Greeting from Albany/North Berkley, California, where I am rubbing elbows and sharing Chinese and Indian with "she-who-can't-be-named." A side note of interest is that, though being the individual responsible for this blog's existence, she now refuses to read a single line. As stated somewhat recently, like so many others she has had enough of taxi, hating what she feels is my continued involvement in unending madness. She began howling in pain when I started listening to yesterday's Seattle City Council hearing. She finds the abuse and injustice appalling. How can I disagree?
As I always say, linger long enough beneath the top-light and you will experience everything imaginable or in this particular case, deplorable. Late Sunday morning, while rushing a very late couple to the Portland-bound Amtrak, I encountered a group of young guys jaywalking in the middle of Second Avenue South.
Voicing my objection, one very misguided individual spit at me through my open window. Slamming on my brakes, and leaping out of 478, I made it extremely clear that he had just made a very serious error. Though famously an official pacifist, the idiot was spared a sound beating only by the urgency of getting my passengers to the train and his companion's quick intervention, firmly grabbing my arm while apologizing for his stupid friend, understanding I was potentially ready to do some serious damage. I told him to hit his friend for me. He just might have, understanding that the spitter had endangered all of them, having promised one of the friends equal treatment. After dropping off my customers, I washed myself off, wiping away a momentary indignity.
Yesterday, another insult took place, the Seattle City Council voting to make the
mayor's wish list public law. I am pleased to report that Council Member Mike O'Brien attempted to send the entire bill back to the original committee for further review, questioning in part the removal of the security cameras. Thank goodness there was some resistance to the mayor's political maneuvering. That bodes well if the taxi industry stops the bill from becoming law during the next 30 days, thus opening new avenues for negotiation. While at the moment that might seem fantastical, anything might happen.
This is all I can say for sure. Those of us who truly speak for the entire local industry want our collective voices heard. As I said in an email to the entire city council today, this is not an end but only a beginning. I only hope I am not speaking through my taxi hat. Somebody has to have some credibility. Someone has to be speaking the real and unadultuated truth. All I can say is that I am attempting to bring about some rational conclusion. As I keep saying, stay tuned.
And by the way, the Seattle Weekly on-line edition has a good article about yesterday's city council hearing. There is picture of Mayor Murray signing the bill soon after it passed. What was the rush anyway!?