Community Hearing on Transit Equity
A National Conversation

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Moderators, Panelists and Facilitators | The Testifiers |
AFT President Randi Weingarten


Music of Transit Equity Days 2021

Official Musician: Jazz Artist Lowden Harrell
Day 1 Feature: The U-Liners: “Age of Trains”
Credits: Full Circle: “Pirates”
“Transit Equity Fun List” on Spotify


Day 1 | Day 2
Recorded Testimonies | Written Testimonies


Wednesday, February 3, 2021
3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Eastern

Miércoles 3 de febrero, 2021
3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Hora del Este

2:30 p.m.

Pre-Hearing / Opening Montage

3:00 p.m.

Transit Equity Opening Panel

Ken Kirk, International Secretary-Treasurer, Amalgamated Transit Union; Jacqueline Patterson, Senior Director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program; Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, Colorado Cross Disability Coalition; Mahdi Hossaini, Lead Youth Organizer, Together4Brothers

4:10 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Live Testimonies

Closing Day Remarks



Thursday, February 4, 2021
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern

Jueves 4 de febrero, 2021
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Hora del Este

11 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.

Pre-Hearing / Opening Montage

11:20 a.m. 2:10 p.m.


Live Individual Testimonies

2:15 p.m.

Joint Testimonies,

American Federation of Teachers

2:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks

Randi Weingarten

President, American Federation of Teachers

2:50 p.m.

Last Words

Jane English and Michael Leon Guerrero

Recorded Testimonies


Ryan McGraw

Sefu Chikelu

Laurel Mendes

Jeffrey Omura

Delrisa Sewell-Henry

Tosin Olayinka

Jolie Hackney

Jon Robinson

Ellyn Leahy

Rita Smith

Steven McCauley

Simon Husted

Simon Husted Q&A

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert Q&A

Lucy Del Gaudio

Lisa Gonzalez

Rita, Laurel, Tosin and Loh Q&A About Biden

Jayden Brower

Sally G

Ruth Cordner

Celia Keenan-Bolger

Ramon Palencia-Calvo

Samantha Garcia

Crystal Greenberg

Iliana Stampur

Sierra Club North Star Chapter



Bruce Krawisz, Wisconsin

Transit Equity Day Letter 

There are many different diseases that cause dementia, but two are much more common than  others. Often patients have both disease processes simultaneously. These are called Alzheimer  disease and vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.  Cerebrovascular disease is a name for diseases involving blood vessels of the brain and vascular  dementia is one result of cerebrovascular disease. The cause of Alzheimer disease is not known;  neurons die and their death is related to precipitations of particular proteins called tau and  amyloid beta. 

The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care is a group of  physicians and public health experts who provide expert medical information about dementia. In  their most recent report from August of 2020 (reference 2) they indicate air pollution is a cause  of dementia in elderly persons. This is an important discovery because approximately 40% of  Americans breathe air that is polluted according to the standards set by the World Health  Organization. 

Automobiles and trucks are a major source of pollution. A study from Ontario, Canada  (reference 1) demonstrated that people who live close to busy highways have a higher risk of  dementia than those who do not live near heavy traffic. Trucks and automobiles emit nitrogen  oxides, toxic metals, carbon monoxide, and fine particles that measure 2.5 micrometers or less (called PM2.5) when they burn gasoline or diesel. PM2.5 are so fine that they are inhaled through  the mouth or nose and into the lungs. From the lung particles may enter the blood stream. It is  also possible that these particles may be inhaled into the nose and enter the brain through  olfactory nerves at the top of the nasal cavity. These particles may contain poisonous chemicals  such as dioxin or lead that are carried into the body when PM2.5 are inhaled. Ultrafine particles  may be like Trojan horses carrying toxins into the brain. It is not known whether air pollution  increases the risk of Alzheimer Disease or vascular disease only or both. 

Approximately 4.2 million persons die worldwide each year from the pulmonary and cardiac  effects of air pollution. Air pollution is now recognized as a cause of dementia in elderly persons.  Public transportation can reduce the number of motor vehicles in cities and so reduce air  pollution. Each person benefits from less air pollution because their risk of dementia and  pulmonary and heart disease will be reduced. In particular younger people and children benefit  from a lifetime of less air pollution. Public transportation helps to clean the air we breathe.


  1. The Lancet 389: 718-726 2. Lancet Commission on Dementia 396: 413-446, DOI: 6736(20)30367-6 


Bruce R. Krawisz, M.D. 

[email protected] 

[email protected] 

Marshfield, Wisconsin 




I am a healthcare student and public transit commuter currently completing clinical rotations at a trauma center hospital in Paoli. I routinely work with extremely vulnerable patients in an ICU step down unit, including recovering COVID patients. I live in Germantown, and take the crowded early morning 65 and 106 bus lines, which takes between 1.5 – 2 hrs (or longer, traffic depending) each way. I am deeply concerned about my inability to socially distance on crowded buses despite my efforts to keep both my patients and fellow bus riders safe.