The generational contrast wasn’t exactly black-and-white; some in the older generation (of which this writer is a member) supported rail, but most who testified did not. The young testifiers were eloquent in their support of rail transit.
Today’s Yes2Rail post carries the verbatim testimony (transcribed from the ‘Olelo cablecast) of a representative of the “We Will Ride” group and a decades-long rail opponent.
Good afternoon, Mr. Chair, Council members. My name is Chris Ballesteros, and I’m here as a representative of an organization called We Will Ride. We represent over 400 young people, mostly high school- and college-age students that are dedicated to the promise that rail transit has for the future of Honolulu.
Chairman Apo and members of the Council, thank you for giving us one minute to testify on the 11,000 pages of the FEIS, appendices and 18 technical reports. I would like to draw your attention to page 24 of the City’s letter to me in the comments on our DEIS comments. Mr. Yoshioka says, “You are correct in pointing out that traffic congestion will be worse in the future with rail than it is today without rail.” And the rumors that Mr. Yoshioka was water-boarded to get that out of him may not be true, but nevertheless, it’s a fact that most people in the ewa plain do not understand that traffic congestion with rail will be worse than it is today.
If Chris Ballesteros represents Oahu’s future, the community would seem to be in good hands. He was articulate, spoke without notes and maintained eye contact with the Council as he made his case. Cliff Slater’s penchant for sarcasm was evident in his first few seconds, and the bulk of his prepared testimony was a repeat of the same worn-down theme we’ve examined this week in Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts here.
If the Council members were paying attention, they saw and heard the future, and it was decidedly with rail.