Tales from the National Bike Summit 2012March 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Bike News | 4 Comments
Tags: National Bike Summit
Last week Jen Klausner, Alexis Lantz, and I (Bobby Gadda) traveled to Washington, D.C. for the National Bike Summit. Advocates from 49 states came together to network (over 800 of us), share best practices and strategies, and lobby their representatives for more bike and pedestrian funding in the transportation bill. In between we found time to ride bikes around the Capitol!
For the first two days we met in workshops and presentations on bike advocacy. Below is a photo from our last session where we broke out into state delegations to organize for the lobby day. The feeling in the room was electric!
Lobby Day was on Thursday, when all 800 of us descended on Capitol Hill to meet with our representatives. Alexis and I met with several of our representatives from LA County, including staff from Karen Bass, Laura Richardson, Adam Schiff, Linda Sanchez, and Janet Napolitano. Jen met with staff from Congressman Waxman’s office and Senator Boxer. We asked for their continued support in maintaining and increasing bicycle and pedestrian funding in the transportation bill. In many cases we were thanking congresspeople for their work in supporting this funding in the past. We shared our stories about riding bikes in Los Angeles and specifically about the infrastructure in their districts funded by Transportation Enhancements and Safe Routes to School that are important to all of us. All of the staff received our input with great interest. It was exciting walking the halls of congress and seeing other bike advocates identified by their neon green bike pins we all wore.
Lobby Day wrapped up with our Congressional Reception, where the inimitable Earl Blumenauer presided and thanked us for our work. Bluemenauer is a representative from Oregon who has championed the bike cause for years, and is known around the capitol for his bow-tie and bike pin he usually wears.
The National Bike Summit was a great opportunity to connect with bike advocates around the country, and make our voices heard in the capitol. We can’t wait to go back next year!