[wisconsin] My letter to Budget Committee
ray1530 at wowway.com
Thu Apr 21 02:53:11 GMT 2011
Very nice letter, thank you for sharing it.
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From: wisconsin-bounces at acb.org [mailto:wisconsin-bounces at acb.org] On Behalf
Of Kathy Brockman
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 8:28 AM
Subject: [wisconsin] My letter to Budget Committee
Per Kathie's request, I'm sharing my letter on the state's Budget Comments.
This is longer than the recent letter of mine that was published in the
Journal-Sentinel last week. Kathy Brockman
Dear Budget Committee members:
Transportation is something that affects all of us every day. This has been
a very stressful time for all of us and I appreciate the work you are doing.
We are all aware of the tough economic conditions and decisions that must be
I'm very concerned whether any public transportation will be available here
in Milwaukee. It is difficult now to get around as I have health issues in
addition to being legally blind. I've heard a politician say in the past
that we could all get in our cars and drive. I usually don't remember quotes
but I sure do remember that one. Recently a relative (who drives) assured me
people will find other ways to get to work if bus service is cut out. She
hasn't taken a bus in over 40 years. These are just two examples of societal
attitudes out there.
My husband is also visually impaired and takes the bus to work at the Badger
Assn. located at 912 N. Hawley Road. If the route 64 bus is eliminated, he's
talking about getting a bike. I'm scared to death if he would do that. With
inattentive drivers, road construction, train tracks, expressway ramps and
one lane each way between Lincoln Ave. and National Ave. it would not be
safe. Plus it seems pedestrian or bicycle safety has the lowest priority out
I volunteer at the Badger Assn. of the Blind & Visually Impaired three days
a week and am a former Board member and President. I see first-hand the
challenges disabled people have with transportation. I would probably limit
further volunteer work to various meetings and whatever I could do at home
if these cuts occur. I do our membership work so if I stopped performing
this work, the organization would have to hire someone at a cost of at least
$15,000 a year. And I'm sure others have stories too with losing their jobs
or nonprofits losing volunteer services due to lack of transportation
options. Who knows if paratransit would continue and if so, it probably
would be strained with additional demands placed on the program. I'm
President of a church group and informed them I won't be seeking re-election
next month; don't know if I'll be able to get to their meetings regularly.
Milwaukee has about 10% poverty level; my figure may not be exact. I'm sure
there are many out there who simply cannot afford cars (and related
expenses) or have access to one even if they can drive. High unemployment
and under-employment have probably increased this group. Public transit also
helps reduce air pollution, traffic congestion and wear/tear on the roads.
Others may not drive for personal reasons, such as increasing gas prices.
While some people may have access to vehicles or friends/family, many may
simply not have options thus having to quit their jobs. This could create a
"domino effect" of additional costs on other community programs.
While I know cuts are necessary, I hope consideration be given to have some
low-traffic bus routes operate at least during the usual weekday rush hours.
This could give as many people as possible an option to get to their jobs or
do errands during these periods. This keeps them off programs and
contributing as tax-paying citizens. I'm a two-time cancer survivor and
wonder if I'll be able to get to ongoing medical appointments.
Thank you so much for your hard work and considering the many difficult
issues before you. Sincerely, Kathy Brockman
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