Youth Sit-in for Opportunity

Call to Action: Support the Sit-in for Opportuni(T)

Latest news on our #YouthPass campaign! Refresh to see updates and scroll down for Action Alert.

July 9: Interview with YAC Coordinator Caroline Casey.

  • "The activists were protesting the Transportation Department’s lack of action on a youth pass pilot program, which they say Transportation Secretary Richard Davey promised them in 2011. MassDOT is currently facing budgetary constraints, but Casey says there are ways to fund the pilot program without draining the agency’s pockets." --CommonWealth Magazine

June 25: YAC's work pushes MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott to agree to a Youth Pass pilot next year.

  • "The move comes after youth and youth organizers staged a sit-in protest against what they said was the agency’s inaction on the youth pass. Teen groups have been advocating for reduced fares for teens for more than five years. Of the 30 protesters who staged a sit-in outside Transportation Secretary Richard Davey’s office two weeks ago, 21 were arrested." --Bay State Banner

June 18: At today's MBTA Board Meeting, Youth Pass supporters were prevented from speaking. Most were not let into the meeting until after the public comment period had closed, and only three of those who gained entrance were permitted to testify.

  • “'I’ve been to plenty of [T] meetings before and they are always packed,' said YAC member Kalila Barnett, who was one of three arrestees allowed to speak. 'The room [Wednesday] was definitely not packed. When I first walked in there were empty seats; though I had just been told that I could not go in.'” -- Metro

The long line to get into the MBTA Board meeting

June 15: Youth Pass on the Callie Crossley show.

Image via @skrillaBurnz on Twitter

June 12: Video from Univision, interviewing ACE Board Member Adanarys Barragan.
 

  • "Las 21 personas llegaron ayer a protestar frente del edificio del Departamento de Transporte ya que querĂ­an hablar con el secretario Richard Davey sobre propuesta de un pase juvenil para pasajeros del T." -- Univision

June 10: More press from the sit-in.

  • "Shortly after 7 p.m., more than two hours after the offices closed for the day, troopers peacefully arrested 11 adult females and 10 adult males and charged them with trespassing." -- Boston Magazine
Image via @AceEJ
  • "Jenkins said that the protesters 'felt finally like we couldn’t be ignored' as a result of the demonstration, but they were disappointed that Davey chose not to address them in person and 'continues to ignore the fact that young people can’t afford the cost of the MBTA.'" -- Boston Globe
  • “'Three years ago, Secretary Davey agreed to pilot an MBTA Youth Pass if we helped find revenue for the project. We have, but we keep being asked to wait,' said Kenisha Allen of the YAC Leadership Team in a prepared statement." -- BostInno
Image by BostInno
  • "Now some youth activists are demanding a more flexible and less expensive monthly pass for riders 12 to 21 years old. The group 'Youth Affordability Coalition,' or YAC, is calling for unlimited youth T access for just $10 a month." -- WGBH News

  • "The activists are demanding Gov. Deval Patrick and state transportation Secretary Richard Davey to implement a more affordable youth ridership program for students and other young people who use the city's mass transit system." -- Mass Live
Image via Jaelle Sanon on Twitter

June 9: Check out all our media coverage!

  • "Allyah Stoner, a teen from Roxbury, said, 'It’s been seven years, seven years too long for us to be still talking about the youth riders crisis, still talking about how thousands of youth everyday can’t get to school, work opportunities or other stuff.'" --
    NECN

  • "Like the high school, college-age, and older picketers who lined the MassDOT offices including that of Mass Transportation Secretary Richard Davey today, Allen had one overriding request – for a more affordable youth ridership program to be put in place as specified by nearly two-dozen community groups in the On the Move (OTM) coalition – and an accompanying message that nobody was leaving until they got what they wanted." -- Dig Boston
  • "'I spend over $5 a day just going between work and home, plus everywhere else I have to go. That's over a quarter of my income,' Kenisha Allen of the YAC Leadership Team stated. 'We are now sitting in because we have no other choice, we're done being ignored.'” -- Fox Boston
  • "One of the protest organizers, Lee Matsueda said starting at noon yesterday about 30 people gathered in the transportation offices to ask MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey to follow through on a youth pass pilot program they claim he backed in July 2011." -- Boston Herald
  • "State Police said 11 women and 10 men were led away in cuffs after they refused to leave the Transportation Building two hours after the building closed." -- Boston.com
Image via Youth Way on the MBTA

5:00 PM: Supporters will stay outside of the Transportation Building until the last sit-in participant leaves--join us there! We are signing off live blogging for now, to provide support for impending arrests. More to come later tonight. See #ATTNdavey and #YouthWay for breaking updates. Thank you for your support!

