Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics

Bus Rider Blues

Members of the API community have supported the efforts of the Bus Riders Union in solidarity. The Korea Times on May 16, 2007 reported that Korean American organization leaders, led by the Korean American Federation, opposed the MTA fare hike. One of the Bus Riders' Union most active organizers is Hee Pok Kim, aka "Grandma Kim," a spirited advocate in her 80's that has been fighting for the rights of bus riders since joining the organization in 2001. The Bus Riders Union also allied with the Pilipino Workers Center in April in calling for the Mayor to adopt its Social Movement Platform that included, among its many initiatives, a rejection of the proposed bus fare hike. One positive aspect of the story is the amazing community organizing that took place around this issue. The Bus Riders Union and its multi-ethnic community partners worked tirelessly to educate others about the fare hikes and surely played a significant role in the defeat of the more severe plan initially proposed. As a result of their efforts, a diverse group of over 1,500 students, organizers, bus riders and disabled community members showed up at the MTA building Thursday where the directors were meeting to protest the fare hikes. The efforts of the many people who lobbied against the fare hikes serve as an inspiring reminder of the power of community organizing. -- Carmina is a law student at UCLA.

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