After six months of work on the east side of St. Paul, Fostering an East Side Transit Equity Conversation (FESTEC) will receive its first award. The Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award is given annually by the local Chapter of WTS International. Founded in 1977, WTS is dedicated to building the future of transportation through the overall advancement of women. The annual awards process recognizes local individuals or organizations, and local winners are placed in contention for the international award to be given later in the year.
It was October 31st and a six-month-old girl and her father were out trick or treating on the East Side of St Paul. The father is Jose Morales, an organizer on the Fostering East Side Transit Equity Conversations team, and his little daughter is Sophia and again she is only six months old. On this night, little Sophia sat in a baby pouch that hung from Jose’s shoulders. At each stop, Sophia was receiving candy with one hand while handing out a flyer for a community event with her other hand. This was happening as her mother was handing out candy and flyers back at home.This is true family organizing in a community where civic engagement has not been front page news. The reality is that the East Side residents are taking more and more ownership of their community and this is an example of how much passion an organizer has about his community and how he is passing on this value to the next generation. Continue Reading