Penny tax would double funding for Midlands’ public transit

Richland County Council voted yesterday to place a referendum on the November ballot for voters in the county to consider adding a penny to the sales tax (taking it to 8 cents) to fund transportation.

The SC Progressive Network and ATU turned out dozens of bus and DART riders to press for 33% of the penny to be allocated to public transit. Council gave second reading to a proposal that funds public transit at 25%, with 71% to roads and 4% to pathways.

The front-page story in today’s State newspaper reported that the public hearing was “packed with sign-toting, T-shirt wearing bus advocates.”

“While we didn’t get the council to fund a great public transit system, the 20-year penny tax will raise over a quarter-billion dollars for public transit, more than doubling what has ever been budgeted,” Network Director Brett Bursey said.

“This plan takes us from bad to good, and we will remain engaged to insure the initiative passes in November and that public transit better serves the needs of its users.”

Lucious Williams, Vice President of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 610, testifies June 19 before Richland County Council.

Gov. Haley: Stop Playing Politics with Our Children’s Health

Tell Them Action Alert!

Yesterday, Governor Haley vetoed the Cervical Cancer Prevention Act, which would have provided optional information to middle school students and their parents on the importance of preventing HVP and cervical cancer.

Just 5 years ago, Representative Haley co-sponsored a bill that would have mandated students receive the HPV vaccination. My how the political winds have shifted!

Click here to tell Gov. Haley to stop playing politics with our children’s health.

Do you believe all South Carolinians have the right to receive public health information designed to protect them from infections and diseases?  Sign Tell Them’s Bill of Rights.

Care about community? Come to the next hearing on the future of Midlands’ public transportation

June 19, 6pm

Richland County Council Chambers, 2020 Hampton St.

(Come by 5:30pm to get a free public transit T-shirt.)

Richland County Council is holding a public hearing on funding public transportation for the next 20 years. Council is proposing an additional county-wide penny sales tax for roads, buses and pathways. We support the penny tax, but strongly believe that the bus system and DART are being under-funded.

Council’s own consultant recommended 60% for roads, 33% for public transit and 7% for pathways. Council is proposing a formula that gives roads 71%, public transit 25% and pathways 4%.

Since roads have other sources of funding and public transit and pathways are always under-funded, Council should put the consultants’ funding formula on the November ballot.

Come to the hearing, or contact your County Council representative and tell them to fund a modern public transit that will:

  • Create jobs and stimulate economic growth
  • Reduce our dependence on foreign energy
  • Ease congestion on our highways
  • Protect the environment
  • Dramatically increase frequency of service, longer hours and effective feeder routes

For more information, contact the SC Progressive Network: 803-808-3384 or

Download a flyer and help get the word out!

Tell Them protects reproductive rights of all South Carolinians

The 119th Session of the South Carolina General Assembly ended on Thursday (they will be meeting this week to discuss the budget). Over the past two years, Tell Them advocates and partners sent over 20,000 emails, communicating with all 170 members of the South Carolina legislature.

Tell Them focused on 8 bills and budget provisos this session. Here are some highlights from the session:

* DEFEATED the Right to Refuse Act (aka the Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act) and protected patients’ rights to unfiltered information and services from health care providers
* HELPED TO MAINTAIN FUNDING for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) to hundreds of needy South Carolinians
* WIN! Maintained coverage for services for victims of rape and incest and ensuring complete access to health care options
* NEUTRALIZED the Provider Liability Burden (aka the Born Alive Bill) and allowed doctors to continue making the best medical decisions for their patients.

Tell Them’s 10,000 members have made a tremendous impact on our state. As efforts to limit access to reproductive health care continue, we will remain a powerful voice for reproductive justice and responsible health care policies in South Carolina.