4:06 PM: Supporters gather outside the Transporation Building.

Supporters outside the Transportation Building
Supporters outside the Transportation Building

3:53 PM: MBTA General Manager now meeting with three representatives from our group.

MBTA General Manager speaking to us

3:34 PM: MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott is now here, speaking to our group.

MBTA General Manager speaking to us

3:11 PM: We're being told that MassDOT building security will not let media in to speak with us due to "over capacity" issues.

Overcapacity?
Overcapacity?
Overcapacity?

2:19 PM:We were forced to turn off our livestream, but if it goes up again, check it out at: http://bit.ly/UoDmTK

2:02 PM: Massachusetts State Police are threatening our sit-in participants with arrest if we do not leave by 5:00 p.m.

1:48 PM: Things are pretty mellow here in the Transportation Building...

1:30 PM: Secretary Davey is denying press access to speak with YouthWay members.

12:38 PM: MassDOT is not allowing us to take photos and videos.

12:24 PM: We are now sitting in at Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey's office.

Young people begin sit-in for a Youth Pass at Secretary Richard Davey's office

Representatives are reading our Open Letter to Secretary Davey's assistant.

Reading our Open Letter to Secretary Davey's assistant

Our group!

Our YAC Sit-in for Opportunity group!

See Kenisha's story!

"I remember when it was 75 cents to get on the bus—now the bus is $2.00, the train is $2.00 and the trolley is $2.50. I spend an average of $30 every week traveling to and from school and work. That’s one quarter of my paycheck. Could you imagine giving one-fourth of your check to the T? Could YOU afford that?

"Last Saturday, I was getting ready to head to work to plan for this event. I realized I didn’t have the funds to get to work. If I can’t get to work, I can’t make money. I shouldn’t have to choose if I want to eat this week or be able to get to work and school—I have the right to both. But that is what I’m dealing with right now. There have been times I was stranded in Dudley and no one would let me on the bus due to me not having the fare. I then proceeded to walk home. I live all the way in Mattapan."

ACTION ALERT!

Opportun(T) delayed is opportunity denied.

This morning, 30 youth and supporters from the Youth Affordabili(T) Coalition (YAC) began a Sit-in for Opportuni(T) in the office of Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey. Boston-area youth have worked for more than seven years to make the MBTA more affordable by creating a Youth Pass.

The T is our Opportuni(T) to learn, work, thrive and contribute. When we can’t afford it, we’re cut off from everything. We’re sitting in because we need a Youth Pass now.

We need your support!

1. Call/email/tweet Secretary Davey
Tell Secretary Davey to end the MBTA affordability crisis for youth riders. Secretary Davey committed to start a pilot of the Youth Pass in 2011. He can end the sit-in by honoring this commitment.
(857) 368-8891
Richard.Davey@state.ma.us
@massDOT #YouthPass

2. Join us outside the Sit-in for Opportuni(T)
Today, we are gathering at the State Transportation Building at 10 Park Plaza, in front of the Stuart Street entrance. We are holding a rally at 4:00 p.m. and vigil at 6:00 p.m. We ask supporters to be present outside the building for the duration of the sit-in, to show solidarity with those who are inside.

3. Call/email/tweet Governor Patrick
Tell Governor Patrick that we want a state where youth can learn, work, thrive and contribute. He should instruct Secretary Davey to take steps to make the MBTA affordable for youth by creating a Youth Pass now.
(617) 725-4005
goffice@state.ma.us
info@devalpatrick.com
@MassGovernor #YouthPass

4. Contribute to the Youth Pass support fund to cover bail, fines, and supplies.
Visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1410794 and select "Youth Pass Support Fund" from the drop down menu.

Resources:

See our Open Letter to Secretary Davey.