No News is Not Good News

It’s primary day for me today. Maybe that means the end of the calls from supporters and pre-recorded messages for awhile?

I can’t wait for the day where I can scroll through Facebook without the barrage of political sparring.

Unfortunately, I imagine that won’t be the case for quite some time.

With the ideological overlap between the two parties increasingly diminishing, it seems the passionate debates are less frequently coming to a consensus.

As Congress has been working at creating a transportation bill, it’s not hard to see the impact of this my-way-or-the-highway ideology.

I just looked at a poll of “when will Congress pass the transportation bill,” and about 47 percent said within this extension and 40 percent said they foresee extensions into 2013. The two options between those? July to November had 3 percent and during the lame duck session had 9 percent.

Seems fitting that the responses would also be “polarized.” It’s almost as if people have become completely optimistic or pessimistic on things. No middle ground.

It’s definitely gotten people revved up to take their stands and stick to their views. And they are out in full force. I admire their organization in the amount of ground they’re covering, though I find it amusing when I get auto emails that include op-eds saying how my readers will want to know how furthering rail [or bus, or transit, etc.] in this country will cost more than we can afford and facts on how it isn’t utilized in the cities that have it.

Apparently they didn’t sort their spreadsheet and didn’t see who our readers are.

I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where every day people are sending me news and stories about the number of jobs created or the amount of greenhouse gases decreased or the amount of money saved by people in the community.

Yes, of course I see the bad news, too. But when you’re visiting different agencies across the country and running into the variety of people working there, you’re constantly reminded of the people in this industry that are choosing to be in this industry.

When Larry Jackson at Long Beach Transit was telling me about wage freezes and increased employee contributions, I can imagine there must have been some very tense times for LBT staff, but the bus operator I had from LAX to Long Beach was very friendly and helpful. And the folks in the call center were joking around with us, even with the boss in the room.

With all the negativity going around during these times, it’s so beneficial when you’re out sharing your positive stories. One of my favorite lines I heard at a show recently, regarding talking with legislators and sharing your story, “If you’re idle, so too will be your buses or trains.”