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The momentum of our organization is undeniable. We have experienced state-wide successes in our advocacy for improved passenger rail services. But just as exciting is the growth we are seeing at a grassroots level in regions across Ohio. AAO has active chapters in Southwest, Central, Northeast and Northwest Ohio. Across the state, we have meetings, social events and grassroots opportunities for our members to get involved!

Over the past six months, I have had the pleasure of helping to lead the Southwest Ohio chapter of AAO. After a covid hiatus, we brought back in person meetings to our region. As our community has grown, new opportunities for impact have presented themselves.

Last month, our chapter took a tour of Union Terminal, the Amtrak station in Cincinnati. After our tour, members of the chapter brainstormed needed improvements for ridership experience. We decided it would be valuable to improve signage, provide ticketing solutions and improve the website. Following our brainstorm, chapter leaders met with Amtrak representatives to discuss these recommendations. The activity of our members is leading directly to achieving our AAO mission: To advocate for the establishment, improvement and maintenance of a robust transportation system focusing on passenger rail.

As we turn the page into 2024, more opportunities will arise. We have an exciting year ahead of us, with the potential for significant movement on the Corridor ID and Long-Distance programs. We will need the involvement of our members to achieve our goals. You can help by educating your neighbors, elected officials and community leaders. You can help us build our organization, attend chapter meetings and social events, participate in discussions, and help to plan events. Finally, you can share your specific talents with the organization. If you have a skill that you think could help AAO, please reach out to your regional director. We would love to get you more involved!

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