We’ve had a number of calls from members who have heard rumors that RailPAC is being sued by TRAC (Train Riders Association of California). The rumors are correct. Recently some of our Board Members were served with writs, basically accusing us of harming TRAC by recruiting their members.
My reaction is a combination of anger and sadness. We have a huge task ahead of us: to educate and persuade the public to invest more money in passenger rail service. There are hundreds of state and local elected officials, and staffers up and down the state, that we need to convince that rail is the answer for many of our mobility needs. There are dozens of newspapers, chambers of commerce, environmental groups and on and on, all of them important opinion formers that we need to make contact with and develop relationships, and all of this takes a huge amount of time and energy. An organization that’s run entirely by volunteers can only hope to cover a fraction of the ground given the resources that are available. So having to respond to a lawsuit from another organization that supposedly has similar objectives is a ridiculous waste of time and energy, and benefits no one except perhaps the highway lobby.
Those of you that were at the last annual meeting in Sacramento will recall that I invited all like-minded organizations and individuals to collaborate with RailPAC towards achieving our objectives. That invitation still stands, and I’m sure is supported by all our members. At the same time we’ll take appropriate legal action to safeguard the interests of RailPAC, its Board, and members. The Board and Officers of RailPAC are united in our response and we have no doubt that TRAC has no case against us individually or as a group.
We’ll keep you apprised of developments. I sincerely hope to be able to report to you soon that this issue has been resolved and that we can one again concentrate 100% of our efforts on the objectives of this organization.