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From: Jason Meggs <[log in to unmask]>
To: friends c/o <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: FIRST AUTOMOBILE FATALITY -- 100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
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FIRST AUTOMOBILE FATALITY -- 100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

  ** PLEASE TAKE ACTION ACROSS NORTH AMERICA **

     - please send a press release
     - minute of silence across the continent
     - please hold a vigil in your community

[please forward]

On September 13th, 1899 in New York City, Henry Bliss was killed when he
stepped off a streetcar and was struck by an oncoming car, making him the
first person in America ever killed by an automobile.  This tragic event
ushered in a century of human suffering.  Since his death 100 years ago,
more than 5 million Americans have been killed by automobile -- more than
have died in all U.S. wars.  Many times that many have been maimed or
crippled in automobile crashes, and twice as many have perished from
diseases and cancers caused by the air pollution from car emissions.

The REMEMBER BLISS campaign is a new international, continental coalition
to draw attention to this epidemic.  Although we are starting later than
we would like to commemorate the 100th anniversary across the North
American continent, we intend to continue this effort each year.

We are calling for a continental MINUTE OF SILENCE at 5 PM on
September 13th, and asking that drivers shut off their cars and
pull over, in honor and remembrance.

We are also calling for groups everywhere to hold vigils in their area.

The problem of automobile fatalities stems from many factors. Unsafe
cars, speeding, drunk driving, overly lax driver's education
requirements, dangerous design of roads and intersections, lack of
consideration for pedestrians and bicyclists by planners, the rise of
road rage as a social disease, and the sheer reliance on the
automobile -- that so much of our lives are now spent behind the wheel
-- are just some of the primary causes of this epidemic.

All of these and the many more factors need to be addressed if we are
to stem the tide of tragedy. The founders of Remember Bliss
encourage all groups working on this problem from any perspective to
join together and find our common ground.

In the San Francisco Bay Area this year we plan to draw attention to our
local transportation and land use planning agencies.  Although many
factors have contributed to this horrible problem, these agencies have
generally had the ultimate choice of whether to reduce automobile
fatalities by providing safe infrastructure and safe, attractive
alternatives.  We have begun this campaign by passing out thousands of
flyers discussing the problem, each of which has a small black ribbon
pinned to the upper right-hand corner.  These flyers call for a vigil at
the steps of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission which has been
largely responsible for creating a mono-modal transportation situation --
resulting in skyrocketing congestion, pollution, and countless
traffic-related deaths and disabilities.

Our first step was to create this web site:

    http://www.rememberbliss.org/

We hope that this web site can grow to reflect a diverse coalition
of concerned citizen's groups, and that we may continue to draw
attention to this issue on each September 13th anniversary.

We have also created a list serv which you may join (see below).

Please take action by planning your own vigil or action and by telling us
of the action you are planning.  We will do our best to post the time and
place to the web site, and to help coordinate outreach to the press.

*** Please act at once to send a press release as to your actions.

A generic press release is below.  Finding fax numbers for major
media outlets is as easy as looking through the phone book, calling the
news room and asking.  While you're calling, tell them what the issue is.
Often two minutes on the phone is more effective than two hours composing
a tight, one-page release.


                   **** GENERIC PRESS RELEASE ****


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 13, 1999
Commemorating a Century of Automobile Fatalities


On September 13th, 1899 in New York City, Henry Bliss was killed when he
stepped off a streetcar and was struck by an oncoming car, making him the
first person in America ever killed by an automobile.  This tragic event
ushered in a century of human suffering.  Since his death 100 years ago,
more than 5 million Americans have been killed by automobile -- more than
have died in all U.S. wars.  Many times that many have been maimed or
crippled in automobile crashes, and twice as many have perished from
diseases and cancers caused by the air pollution from car emissions.

 -  LEADING KILLER OF CHILDREN
 -  KILLER OF MORE AMERICANS THAN WARS
 -  POLLUTION KILLS MORE THAN CRASHES

Death and injury by automobile has touched everyone profoundly throughout
this century.  Yet it doesn't have to be this way.

The problem of automobile fatalities stems from many factors. Unsafe
cars, speeding, drunk driving, overly lax driver's education
requirements, dangerous design of roads and intersections, lack of
consideration for pedestrians and bicyclists by planners, the rise of
road rage as a social disease, and the sheer reliance on the
automobile -- that so much of our lives are now spent behind the wheel
-- are just some of the primary causes of this epidemic.

All of these and the many more factors need to be addressed if we are
to stem the tide of tragedy. The founders of Remember Bliss
encourage all groups working on this problem from any perspective to
join together and find our common ground.

Organizers are calling for a CONTINENTAL MINUTE OF SILENCE at 5 PM on
the 100th anniversary.  We are asking for motorists to pull over and
turn off their cars during the minute of silence, wherever they may be,
in honor and remembrance.  Please announce this to the public.

We will hold a vigil at [LOCATION] on the evening of September
13th, 1999 to commemorate 100 years of this super-epidemic.  We will
gather from 6 PM until after dark to remember those we have lost.

For more information please contact [insert names and phone numbers here]
For more information about the campaign across the continent please visit

    http://www.rememberbliss.org/


------

**** PLEASE ADD A VERSION OF THE FOLLOWING TO YOUR SIGNATURE LINE: ****

_______________________________________________________________

              http://www.RememberBliss.org/


  SEPTEMBER 13, 1999 -- COMMEMORATE THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF
  THE FIRST PERSON KILLED BY AUTOMOBILE IN THE U.S.A.

  VIGIL FROM 6 PM ON, METROPOLITAN TRANSPORATION COMMISSION,
  AT 101 - 8TH STREET, OAKLAND ACROSS FROM LAKE MERRIT BART.
_______________________________________________________________

      To join the online discussion group regarding the
      Remember Bliss campaign, please send the message,

                   "subscribe discussion"

        to the address, "[log in to unmask]"
_______________________________________________________________