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Study Questions for Rights in Transit Please provide substantial answers to each question which mean no one liners. Every question deserves a solid paragraph, even one full typed page (250 words).1. What was going on in transit in California in 2010 and what was the problem for transit riders who wanted to attend City Council meetings to express their problems with the system? This question is answered in the Preface of the book. It is always important to read carefully any introductory material to a book before heading straight to Chapter 1. The Preface poses questions and elaborates the themes of the book which help you navigate it. Ideally a person should read any book of worth several times. You don’t have time to do that, but you can read it once thoroughly and make use of all the guides the author gives you to what he or she has in mind and what questions he or she is posing2. What do rights have to do with transit? Please read the quotations at the beginning of Introduction.These quotes give you a couple of views of the rights debate which basically is this: Should we fight for rights, that is, for the incorporation into law of some necessity of life–physical, emotional, political, social, economic–to which all people would be entitled, or should we fight for improvements in lives on a case by case basis, that is, a right to education, rather than simply better schools (which are very important as well); the right to health care, rather than just affordable prescription drugs and medical procedures; the right to housing, in addition to reasonable rents and property costs. What does a right give a person over and above immediate improvements? More specifically, what is it about getting around a city that would make a right of transit valuable to individuals, beyond more buses and subways, cleaner stations and lower (or no) fares? As you answer all of these questions, I hope you will think about this: Who makes decisions about our every day lives? In regard to transportation, who determines the regulation of individual cars, the condition of the roads, parking options, inspection, cost of gas, the kinds of mass transit that are available and on what routes? And what about the rights of the workers to decent wages, safe working conditions, time off, respect?3. What does Attoh mean by Rights to the City?Think of how we get beyond political rights, sometimes called civil rights, such as the right to vote, the right to free speech, the right to a fair trial, to a broader concept of rights: the right to food, housing, health care, education, a job, a city. These are considered “positive rights” as opposed to “negative rights.” With negative rights, the government is told what it can’t do to you. In positive rights, the government is told what it should do for you. As you can imagine, positive rights may cost money or effort to achieve and are therefore more resisted by governments and some members of society who are reluctant to distribute the resources of society more evenly for personal or philosophical reasons. Can a society have too many rights? What would it mean if we had the right to the city?4. What does it mean to have a right as opposed to fighting for change outside the framework of its being a right?Question #2 covers a lot of what I would like you to elaborate in this question which goes to the heart of the rights debate. Please think through what a right to education, a right to transit, a right to the city would mean. You may think it would go too far and that’s a legitimate position to take. Remember the case about equal protection in Chapter 1. That would certainly be an important implication of any right you favor. If you think that working without an explicit right is preferable, please argue that position.5. Should the right to strike be different for public versus private sector worker?The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 allows workers in the private sector, that is, working for private companies, to go on strike. So a bus driver working for Liberty Lines in Westchester which is a private company (even though the County owns the bus routes) can go on strike while a worker in New York City where transit is owned and operated by the city cannot go on strike. The two drivers belong to the same union, Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, and do exactly the same job functions, but one can strike and the other can’t. What is valid about the distinction and what is wrong with i6. How did this book help you understand state and local government? You are entirely on your own with this question. What was your perception of state and local government when you started this class. Has it changed? Grown? Increased in complexity? How did a study of a transit system in a Northern California city shed light (or not) on any experience you have had with transportation? Did it enlighten you, anger you, force you to think differently?

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