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First Lady Michelle Obama Talks to Omnitrans Riders

Michelle Obama

SAN BERNARDINIO, CA- Yes that is Michelle Obama’s voice passengers hear when riding on Omnitrans buses.  Her public service announcement is among messages delivered through an onboard GPS-based audio advertising service recently implemented by Omnitrans.

Through a contract with Commuter Advertising, based in Dayton, Ohio, Omnitrans buses play short audio advertisements which can be delivered at specified times or locations.  For example, a restaurant could advertise a breakfast special between 6 and 8 a.m., or a book store could let passengers know they are located near the next bus stop.  A scrolling onboard LED text message supports the audio advertisement.

This month, Omnitrans audio advertising includes a public service announcement from First Lady Michelle Obama called “Better Make Room.” It’s part of the First Lady’s Reach Higher initiative to inspire every student in America to continue their education past high school.  “You’re about to arrive,” she tells young people. “And the world better make room.” Listen to the PSA.

Omnitrans shares in the revenue generated by paid advertising. “But a greater value to Omnitrans is the ability to use the system to deliver key information to our own customers,” said spokesperson Wendy Williams. “We can inform riders of upcoming service changes, promote our online store, or offer travel tips.  It’s really the most effective way to reach all our customers.”

Since the system taps into Omnitrans existing GPS technology, there is no cost to Omnitrans other than staff time to upload the latest batch of messages.  Commuter Advertising produces the audio files, which are typically 15 seconds long.

Omnitrans is the first transit system on the west coast to offer onboard advertising. Commuter Advertising operates in 11 media markets in the United States.  Founded in 2008, Commuter Advertising sends hyper-targeted digital messages over bus notification systems that inform passengers of products, services and sales at nearby businesses using the vehicles’ GPS technology and software created by the company.


Assemblymember Brown to Hold Public Hearing on Women of Color in Business

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – The Select Committee on the Status of Girls and Women of Color, co-chaired by Assemblymember Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino), will host a hearing on Friday, January 22 featuring minority business owners and corporate executives in an effort to create a pipeline to corporate America and entrepreneurship for young women of color in California.

“The focus of this Select Committee hearing is to highlight women of color who work in business and corporate America,” stated Assemblymember Brown. “Our speakers will reflect on the paths they have taken and the obstacles they have overcome in their various professions. Our goal is to improve opportunities for women of color.”

Several panelists ranging from California universities to corporate businesses are scheduled to appear and discuss what California can do to increase entrepreneurship and corporate participation among women of color.  

Featured guests include executive administrators from Webb Family Enterprises, Boeing, Lyft, Wells Fargo, AT&T, and Starbucks. Additional panelists include Kimberly Freeman, Assistant Dean for Diversity Initiatives and Community Relations, UCLA; Dr. Adina Sterling, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University; Dr. Michele Turner, Executive Director of the Black Alumni Association, USC; and more.

Members of the public are welcome to testify during public comment. Those who cannot attend may submit their written testimony by email toShannon.McKinley@asm.ca.gov.

The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. in the Council Chambers at Fontana City Hall, located at 8353 Sierra Avenue.

For more information, contact Ashley Jones at (909) 381-3238.



The Riverside African American Village Summit Converges on Riverside County

RIVERSIDE, CA —”It takes a village to raise a child” is a wise African American proverb and the premise behind the upcoming summit taking place this month. The Riverside Branch NAACP and the 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire are joining forces to unite the Black social, professional, faith-based, and fraternal organizations in Riverside County to answer the call of addressing the needs of young Black girls and boys. The Riverside African American Village Summit will take place Saturday, January 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cross Word Christian Church, located at 21401 Box Springs Road in Moreno Valley.

The Riverside African American Village Summit will address nine important priorities:

Advocate for state and local policy (advocacy); Develop youth leaders in Moreno Valley, Perris and Riverside; Groom young men of color for entrepreneurship/circulating Black dollars; Reform school discipline policies; Expose young men of color to professional, technology, and trade careers; Work to fully implement Proposition 47; Teach the importance of the church in addressing issues; Create stable and consistent mentoring programs; and Black parenting.

The Riverside African American Village Summit is the first of a series of summits launched to address these pertinent issues. Partners and sponsors include: Boys and Men of Color Alliance, Moreno Valley Sons and Brothers Coalition, NAACP Riverside Branch #1059, 100 Black Men of the Inland Empire Inc., Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce, Moreno Valley Islamic Center, Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, C.O.P.E., and African American Coalition.

The Riverside African American Village Summit is free and open to the public. Join the discussion! All African American’s in Riverside County are encouraged to come. Please register at villagesummit.eventbrite.com.