Nathaniel Arnold, 192-Oakland, CA, has only been a bus driver four years, but he has quickly recognized the importance of getting involved in his union, the community and political action.
Affectionately known as “Big Brother”, Nathaniel uses his 20 years of experience in law enforcement working with at-risk youth and gang members in Los Angeles to connect with passengers and serve as advocate for ATU, Labor, and his community.
Local 192 President Yvonne Williams cites Nathaniel’s passion, commitment, and work building relationships with transportation advocacy groups as a critical reason local funding has increased and bus service has been protected in the County.
Williams says Nathaniel has dedicated hundreds of volunteer hours, personal time, and effort to ATU and the community. Nathaniel says he volunteers because he recognizes that establishing relationships with community-based organizations, politicians, clergy, and other allies is a crucial element not only in securing a fair and equitable contract, but also in fighting for better transit in Oakland.
Nathaniel points to the impact and the power the public – bus passengers – have on politicians and other decision-makers. It is critical, he says, that transit workers show they care about our passengers and that they share common interests and concerns.
‘We can embrace our diversity’
Nathaniel explains, “We can embrace our diversity, find strength in it and prosper together, or we can focus on our differences and try to restrict access and limit prosperity for us all with the 1% getting richer and the rest of us fighting for what’s left.”
Why does Nathaniel dedicate so much time and energy to the ATU and his community? He summed it up simply saying, “You are my union brothers and sisters, my family; I love you dearly.”