On Wednesday Januray 18, 2011, GRIC members attended the Maricopa Association of Governments Public Transportation Policy committee (MAG TPC) to leave public comments against the South Mountain freeway.
MAG TPC has included the South Mountain freeway in its 5 year and 20 year Regional Transportation Plan. MAG approved to move forward with the “proposal” back in the fall of 2009, despite GRIC’s opposition. In that time, MAG and ADOT have undermined GRIC sovereignty by only presenting choice of route to GRIC, not NO BUILD, all without a draft Environment Statement (EIS). But unfortunately, the community is being force to vote on the freeway without an EIS. So GRIC members decided to take their concerns directly to MAG’s TPC meeting.
GRIC elders and youth voiced their concerns about the negative impacts the freeway would have on their health, environment and sacred places. Since the freeway was not an individual agenda item, they left comments during the Call to Public portion of the meeting. They ask that the South Mountain Freeway “proposal” be on the agenda at the next MAG TPC meeting
Dine’ (Navajo) youth also spoke in solidarity with GRIC members.
Additionally, over 40 non-GRIC supporters held a protest in solidarity with the GRIC NO BUILD effort outside the Maricopa Association of Governments building. They left NO BUILD comments, held NO SOUTH MOUNTAIN FREEWAY banners, chanted, passed out informative NO BUILD fliers and lectured and engaged the public on why the freeway is bad for everybody in the Phoenix area, GRIC and in the city. Demonstrators even held banners in the MAG chambers during the Public comment period and disrupted the meeting by “mic checking” a statement of solidarity against the freeway.
The protest was called for by concerned non-GRIC members that live in the greater Phoenix area. For more information on non-GRIC NO BUILD efforts, please check their website: http://nosouthmountainfreeway.wordpress.com/
GRIC members and non-GRIC supporters will also be attending the January 24 Arizona Dept. of Transportation (ADOT) Citizens Transportation Oversight Committee.
With less than a month away for the Feburary 7 GRIC Loop 202 vote, concern GRIC members are letting their voices be heard not just on GRIC, but also outside the community.
Please join us this Tuesday at CTOC!
Video and photos from the January 18, 2012 Maricopa Association of Governments Public Transportation Policy Committee