Here is another political action alert for all ORBTS members. There is a special election on February 8, 2022. It is right around the corner. The two offices that are up are Fayetteville City Council Ward 2, where I live. And Arkansas State Senate District 7, right next door. AR SSD 7 will change to District 31 in 2023. And I will be in that district.

For all the folks who think elections don’t matter here are the numbers of voters who have voted in the District 7 primaries, both parties, and run offs, the Republicans, so far. The total number for the primaries with 6 candidates is 3,839. The number of voters in the Republican run off is 847. In a general election District 7 had 10,000+ voters participate. I use total numbers because I want us to get a sense of how many voters may show up for the Special Election, which is about 1/3 of a general election. This is a small number of voters compared to a general election. A determined group like us can make an impact on the election results. Most important for us, will we help place a candidate who is on board with our agenda? One who is at least friendly? Or will we have a State Senator who is hostile to us?

For the purpose of reinforcing an informed citizenry I surveyed the candidates in the upcoming February 8 special election. I admit I did ask one set of questions for the city council. I changed up my questions for the State Senate District 7 candidates. Here are the results for the State Senate District 7 candidates.

My questions as follows; “I am the President of Ozark Rail and Bus Transit Society. I have some questions about public transportation. If you will answer them I will share them with our members – over 600 strong. 

What are your thoughts on mass transit? What is your position on more transit funding? Where do you stand on electric vehicles? What are your thoughts on a Big Picture railrail project that improves freight hauling and passenger rail? Does this include bringing Amtrak or a private rail company to provide passenger service? What does such a project include to make it happen? 

At ORBTS we don’t endorse candidates or Parties. We take a hard look at policy. 

TX RB”

Here is the response from Lisa Parks, Democratic candidate for Arkansas State Senate District 7. On her campaign website she posts contact information which I used to email her. I include everything she wrote in response. 

“Richard,

Thank you for sending these questions.  I am so sorry I have not been able to get to them so far.  Our campaign has really been gearing up our field campaign over the past couple of weeks trying to reach the voters of District 7 before February 8th.  

I have looked over the questions and realize that some of them might require some research and reading on my part.  I certainly want to give informed answers to them. 

I do want to let you know that I am in support of a mass transit/public transportation plan for Northwest Arkansas.  I certainly think our population growth would support such a plan.  I visited Savannah, Georgia a few years ago and was really impressed with the “hub” that they had in the downtown area.  I know most of the larger cities have similar systems, but I was just so impressed with how well it fit in a city that was somewhat smaller.  My husband and I also met a gentleman in Boston that told us he hadn’t owned a personal vehicle in over ten years because of their public transportation system.  I believe a quality public transportation system for Northwest Arkansas would be extremely beneficial. 

Thank you again for your email.  I look forward to visiting with you about your organization in the near future. 

Sincerely,  

Lisa Parks” 

The Republican candidate for the same seat is Colby Fulfer. I tried to contact him to ask the same quesitons. However, there is no contact information on his website. Unless you want to make a donation. Make of that what you will. Here is the website.

If you find where and how to send him some questions, either be email or calling his campaign HQ kindly let me know. I have tried more than once. 

Soon I will post the responses from Fayetteville City Council candidates. I am trying to break up all the information into digestible bits.

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