Contact: Terri Hall,
Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom (TURF)
PHONE: (210) 275-0640
Citizens launch statewide grassroots group to combat privatized toll roads
San Antonio, TX, Thursday, April 12, 2007 – Concerned citizens across the state have formed a new coalition called Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF), a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public on our government’s new shift to privatizing and tolling public highways. Their concerns range from using controversial financing methods called public-private partnerships (called Comprehensive Development Agreements or CDAs in Texas) and the tolling of existing corridors, to eminent domain abuse (confiscating private land to give to a private company for commercial gain) and security and economic concerns with foreign management of our public infrastructure.
TURF is a grassroots group of Texans who are asking for reforms that require accountability and good public policy as well as promoting non-toll, sensible transportation solutions.
Terri Hall, who is also Founder and Director of the San Antonio Toll Party (www.SATollParty.com), Hank Gilbert, rancher and former candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner, and Gina Parker Ford, attorney and the Eagle Forum National Chairman for Judicial Reform serve on the Board of Directors. A long-time supporter of good government and this cause in particular, Dave Ramos of San Antonio, also serves on the TURF Board.
TURF has already been instrumental in working to gain a veto-proof majority in the Legislature for a two-year moratorium placed on private toll contracts.
“We’ve been a loosely knit group of concerned citizens for several years, and it’s time we advance to the next level forming a united, organized movement across the state,” says Hall. “The citizens of Texas want their voices heard and expect their government to act, NOW.”
"People of Texas value their land and it's heritage more than politics. The TTC is an invasion of Texans' private property rights for corporate and political gain; to provide better transportation avenues for international goods through Texas. Why should we sacrifice our lands to facilitate them?” asks Hank Gilbert.
“Texas farmers gave up their land to create TxDOT and the Farm-to-market road system, and again to the federal government to create the Interstate highway system. Both were very important for transportation and U.S. commerce. The TTC is part of a national system designed to facilitate commerce for international companies so they can move their goods across the U.S. through Texas, thanks to NAFTA. We've done our part twice out of patriotism; we will not do it again to promote others’ greed," Gilbert warns.
“Terri Hall, courageous and dynamic leader, is leading the battle for the voice of the people against foreign owned toll roads. Terri is a ‘David fighting the Goliath’ of corruption in big business and big government as she calls for transparency and accountability in government and exposes the back room deals that do not benefit Texans,” notes Gina Parker.