2020 RTD Board Of Directors, District D: Bobby Dishell On The Issues

· Oct. 12, 2020, 3:00 am

District D covers south Denver, stretching into Englewood and other nearby suburbs. Bobby Dishell is running unopposed.

What's your elevator pitch for why voters should choose you?

Dishell - I truly believe that transportation underlies many equity issues in our society. As a transit user and former public school teacher, I have seen how these inequities impact different facets of society. I am running for office after extensive conversations with non-profit organizations, community leaders, and activists because we need to build a transportation system that moves for us. Not only do I know and understand the issues and have the educational background and lived experiences to address the issues, but I am also committed to continuing to learn about what the community needs to best represent you.

How would you define success for RTD?

Dishell - In order for me to consider my term a success I will work to create:

  • Increased trust, investment, and positive perception of RTD from the community.
  • A decrease in driver and operator turnover year over year.
  • A program so students and families can easily and safely get to school through improved bus stops and reduced burdens to get student passes and LiVE passes.
  • A plan to convert to a zero-emission vehicle fleet.
  • A plan to transition funds away from private police and towards an unarmed crisis response and de-escalation program.

What should RTD prioritize as it tries to rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic?

Dishell - As we rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic, RTD should prioritize ensuring transit-dependent individuals can easily access and afford public transportation and feel safe while riding. Next, RTD should prioritize minimizing its environmental impact by creating a plan to convert to a zero-emission vehicle fleet. Lastly, RTD should prioritize working with local jurisdictions and businesses to cross-promote one another so that people see RTD as a viable transportation option to rebuild or continue to build their lives.

What is your personal experience and expertise in transit?

Dishell - I do not own a personal vehicle and prior to COVID-19 was a daily transit user. I still use public transportation when I need to get from A to B. I have created and helped oversee bus routes in a small city in the midwest. My educational and professional background is in public policy, urban education, and the law - all of which are deeply impacted by transit.

How much should RTD weigh potential climate impacts in its decision-making?

Dishell - RTD should heavily weight potential climate impacts in decision making. In 2018, 30% of Denver’s emissions were from transportation. Our emissions do not just impact the environment but have disparate health impacts on more heavily trafficked communities. Our environmental impact should be a part of every decision we make.

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