Fighting for riders’ rights

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“Change is coming.”

Taisha O’Bryant
ACE Member

Taisha is a Senior TRU Member Intern and was elected Chairperson of T Riders Union in June 2009.

ACE Member Taisha O'Bryant

I was born in Boston and I live in East Boston with my two kids, ages fifteen and two. Right now I'm going to school to get my high school diploma. I have been at ACE for a year and a half as a TRU intern.

Last year, I took a 12-week training at Rosie's Place about political issues. At our graduation, René Mardones was a guest speaker and he was so welcoming, he invited all of us to come to a TRU meeting. It was something I really cared about and I wanted to get involved, so I decided to give it a shot. That was last September and I've been a member ever since.

I'm a T rider. Public transit is important, but there are environmental justice issues—how it operates, how it runs and how we can hold the transit authority accountable. TRU gives a voice to people like me who feel like they're being disrespected and taken advantage of by the transit system in Boston. We need a system that works for and benefits all riders.

The work we do for transit justice and teaching our members about energy efficiency is really important. ACE's mission is fighting for justice where there are injustices, and I stand by that. I feel very strongly about engaging people of lower income communities—it gives the community power. This is supposed to be a democracy. And we don't see that very often.

My favorite memory so far was our fundraiser in May. I got to do the pitch, I had to capture the crowd. It was my first Jammin' event, my first fundraising pitch and we successfully reached our fundraising goal. I got good skills! ACE is just making me shine.

ACE works because people have to come together to get leverage. We show that more than one person agrees on this issue and we need more people to be engaged. Change is coming, it just takes time and hard work. We're gonna win, we just need to keep fighting.

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