What is sexy? In our consumer society it’s a way to sell products. Beautiful people making a product more attractive by just standing next to them or using them.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to Dennis Anderson of Neighborhoods Organizing For Change, legislators riding buses and trains is sexy.
“It would make it more sexy if legislators use it instead of people who just have to.”
That’s why Neighborhoods Organizing For Change issued a challenge for Minnesota lawmakers to ride public transit to their workplace, the Capitol building, for the week of March 1.
Rep Ray Dehn (DFL-Minneapolis) is one of eight lawmakers who decided to take NOC up on their challenge. Watch the video as we take you along for the ride with Dehn, and NOC organizers Harry Maddox and Dennis Anderson riding the 14 Bus from the NOC Office to the Target Center Station and then on the Green Line to the Capitol.
Dehn’s trip may have been a bit slower than driving, but it was more peaceful and productive. There were no traffic jams. Dehn said he skipped “screaming at his radio” and instead was able to use his time to have an engaging conversation about race, politics, and philosophy with Anderson, Maddox and The UpTake’s Bill Sorem. Watch the video and you can listen in.
The trip took 58 minutes and Dehn commented at the end about how easy it was. He said in addition to staging events like this the continued NOC presence at the legislature is important for continued transit improvement.
Lt. Governor Tina Smith recently promised a list of fixes for the present system. When asked if these changes were going to make it through the Legislature, Dehn said, “The Lt. Governor has the ear of the governor who has a pretty significant role in the budget.”
Legislators riding the rails may not be sexy for everyone, but by opening lawmakers’ eyes to transit benefits, NOC hopes it can build support to continue improve the system and extend it’s reach so more people can use it.