“If we don’t [organize], I think sooner or later they’re going to do exactly what they want to do, which is take over, and we’re not going to have our jobs,” Bereket (“B.K.”) Berhe, board member of The Small Business Association of DC Taxicab Drivers (SBA), said in response to big companies like Uber and Verifone moving into D.C.’s taxi business.
Berhe appeared Saturday on The Taxi Link on WUST 1120 AM, which is sponsored by the SBA and co-hosted by TheFightBack‘s Pete Tucker and ANC commissioner Tony Norman, who’s chairman of the Local Station Board of Pacifica Radio’s WPFW 89.3 FM.
Among the issues discussed Saturday was the death of Hayes Osei Dennis, a 60-year-old driver with Gold Star Cab who was stabbed to death Thursday evening outside the company garage in southwest. Hayes leaves behind seven children between the ages of 4 and 20.
Also discussed was the selective media coverage of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who some are calling on to resign in the wake of revelations of an alleged $650,000 “shadow campaign” during the 2010 mayoral election. That election saw Gray defeat then-incumbent Mayor Adrian Fenty, who was better funded and favored by the media.
“The media [is] trying to force the mayor out of office,” said Norman, who spoke out at a July 18 rally in support of the mayor. “Is this town going to be run by the citizens or is it going to be run by the major media companies?” he asked. (See TheFightBack‘s coverage for more on the media’s double standard.)
Next week on The Taxi Link, we’re scheduled to be joined by George Lowe, a lobbyist with CMT, one of the eight companies which bid on the 5-year, $35 million taxi smart meter contract awarded to Verifone. Lowe says the procurement process was flawed and CMT intends to file a protest.
* Having trouble hearing The Taxi Link on the radio? Try listening to the program live (Sat. 7:30-8:30 p.m.) on your phone by calling (832) 225-5330. Or, for those with smart phones, download TuneIn Radio, a free app which allows you to listen live to over 50,000 radio stations, including WUST 1120 AM.
** Saturday from 8:30-10 p.m., directly following The Taxi Link, the SBA hosts a taxi phone conference in Amharic. Due to technical difficulties, this Sat.’s phone conference didn’t take place. It will resume next week. To listen, call (712) 432-3100, then enter this code: 140-465.
Taxi Overhaul Approved, Questions Remain, July 16, 2012