It’s the time of year when many celebrate various holidays centered around love, faith, family, and friends. Many try to remember and give thanks for numerous blessings big and small. Year-end work milestones are also noted and oftentimes rewarded.
As Chairperson of All Aboard Ohio, I want to give thanks for where we are as a non-profit advocacy group but especially, acknowledge and appreciate how we got here. Next year will be our 50th anniversary of advocacy and “spreading the word” on passenger rail and mass transit.
We started as the Ohio Association of Railroad Passengers (OARP) and now do business as All Aboard Ohio. We owe a debt of gratitude to our charter members and decades of various board members both past and present who donated their time and energy to get us where we are today. And, countless number of folks who served in our two contracted positions of Executive Director and Public Affairs Director.
We have a long-dedicated membership role and in recent years local AAO Chapters around the state supporting our mutual and united message. We are in a position once again in Ohio where we are waiting for state leaders to assure those Federal tax dollars come back to Ohio in the form of the Bipartisan Infrastructure law which is enabling Amtrak to propose the Amtrak Connects 3C & D corridors on their dime for the first 6 years before gradually turning costs back over to our state.
I am thankful to all who have helped with outreach to the Governor, state legislators, Mayors, the MPOs, the state chamber, local elected officials, news outlets, and social media. Many have written letters to the editor or op-eds as well.
I am cautiously optimistic that Ohio’s leaders will not let this major once in a lifetime economic development opportunity pass us by once again. Hindsight is 20/20. Foresight will move Ohio forward for all of its citizens and urban and rural communities alike. Let’s hope Ohio can boast about our visionaries and not lament their regrets.
Happy Holidays to all. And, please remember All Aboard Ohio’s “Giving Tuesday” on 11/29/22 as posted on our social media and other electronic alerts. Without you and your continued support, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Thank you.