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John Lewis
Updated On: Jul 31, 2020
John Robert Lewis

While my time here has now come to an end, I want you to know that in the last days and hours of my life you inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society. Millions of people motivated simply by human compassion laid down the burdens of division. Around the country and the world you set aside race, class, age, language and nationality to demand respect for human dignity.

That is why I had to visit Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, though I was admitted to the hospital the following day. I just had to see and feel it for myself that, after many years of silent witness, the truth is still marching on.

Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor. He was 14 when he was killed, and I was only 15 years old at the time. I will never ever forget the moment when it became so clear that he could easily have been me. In those days, fear constrained us like an imaginary prison, and troubling thoughts of potential brutality committed for no understandable reason were the bars.

Though I was surrounded by two loving parents, plenty of brothers, sisters and cousins, their love could not protect me from the unholy oppression waiting just outside that family circle. Unchecked, unrestrained violence and government-sanctioned terror had the power to turn a simple stroll to the store for some Skittles or an innocent morning jog down a lonesome country road into a nightmare. If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.

Like so many young people today, I was searching for a way out, or some might say a way in, and then I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.

Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.

You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.

Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.

When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.


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TRANSIT WORKERS ON THE FRONT LINES FIGHTING COVID 19

by Mark Henry, Chair, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) NYS Legislative Conference Board & President/Business Agent, ATU Local 1056

            The members of ATU local 1056  move essential and non essential workers daily. We are exposed to all dangers, transit workers still show great resiliency mentally and physically under uncertain conditions. The members are particularly vulnerable, working against an unknown assailant according to health experts. We still know little about COVID-19 other than it attacks vulnerable populations, the symptoms vary, and we too often experience a devastating aftermath.

            Government and Agency miss steps, in providing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) timely could have saved a lives. COVID has exposed decades of disparity of services, medical centers, health care, quality of school education, shopping, types restaurants, and housing, but mainly public transportation; the inequality in every one of these categories is immense.  Our communities are marginalized and undervalued. ATU and our colleagues in MTA labor raised this need including timely cleaning of Equipment and workspaces, social distancing in workplace, rear boarding, and blocking of first several rows of bus, requiring passengers to wear masks. 

         New York City needs public transit to work in order to re-open NYC and allow our city and our nation’s economy to rebound.  An essential service should not put the public at risk when they use that service. The authority must provide the necessary service level so riders can easily maintain social distancing. Our agencys needs a protected, safe and healthy workforce and workplace to provide levels of service needed to assure the riding public they can safely return to work via public transit. 

       Public must continue to protect our members by their own adherence to measures such as wearing masks and physical distancing.  We need support to pressure the MTA and government to ensure service levels that make transit safe for the riding public.  We deserve "Hazard Pay PERIOD!"  The world has changed as we know it ... The agency and public must adjust to those new Normals, in order to stop the spread of COVID-19

Open Competitive and/or Promotional Exams (NOE)

Notice of Examinations (NOE) for positions within the Transit Authority are open for filing.  For applicants to apply or receive more information about an Open Competitive and/or Promotional exam they visit MTA  Examinations Employment website at http://web.mta.info/nyct/hr/appexam.htm

Each NOE contains key details, including education and experience requirements, application instructions, expected test dates, and other exam-specific test information

 
 
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