by Brian Flagg and Jimmy Ojeda
“A Ronstadt Transit Center for Everyone” is turning into a Ronstadt Center for developers, politicians, and organized money.
The Tucson Bus Riders Union (TBRU) has always advocated for a “downtown for everyone,” including the Ronstadt Transit Center. The vision of TBRU is to keep the Ronstadt as a place where everyone is welcome despite economic or social differences and as a vital resource for public transportation.
On Tuesday, September 24, the Mayor and City Council voted to continue the process of seeking potential developers to transform the Ronstadt. Despite the promises from Councilwoman Karin Uhlich during a meeting with Casa Maria and TBRU board members on August 20, that this would not happen and TBRU’s efforts, our elected officials voted to move forward and support the interests of developers and their organized money.
It is obvious that the issue is about money and power and not about the needs of the Tucson community and bus riders. It boils down to developers wanting to cleanse downtown. There’s a general feeling that some developers see themselves maximizing their profits if people who use the Ronstadt were not present downtown.
The TBRU believes in the power of organized people, and as a result of the Council’s decision to continue the development of the Ronstadt, the TBRU will launch a membership campaign. The membership campaign will bolster the ranks of the Union and will give us the power to fight the big money organized against us. TBRU wants everyone interested in the future of the Ronstadt to know that it is not going to be an easy battle, but that we are ready to fight for a downtown for everyone.
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