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On the Road: International President Costa Visits Colorado

International President John Costa is known for saying that you can’t run a union from an office. To demonstrate that leadership, Costa kicked off a three-day tour of Colorado Locals along with International Vice Presidents Yvette Trujillo, Jim Lindsay, and Natalie Cruz. 


Anger and Heartbreak on Bus No. 15

They began their tour visiting Local 1001-Denver, CO, members at First Transit and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) at PLATTE Division and District Shops. Costa saw firsthand the critical work they perform each day and had the opportunity to talk with our members to hear their concerns impacting their Local.

While on the tour, Costa met with Suna Karabay, a Local 1001 Operator who was featured in the Washington Post story “Anger and Heartbreak on Bus No. 15” highlighting the increasing violence, abuse, and drug use she faces every day on the job.


Remembering Our History at ATU’s Oldest Local 

On day two their tour of Colorado continued at ATU’s oldest Local 19 in Colorado Springs. Their first stop was Transdev Paratransit Division, where Costa and the IVPs met with drivers and call center members, thanking them for their service.

The tour continued by visiting members at the Local 19 RAPTDEV Fixed Route Division and the Colorado Springs Downtown Transit Center, where Costa heard from members about the issues affecting them every day. They then stopped by the Local 19 office, where the officers shared stories and viewed union artifacts from the long history of the Local founded in 1892. The day concluded by visiting the Route 33 Manitou Incline/Cog Stop. Local 19 President Margie Sullivant and Vice President Mark Clay led the tour.


Colorado Conference Board Meets 

On the last day of his tour, President Costa met with the newly formed ATU Colorado Legislative Conference Board, who met for the first time in person hosted by Local 1001 in Westminster, CO, bringing together Locals from across the state to talk about issues affecting our members, our Union, and our communities. The Locals at that meeting were Local 19-Colorado Springs, CO, 662-Pueblo, CO, 1001-Denver, CO, 1563-Denver, CO, 1737-Douglas County, CO, 1772-Englewood, CO, 1774-Aspen, CO, and 1776-Grand Junction, CO. 

The Board then held elections for the officers, who were installed by Costa. The officers elected were Colorado Conference Board President Lance Longenbohn from Local 1001-Denver, CO, Financial Secretary-Treasurer Ed Cortez from Local 1774-Aspen, CO, and Recording Secretary Stephen Brocklehurst from Local 19-Colorado Springs, CO. 

It was an amazing and inspirational trip talking to members, experiencing a part of ATU’s long history as a fighting transit union, and seeing another Conference Board take form that will impact workers throughout the state of Colorado.