Bay Area Youth Push for Transportation Subsidy; PA Voter ID Law Could Suppress 1/2 Million Voters
City of San Francisco Considers Youth Transit Subsidy. Members of the San Francisco and Oakland Youth Commissions are calling on the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission to support a proposal that would allow low-income young people of color in the area to ride public transportation for free. The San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency, the San Francisco Transit Authority and the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education have all approved the proposal; approval from the MTC is the final step. “With school districts cutting yellow school buses and San Francisco Muni Railway’s youth fares rising, more and more young people in San Francisco are having trouble getting to school – and anywhere we need to go,” said SFYC leaders Leah LaCroix and Bahar Ostadan in an op-ed. “Our families cannot afford the cost of transit.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
Pennsylvania Voter Suppression Law Could Affect a Half-Million Voters. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R-Pa) has once again denied calls for a delay in the implementation of the state’s proposed Voter ID law that could keep 750,000 eligible voters from the polls this fall. According to figures released by the state last week, 758,939 registered voters in Pennsylvania do not possess the type of identification needed in order to be eligible to vote, while 18 percent of residents in Philadelphia—the state’s largest city—do not have the proper documentation. A spokesman for Corbett defended the proposed legislation, saying that it “protects the integrity of every vote and voter,” although the law could potentially prevent many from voting. Under the law, the state would only accept certain types of identification–school IDs, for example, would need a definite expiration date, which most do not currently provide. These changes have forced many in the state to jump through bureaucratic hoops in order to vote in November. [The Philadelphia Daily News]
Bea Arthur Residence for LGBT Youth Gets NYC Grant Funding. The City of New York Monday announced a plan to partner with the Ali Fourney Center and provide $3.3 million in funding to transform a building owned by the city into an 18-bed shelter for LGBT homeless youth. The Center will be named after former “Golden Girls” star Bea Arthur. Arthur, who passed away in 2009, bestowing $300,000 in her will to the Center. The gift prevented the shelter from reducing the number of beds it offered. Arthur’s support in 2009 drew praise from the Center’s executive director Carl Siciliano, who said of the actress’s gift, “It’s wonderful for our young people, who have been so rejected, to know that someone as important as Bea Arthur supports them.” Siciliano believes that the building renovation will allow for greater stability for the agency and the youth it serves. “We operate these programs at a real loss and have to do a tremendous amount of private fundraising just to pay the rent,” Sciliano said. [The Huffington Post]
Christopher Boan is a journalism intern with Campus Progress.