Statement by Sarai Brenner Opposing SWLRT Co-location

The following statement by Sarai Brenner opposing freight and light-rail co-location in the Kenilworth Corridor was presented at the Municipal Consent Public Heating on September 15, 2015.

Statement by Sarai Brenner Opposing SWLRT Co-location

I’m not going to talk to you directly about why you should not give your consent to SWLRT, about the inadequacy of the SDEIS or the dangers of COLOCATION with running highly volatile hazardous ethanol freight immediately adjacent to 35 foot construction pits or electrified trains. I won’t even talk to you about the vote, for I’m skeptical enough to believe that each of your votes will be exactly the same as it was in the previous round of municipal consent. Instead, I want to talk to you about how cynical I and many citizens of Minneapolis feel about the political process that has led us to this point.

We thought you stood with us. We thought that you represented us. Instead, you traded our safety and security in a dirty back room deal for some other favor that the MET Council, an undemocratic unelected body of government had the power to grant. I used to be an idealist, believing in the power of what was right and just in the process of democracy, but this political process has been so vulgar so disgusting.

It makes some fight harder, but it also makes many more just give up. If it weren’t for a single politician, I might be one of those who just give up, but fortunately, we have Minnesota Congressman Hornstein who’s willing to discuss the very real dangers of running 100+ unit trains of ethanol and crude oil alongside LRT and underneath the Twins stadium – We don’t even allow a single high hazard tanker semi with about 7000 gals of gas to go through the Loring tunnel but allow a 100+ unit freight train with 2,000,000 gallons to go underneath the Twins stadium.

We elect you to be our advocates, to protect us. Today, my expectations are low which really just breaks my heart. It breaks so many citizens of Minneapolis’ heart. Surprise us by being our advocates and voting no colocation.

Sarai Brenner