There is a good vs evil battle happening in Chicago. The greedy taxi association is trying to preserve its monopoly and shutdown their new-coming competitors – Lyft, Uber and Sidecar. The innovative competitors are the car-sharing start-ups, allowing anyone with a car to become a taxi, and anyone with a phone app to call that taxi over. Finally, you can ride in clean car and not worry about being haggled for tips in broken English by the taxi driver who was talking on his cellphone all ride long.
Disclaimer: I ride Lyft, and with the exception of my neighbor, the taxi driver (sorry, dude!), dislike the taxis in America.
The need to demonstrate
The taxi association is trying to introduce excessive, suffocating regulation on the car sharing industry, pushing through a nasty bill HB4075. To defeat that, you need people calling their senators and really, you need the publicity on your side.
So what better way to achieve that than a demonstration? A story coming from the straight from the people, the constituents.
As a side note, I love demonstrations. It is like a mini-revolution, offering a chance to shake-up existing order so you would magically get a better, bigger, sweeter part of the pie. Hopefully one day that doesn’t turn against me.
How Lyft has done it
Here are the pictures!
The crowd was in truth, sparse. But there were 3 news station (Fox32, WGN Chicago and MSNBC Chicago 5) and all they saw was unified pink front of a diverse group of people, holding hand-made signs and cushy Lyft paraphernalia.
There was a faint smell of mischief in the air, as if the whole thing was staged – and it wasn’t until the presenters started coming to the podium that the whole thing got very believable. Each pink soldier spoke a passionate story of how Lyft opened their dreams and allowed them to over come life’s challenges. Lyfting off-hours and raising a child, going to school, paying for this or that. Juxtaposed to the words of dignity and freedom emanating from the podium was a sense of wonder where that person would be otherwise – a dead-end retail job, a dangerous factory or a path of crime.
At the end, everyone present got a hot pink T-shirt and signed an petition to their Senator. All in all, the event took about an hour.
Now what should I do with the pink T-shirt I got… Any ideas?