I write today with some very important news. I am thrilled to share this with you:
Thanks to your commitment and years of effort, the next New York City budget will include more than $100 million for half-price MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers. In other words, we won Fair Fares!
Please help us thank the elected leaders who responded to our grassroots campaign. Join us on Twitter right now to thank Speaker Corey Johnson, the City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio for making Fair Fares a reality. They need to hear from you! Click here to tweet!
This is a huge deal, not only for the 800,000 low-income New Yorkers who won’t as often be forced to choose between a meal and a Metrocard, but for all of us who are trying to build a fairer and more inclusive city.
Grassroots organizing works. You signed petitions, wrote letters, attended meetings, rallied, called the mayor, recorded videos, spoke to journalists, and courageously came forward to tell your personal stories — all because you shared our belief that our fair city deserves Fair Fares.
This victory was a team effort. We worked hand in hand with our partner Community Service Society, whose groundbreaking research led to the original Fair Fares proposal, and with our Fair Fares coalition of more than 70 community organizations, all of whom helped get the campaign across the finish line.
Fair Fares wouldn’t have happened without powerful grassroots organizing, and it would also not have happened without the leadership of our elected officials. That includes City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who made Fair Fares a top priority in budget negotiations; Mayor Bill de Blasio, who ultimately made the program a reality; 47 other City Council members who endorsed the proposal and pushed for its success; and city-wide elected officials like Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer who joined us from the beginning. And so many more — it really takes a village.
Six year ago this spring, we launched the Riders Alliance with the idea of bringing riders together to do something about transit — an essential public service that so often feels far from the public’s reach. Almost every year, it seemed, the fare would rise, entirely beyond riders’ control.
But next year, because of the incredible campaigning of riders like you, the fare will fall–for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are struggling hardest to get by.
As subway and bus riders, you know that our work together is far from over. This week, we made progress to win a fairer, more inclusive city. Over the last few months, we won new plans to improve subway and bus service.
And now we will continue the fight — in Albany to fund the subway plan and at City Hall to bring the full bus plan to fruition. Elected officials celebrating Fair Fares remarked today about the power of grassroots organizing, but the reality is that they ain’t seen nothing yet. With powerful community organizing and strong collaboration with allies, we’re going to win the billions of dollars we need to fix our transit system for everyone.
Join us today as a member of the Riders Alliance so that we keep growing stronger and winning public transit that works…not just sometimes, but every time, and not just for some of us, but for everyone.