An update on Avenues to Advocacy

By Mychal Tetteh, CEO

It’s amazing what happens when we ask: why not? When I shared the challenges that active transportation advocates face, it was surprising how common the obstacles were. When and where to show up, who and how to ask, and what to ask for?

Digging deeper, we found disparate information sources and multiple agencies to navigate. We explored the silos that exist between modes, and silos that exist between organizations. We kept asking why and we discovered that there are intersecting decision-making processes and aligned values among many advocates. We found that the artificial silos that exist in people’s thinking only served to prevent the active transportation movement from flourishing.

We asked advocates to participate in the development of solutions that will help fill the gaps in our advocacy networks. When we began sourcing the solutions directly from the same community of advocates, it was clear that it was going to take more than a website for us to overcome the challenges that we face. Ultimately, our advocacy infrastructure is going to be a human network. People like you and I that will find the best way to share information and ideas to make the future of transportation a reality.

Advocates participate in the development of solutions that will help fill the gaps in our advocacy networks.

What started with a presentation at City Hall at the PBOT Brown Bag in December 2013 has quickly turned into a vibrant discussion about the best way to support the advocacy community here in the Portland/Metro region. What began in Portland has caught the attention of the city of Eugene and sparked a conversation about how to catalyze transformative change anywhere.

Pedestrian, transit, freight, bicycle, community, health, and information technology experts have begun mapping the vision and the resources needed to sustain a vibrant network of advocates. And we are getting closer everyday. Together we are shifting the paradigm and challenging what is possible. All we had to do was ask: why not?

This movement has taken on a life of its own and we want you to get involved. Send an email to avenues@communitycyclingcenter.org and we’ll send you updates, information, and invitations to participate in the development of this network.

If you want to learn more, you can come to the PSU Sustainability Colloquium, where I will be presenting the Avenues to Advocacy project (Friday, March 7th, from 2-4pm at PSU’s Academic Student Rec Center Building, Room 660). Together we are making the future of transportation a reality. Will you ride with us?

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