Monday, June 8, 2015

SEPTA Needs Policy Change

June 4rd, 2015 Thursday

To: Jannie L. Blackwell; Blondell Reynolds-Brown; SEPTA BOSS; Michael Nutter; Rodney Muhammad; Michael Coard; Chaka Fattah:

From: Brother Tracy Gibson, Founder, President, & Chief Executive Officer of Brother Tracy Gibson & Associates, Incorporated. A Firm Dedicated to the Grass-Roots issues & efforts of Black Folk and improving our lot as well as effectively helping Black youth.

RE: Taking SEPTA if you are poor on the first three days of the month.

``If you are poor, on disability, and buy a monthly SEPTA Bus and Rail pass, you are being ripped off for the first few days of the month and you probably don’t even think of it this Way!!,’’ Brother Tracy Gibson…

It is true. Because SEPTA won’t relent and make a simple change in policy, income-challenged People, especially the chronically poor in the City of Philadelphia, have to ``make it’’ those first two to three days of the month with no fair to take the bus or trolley.  I recently wrote a letter in support of SEPTA so don’t think I am just a complainer. However, all SEPTA has to do is make it so People can have an option of buying a pass that goes from the first of the month to the third of the following month so chronically poor and ``left out’’ People in the City can take the SEPTA system on the first few days of the month when such folk don’t have any money. It seems simple to me and my three letters about this have gone unanswered.  One letter was even sent registered!! 

Last night I went to an event all the Way down at 6th and Market to honor Progressive People who fight for People with HIV in Philadelphia—A Philadelphia Fight Event…..!!. The event was on the 2nd of June. I had no money to get there, so I walked from 49th Street to 6th and Market Street. If you are 58 and a bit heavy set like I am you might think the walk would do me good. It did, but walking back was a bit much. I tried to get on SEPTA to take the bus trip home and was denied entrance on a SEPTA bus number 42 at least two or three times. One driver finally let me on reluctantly and with a bad attitude. I told the driver I was going to buy a monthly SEPTA pass the next day. Which is exactly what I plan to do. This made no difference and I was told to get off of two busses. {Something tells me that Rosa Parks is turning over in Her grave on this issue!!!} So, in essence, SEPTA was actually ripping ME off because I am going to pay for that ride today when I get MY hard-earned [That’s right I said  hard-earned] money from Social Security disability. {I say hard-earned because I don’t get paid one red cent, as yet, for formulating & implementing a positive-experience and education program to help Black youth. This is only one of a multitude of things I do as a Black activist in Philadelphia that Most People don’t have any idea about—even though I post much of my work on my blog:}

 People think People on disability are just lazy good-for-nothings. Many People on disability have molded and crafted a life for themselves that includes giving back a great deal of work and putting in a great deal of creative time and effort. I Am one of those People.

Do you have any idea what kind of humiliation it is to be denied a ride on a bus because you are poor? It is like a backhanded slap in the head and a kick in the butt at the same time.   You want to know exactly why there was only a 27 % turn out of People at the polls on vote day during the Democratic and Republican Primary—this is exactly why. What are the politicians going to do about this problem with not being able to take the SEPTA system on the first few days of the month? This is only one of a host of problems that poor People have that rich and even middle – income People have no idea about. Yes, I have a real feeling of righteous indignation about this and I Hope & Pray something is done to change this. On months where the First falls on a Monday this is not a problem, so much. You just walk down town and get your money and if you know how to spend it, and where to go for sales, you can make it for the entire month—just about. Just imagine if you are poor or income-challenged and have to walk really, really far like from the North East to Down Town!!! {I frankly, think the amount of money the government ``gives’’ disabled People is criminally small and needs to be tripled. Here goes yet another reason why you have such a small number of voters on vote day. Poor People see rich People driving around Down Town in their luxury cars {like BMW’s, Cadillac’s and  Mercedes Bens’ and they see all the Big luxury High Rise apartment buildings {Very few of which are owned by caring & concerned Black & Latin People—no such buildings, I know of are solely owned and run by poor People} and they, very understandably, feel left out of the equation & the process. Still another reason why you don’t see People voting in great numbers. Our political system continues to make certain People, disproportionately poor People of Color like Black and Latin People, feel almost totally left out. We are just cogs in the wheel to make more money for rich people. Consumers not able, in a real, lasting, on-going and systemic Way, to take part in this so-called ``great opportunity’’ included in being born and raised in North America.} This is why our Nation is quickly becoming the experiment that failed and failed miserably. I say all this as a North American Patriot, and one who wants to believe in our Nation’s inherent greatness, even though we were founded on a economy largely run through the profits of a brutal & distortedly-run slave industry. This is why we have elections that only 27% of the People take part in because they feel, generally speaking, totally left out and the our system is almost totally unfair, unequal, racist, classist, anti-Gay & Lesbian & really out of touch with even the main stream of the People who really want positive political change, but find a broken system that can rarely deliver this positive vision of change… Not only to embarrass the leaders who I sent this letter to, but it will be going to as many People I can think of to send it to as well as being posted on Face Book and on my Blog. If I can muster the strength together, I’ll even write a petition to get SEPTA, City Council & The Mayor to change this law and make a SDEPTA pass for the month really for the entire month so income- challenged People can use it on those first three days without being left out on a cold rainy night like I was last night. Thank you for your time and cooperation on many other issues. And thank you for the hard work you do to make this the best city on the East Coast.  We could NOT have gotten here without your work and input, and the input of activist and just plain ole regular People and voters as well. GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER—as long as you stay Proud of Being Black and REALLY have it as a goal to help the least of us like it says in the Bible. 

With Peace & Blessings,


Brother Tracy Gibson


Contact Information:

Phone: 1 (215) 921-2065.

Post Office Box 42878

Philadelphia, Common’s Wealth of Pennsylvania 19101-2878

``Unless we continue to fight & work for our rights in Big Numbers and gain support and allies I can guarantee we will  never get those rights…..’’


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