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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 12-01-2014, 02:00 PM   #1
FitchburgLine
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Let's establish an advocacy group

The people who contribute on archboston and the online communities like it (Second Avenue Sagas, GGW, etc) should form a transit advocacy group. Fundamentally, if we want the things that get posted on Crazy Transit Pitches to happen, we have to advocate for them, and the existing organisations are doing a piss-poor job, at the state, regional or national level. Right now, streetsblog is the only half-decent lobbyist group I know of, and it focuses more on pedestrian safety and less on transit. This is despite the impressive participation at here and other online forums/blogs.

Whoever joins the new advocacy group would decide the geographic and organisational scope of the organization (Id personally prefer to cover the entire Northeast, but Ill readily admit that may be infeasible,) form a website, recruit members, and hopefully produce concepts and proposals.

This may seem crazy, and I'll fully admit it's not fully thought out, but it's not a totally unworkable idea. We don't need full time members or paid lobbyists to influence policy at the local or regional level, which is where plenty of important decisions get made.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:48 PM   #2
bigeman312
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Re: Let's establish an advocacy group

Count me in for attending a meeting. What would it entail? If we were to gather enough people, how would it move from a bunch of people going "rabble rabble" to doing something? Either way, count me in.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:15 PM   #3
JeffDowntown
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Re: Let's establish an advocacy group

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeman312 View Post
Count me in for attending a meeting. What would it entail? If we were to gather enough people, how would it move from a bunch of people going "rabble rabble" to doing something? Either way, count me in.
I am in on this. Let's figure out how to make it happen.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:46 PM   #4
FitchburgLine
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Re: Let's establish an advocacy group

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeman312 View Post
Count me in for attending a meeting. What would it entail? If we were to gather enough people, how would it move from a bunch of people going "rabble rabble" to doing something? Either way, count me in.
Honestly, the initial issues could probably be solved online, via email, thread, pm or whatever. Before we can recruit or come up with a platofrm, we need to define the scope, choose a name, set goals, etc. From then on it turns to gathering members, attending local meetings, directing people to submit comments, and possibly, if we become big enough, meeting with legislators or community groups. I would start with a website and get local publicity as the first step.

If anyone wants to, send me your email address over PM and I can make a mailing list.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:44 PM   #5
Matthew
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Re: Let's establish an advocacy group

Transit Matters is trying to do something similar...
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:51 PM   #6
FitchburgLine
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Re: Let's establish an advocacy group

I hadn't seen that, it's very interesting. I may have been beaten by 3 months
EDIT: It looks great, but I can't find a formal list of projects or ideas they're promoting.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:07 PM   #7
Matthew
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Re: Let's establish an advocacy group

Well there's established groups like Livable Streets that might be better for gaining experience with organizing. I find that while we here at aB love to chat online and stuff, it's very hard to get that to translate into real world action. People are busy, they can't make meetings, etc. That's fine, that's life. But really, with organizing, half the battle is just showing up: cliche as it may be, it's true.

But if you want to stick to crazy-transit-pitch style stuff only then perhaps let's see what Transit Matters has to offer. I know they are working on setting up an initial meeting.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:20 PM   #8
HenryAlan
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Re: Let's establish an advocacy group

I'm very interested. A friend in Seattle is involved with Seattle Subway, which has taken a lead in pushing during the environmental review process for an array of study options that might not have otherwise been included. I am not aware of any similarly organized advocacy groups in Boston.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:14 AM   #9
BostontoLancaster
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Re: Let's establish an advocacy group

I have thought about something like this for some time now. If people here on ab ultimately decide to organize something, I would be in and would be happy to contribute in any way possible. I am also interested in whatever other organizations are trying to get something off the ground and will definitely check out Transit Matters.
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