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WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia supports an affordable, reliable, and safe transportation system that connects people in all communities to their homes, places of worship, jobs, medical services, school, retail, parks, and recreation; and
WHEREAS, February 4, 2021, marks the 108th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Parks, an African American civil rights leader and active NAACP member who helped change the course of our nation when she refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama; and
WHEREAS, it is her brave act of civil disobedience along with a diligently planned and coordinated effort that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott which was marked by 381 days of peaceful protests that stirred the conscience of the country, ultimately leading to the desegregation of public transportation systems across the nation; and
WHEREAS, unequal access to public transit based on race, income, and disability persist; and
WHEREAS, affordable, safe, and reliable transportation is a civil rights issue and should be afforded to all, regardless of income, national origin, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, or ability; and
WHEREAS, our communities deserve a connected and robust transportation network that integrates land use and affordable housing; and
WHEREAS, access to affordable and reliable transportation is a matter of dignity and it is crucial to social mobility by providing increased and safe access to jobs; and
WHEREAS, public transit workers are essential workers who provide a vital service to the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, a robust public transit system will help to reduce automotive pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter that often have disparate impacts on communities closest to highways and other major roads, which tend to disproportionately be communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities; and
WHEREAS, Transit Equity Day serves to draw attention to the continuing racial and economic inequities in access to public transit; and
WHEREAS, as we mark the 108th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ birth, we celebrate and honor her life, legacy, and courageousness in the face of injustice;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 4, 2021, as TRANSIT EQUITY DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.