. If you’re able to chip in now, your contribution will help us:

• Win improved service in the neighborhoods where we are already working;

• Launch additional campaigns for better transit in new communities around New York;

• Train more grass-roots members to become advocates for transit—with the MTA, with the press, and with local elected officials who make important decisions about funding and policy;

• Double the size of the Riders Alliance. In 2013, we plan to build an organization with twice as many members, twice as many donors, and twice as many grass-roots transit leaders.

In these final days of 2012, if you would like to include the Riders Alliance in your end-of-year giving, we can promise we will put your investment to good use. Every dollar goes right into our community organizing campaigns, helping us organize more transit riders in more communities around New York.

We’re building a movement to fix transit from the ground up—by organizing transit riders to demand better service, affordable fares and a strong public investment in our subways and buses.

Thank you for everything you have done to help us get started—and thank you in advance if you are able to contribute now to give us a solid foundation for 2013!

Sincerely,

John Raskin
Executive Director