Monday, December 3, 2012

Will Voters Stop Being Thrown Under the Bus?

The Voter ID Act as a way of suppressing minorities votes, fighting vote fraud and keeping "illegals" out of the polls. None of the above. In Augusta, Georgia, the way of perpetuating poverty, the power of a few and keeping a majority of voters out of the polling stations is through a public transportation operating under intensive care.

When the Georgia General Assembly passed the Voter ID Act most republicans legislators were going after "illegal" people to stop them of voting democrats. Now we are finding out that argument was never substantiated but citizens not even leaving in their districts, out of the state in many cases are voting. In other cases business people are voting with their business addresses.

Only the physical address is permitted by law, but the Board of Elections have no way to go after the violators of the law.

So, the idea of Brazilians or Koreans with no citizenship are voting is just beyond silliness, while legitimate citizens are being left out of the voting polls just because the powers-that-be decided that people with no transportation are not worthy to vote, to go to work and contribute with the city tax base. Blame the poor.

What about helping to move the disabled, the veterans, the soldiers at Fort Gordon, the tourists and the citizens who would like to leave their cars at home and take the bus around the city? Until this moment the busses only operate during the day on some routes and no Sundays service.

More than 300 signatures in a petition to extend the hours of operation was presented to the Augusta Richmond County Commission by Harrisburg activist and District 1 candidate Denice Traina several months ago. The Commission took as an "information" the petition and no action was taken to extend the hours of service to midnight, at least, no new routes, no Fort Gordon route reinstated and no Sunday service.

Not even mention improving the stations and hours of waiting between buses.

When the powers-that-be, such as the people behind Augusta Riverfront, LLC demands taxpayers money for their businesses the Commission do whatever it takes and tax money is being released with no hesitation.

The impact of letting to die the Augusta Public Transit is bigger than any TEE Center, or any pet project the Mayor of Augusta has in mind with the gang of 6 in the Richmond County Commission, but still is being ignored.

It becomes a civil right issue for many. Ironically the civil rights movement of the 60' was inspired in part by a black woman in a bus, Rosa Parks.

Tomorrow William Fennoy will have another chance to get elected to represent District 1. Many of the voters are going to need to be transported to the polls, and many probably will have to take a taxi cab to fulfill their right to vote. Could be such a wonderful thing just go to a few blocks from your house and take the bus. Not in Augusta, Georgia.

If Fennoy is elected I will be calling him until he got tired of me to remind him that without a reliable bus system in Augusta we are not going to move the city forward. And as a black leader he cannot ignore his people. In Augusta civil rights, human rights matters and we are willing to put all people to work, to study and to succeed.

I have tried for the last two years with the incumbent Matt Aitken with no resolve. I worked hard for his campaign three years ago but he completely went South with his lack of leadership. After talking with both this time around I decided to give a chance to Fennoy. My only problem with Mr. Fennoy is he things District 1 belong to a black person in the Commission. I remind him about the Latinos, Asians    origins and other not black voters leaving in the district, too.

We also are part of the community and we want to be on the table, not on the menu.

Anibal Ibarra

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