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Breastfeeding on the Bus

Posted to MichiganNow.org on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The head of the Regional Transit Authority would like to schedule a visit to your community. Tonight at 6 at St. John’s Episcopal Church at Woodward and 11 Mile road in Royal Oak, you can come set up a future date. For metro Detroit’s transit situation to improve, multiple layers of society will have to feel like they are included.

Chris McCarus reports the RTA can handle people’s concerns… even women wanting to breastfeed on the bus.

There are two sessions today with RTA chief Michael Ford. Ford can meet with your community to hear what you want done.

Tens of thousands of people want better transit. They come to meetings worried about bus schedules, getting new buses on the road and getting taxpayers to support a transit millage next fall.

Jayne Jackson was one of the 60 people who came for a casual talk with Michael Ford today at noon. Jackson is with the Black Mother’s Breastfeeding Association in Detroit. Her group counsels new and expecting mothers about issues related to motherhood. They offer doula services for free.

Jackson said public transit gives women the chance to breastfeed their babies. But they need the RTA to make them feel comfortable doing it on the bus.

“What are you planning to do to help support moms along their way?” She asked while seated in a pew at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Royal Oak.

“Supporting moms is one thing,” Ford said. “But its also about just getting people to good food. You talked about breast feeding but if you can’t get to a market, and your neighborhood may not have what you need, or it’s more expensive to buy in that neighborhood. You have hypertension or diabetes because people are stuck in a certain area.”

Ford was hired in August as the first CEO of the regional transit authority.

The RTA needs an army of organizers everywhere in metro Detroit. Their funding has only allowed for three staff people so far. The Harriet Tubman Center of Detroit organized the event to link Ford’s team with community groups. They are all trying to prepare voters to support a transit millage in November 2016.

Learn more tonight from 6 to 730 inside the church at Woodward and 11 Mile in Royal Oak.

One Response to “Breastfeeding on the Bus”

  1. It is imperative that we send a clear message that breastfeeding is welcome on the new public transit system. Mothers need to know that they will not get harassed for feeding their babies. Mothers and babies can spend 30min-2 hours traveling on public transit. Babies eat often. The public needs to be aware that RTA encourages and supports nursing mothers and harassment by staff or riders will not be allowed. I’m happy that Jayne Jackson is representing BMBFA and leading way in this messaging. I’m also happy that she is being well-received at the meetings.

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People were asked to mark on this map where their community lies.

People were asked to mark on this map where their community lies.

Michael Ford, standing in blue suit, in the sanctuary of St. John's Episcopal Church.

Michael Ford, standing in blue suit, in the sanctuary of St. John's Episcopal Church.

Marketing and public relations professional Elnora Austell, left, Rev. Louise Ott of the Metro Coalition of Congregations, background, and Jayne Jackson, at right, of the Black Mother's Breastfeeding Association.

Marketing and public relations professional Elnora Austell, left, Rev. Louise Ott of the Metro Coalition of Congregations, background, and Jayne Jackson, at right, of the Black Mother's Breastfeeding Association.

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