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Monday, August 26, 2013

Condemn City Council for Preventing Black Bus Riders from Entering White Suburb

Condemn City Council for Preventing Black Bus Riders from Entering White Suburb

BY  
Target: Beavercreek City Council
Goal: Condemn the Beavercreek City Council for enacting hurdles to prevent bus riding minorities from entering a predominately white Ohio suburb
The city council in a predominately white Ohio suburb called Beavercreek is taking several steps including risking losing millions of dollars in funding for federal highways in order to prevent minority bus riders from nearby towns and cities from coming into their community. Such blatant discrimination against minorities by this city council reveals how prevalent institutional racism remains in certain communities and must be condemned.
In 2010, the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority proposed the addition of three bus stops in Beavercreek, a suburb approximately fifteen minutes away from Dayton. The purpose of these new stops would be to give denizens of Dayton easier access to major businesses, a shopping mall and a medical clinic at Wright State University. With the possibility of encountering bus riders from Dayton in their community, the Beavercreek City Council enacted several measures to halt the addition of the proposed bus stops. One stipulation for the bus stops included the mandate that bus shelters have air conditioning and heating servicing as well as surveillance cameras. Such services are costly and are not features in most other bus stops. Because the new bus stops could not meet these demands, the city council forbade the expansion.
The vast majority of the critics of the council’s actions believe that race played a central factor in the council’s actions. 73 percent of those who ride on the Dayton buses belong to minorities, while 9 out of 10 residents in Beavercreek are white. A civil rights advocacy group rooted near Beavercreek known as Leaders for Equality in Action in Dayton (LEAD) filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city that invoked the Federal Highway Act. Recently, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) concluded that Beavercreek did act in a prejudicial manner and forced them to work with Dayton Transit Authority to approve the addition of new stops without further delay.
Beavercreek, however, is not complying. The city council decided to delay considering the matter until the end of August 2013. They are vacillating about whether to appeal the FHA’s ruling or plainly just ignore the ruling, which they have until September 2013 to comply with. While appealing the ruling would cost thousands of dollars in legal fees, defying the federal ruling would cost the suburb millions of dollars in federal highway funds. It is appalling that the city council would even consider risking tens of millions of dollars in highway funds to keep minorities out of their almost all-white community. Please sign this petition to condemn the overt and blatant racism Beavercreek continues to demonstrate in a purportedly post-racial U.S. society.
PETITION LETTER:
Dear Beavercreek City Council,
We condemn your decision to refuse to add new bus stops for Dayton Transit riders because of the racial composition of Dayton’s denizens. Adding new bus stops would allow Dayton bus riders access to a medical clinic as well as major businesses that they do not have access to in their communities.
The Federal Highway Administration has ruled that your enactment of roadblocks to adding these new bus stops is discriminatory and so the new stops must be added without delay. If you do not comply with this federal ruling, Beavercreek will lose millions of dollars in federal highway funding. Going to such extremes to block minorities from entering your community is appalling and should be condemned and punished.
Sincerely,
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Metro Transportation Library and Archive via Flicker

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