Reported by Paul Dyson, RailPAC President
This past Saturday, January 19, RailPAC held an open meeting in downtown San Luis Obispo primarily aimed at raising grass roots support for the proposed â€œCoast Daylightâ€ service. The meeting was attended by over 50 people, more than half of them locals , who had heard about the meeting by word of mouth, the RailPAC website, through the Sierra Club e-mail net, or on the local KVEC radio station the evening before. We provided light refreshments, thanks in part to Peetâ€™s Coffee and Tea on nearby Court Street, who generously gave us a discount. (Please go there for Java when youâ€™re in town).
First of all let me thank Pete Rodgers and Tim Gillham of SLOCOG for booking the room, helping with publicity, and providing the laptop and projector for the presentations. Next, Andrew Christie of the local Sierra Club chapter helped spread the word through their e-mail list, and local environmental activist and volunteer station host David Weisman who arranged for Pete Rodgers and myself to join local KVEC Talk Radio host David Congalton for his 5.00pm hour on Friday evening. About a dozen people called in with favorable comments and questions.
On Saturday NARP Board member Dennis Lytton from Los Angeles, Pete Rodgers, and I gave presentations on the National, Regional and Local plans and outlook for passenger rail, and took a number of informed questions from the audience. Thank you to Dennis for traveling up, and to Pete and Tim for giving up their Saturday morning to put on this event.
Finally our own Ric Silver, Art Lloyd, Bruce Jenkins, Dick Spotswood, Chris Flescher and Mike Barnbaum traveled in to host the event. We think it was very worthwhile, and we are planning similar meetings in Monterey County, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles in the next few months. My thinking is that even where elected officials are pro rail, they need to know that there is grass roots support and that they have an active advocacy group behind them. We are already booked to be at Santa Barbara March 1 where we will join local pro-rail groups for a joint meeting. See our website for details.
If you would like to help host a RailPAC meeting in your town, please contact Ric Silver or myself.
Paul Dyson, President