Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On Ventra, FOIA lawsuits, and demanding the truth

The Chicago Reader recently interviewed me about my FOIA lawsuit against the Chicago Transit Authority...and some of the more interesting obstacles that got in the way of it.

http://m.chicagoreader.com/chicago/jason-prechtel-interview-ventra-cta/Content?oid=18650024

Since I last posted here about the results of my lawsuit (http://www.culturebore.com/2015/07/6-ventra-facts-i-learned-from-my-foia.html?m=1),

I uploaded all the documents for anyone to see over at DocumentCloud:

https://www.documentcloud.org/public/search/Group:%20culturebore

also wrote a piece for Curbed showing evidence that a consultant on the project may have sold confidential CTA info to Toronto:

http://m.chicago.curbed.com/archives/2015/07/17/ventra-chicago-and-toronto.php

There's a lot more I would say here if I weren't currently typing this on a smartphone from Europe. For now, I'll just add this:

ANY attempt to privatize a public asset anywhere (particularly if it's public transportation) deserves public attention. Public feedback. Public debate. But most importantly, it deserves the public's ability to say no to the decision-makers and question the logic and arguments from their presumed "expert" consultants.

None of this ever happened in the procurement process that led to Ventra. 

Furthermore, I hope the full scope of what I have said and written about this particular subject encourages people to demand answers from their governments - local or otherwise - when the official story just doesn't sound like the full truth.

If I can do it, you can do it, too.


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