This is another great example of why I think Tom Ammiano would be a great Mayor.
He has great reasons for not wanting N to pass, and an excellent alternative to it: providing health benefits and disability benefits for all taxi drivers (not just disability for only drivers with medallions - as N proposes).
More details below.
This footage is from October 31, 2003.
I took advantage of having access to Tom Ammiano in person Friday to ask him about the other propositions on the ballot. What he said makes sense to me. I hope it will be helpful to you in making your decisions about tomorrow's elections.
Lisa: "What about N? For taxi permits..."
Tom: "You know, my father was a cab driver in the 50's and 60's before he died. There were no benefits. There were no health benefits. When he died, we had to practice an Italian-American custom called La Boost (sp?) where people actually come to the funeral, which you don't pay for yet, and they make a donation. And I thought 'ya know, nobody has to go through this.' Particularly Taxi drivers.
However, this is a very self-serving avaricious measure that I think is very dishonest. In the world of taxi drivers there are people with permits and then there are people without permits, and this is a way to get the people with permits only some kind of disability benefits. It really shuts the door on anyone else, and I don't like that. And I tried to get something on the ballot that would encompass not just the permit (medallion) holders, but the other drivers too. To me, there was a way that we could have done it for everyone.
So I'm not supporting N because I think it is dishonest. I don't want to deny disability to people, particularly with my personal background, but there is another way to do it. And by the way, my office worked with the waring parties, and their very very very angry with each other and don't talk to each other a lot. Within the taxi industry there are three or four factions and we are moving towards providing health benefits for all taxi drivers. And if it ever passes, and we get the cooperation of everyone, I'd like to call it the "Joe Ammiano Law," because that was my dad.
Lisa: "So that one you're stronger about. You think it's a big NO on that one."
Tom: "Oh yes. It's going to be very harmful. And we'll just leave it at that."Posted by Lisa at November 04, 2003 09:25 AM | TrackBack