Volunteer Spotlight: Alicia Crain
Alicia has had a long and committed history with us as a volunteer. Her work as Policy Intern in 2009 yielded a collaborative advocacy plan that continues to guide our work within affordable housing communities.
In our ongoing community programs, Alicia helps facilitate Create a Commuter workshops, lends her bicycle safety skills at bike giveaway events and is a presence at many community gatherings in support of the Community Cycling Center. And if you haven’t noticed, she’s a mean archer!
We truly enjoy knowing Alicia and thank her so much for her work with us!
How long have you been volunteering? How did you start?
My journey with the Community Cycling Center started as an internship while I was in graduate school for Urban & Regional Planning at Portland State University in 2010. As one of few female members of Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, I had become concerned with the lack of equity in the distribution of bicycle (and pedestrian) infrastructure in the city as well as the lack of cultural, ethnic, racial and gender diversity in the voices of influence in Portland’s bicycle planning and advocacy community. So, I followed the Understanding Barriers to Bicycling project with great interest and was thankful that finally one of the well-established bicycle organizations in Portland was taking a look at this. When the internship became available, I jumped at the opportunity to work with the Community Cycling Center to delve deeper into the policy and plan-related barriers to bicycling in North and Northeast Portland and to help create programs to break down these barriers. It was the best work experience I’ve ever had; it’s been so much fun to see my plans start to unfold these last few years.
Why do you volunteer here?
I’ve volunteered a lot in Portland and I find the Community Cycling Center to be one of the most self-reflective, committed, and honest community-based organizations out there. I am inspired by the ability of the Community Cycling Center to recognize its shortcomings in order to improve its efficacy at achieving its goals and adhering to its mission; this is so critical a characteristic for any organization trying to create change, especially in the bicycle community and advocacy arena in Portland, which can be exclusive, especially for women and people of color.
What sort of volunteer work do you do?
After the internship, I wanted to stay connected and so I started volunteering with the Create a Commuter Program. It’s such a terrific use of federal funds to increase job access and reminds me of why I earned that Master of Urban & Regional Planning – to increase access to active transportation for all people everywhere. I’ve also tabled at events, worked the Holiday Bike Drive and Bikes for Kids safety arenas, and been a vocal supporter of the Community Cycling Center’s ongoing advocacy and programmatic efforts.
What is your dream bike?
Rivendell custom-made commuter…but I do love my turquoise Bianchi. She’s speedy and matches a lot of my outfits; I like that.
What do you like to do when you’re not here?
Oh, you know, the usual, taking random lessons in archery, cooking and painting, shooting guns (at a range), participating in triathalons, dancing, hiking, listening to This American Life and Rick Steves, watching travel shows, and generally being awesome – that’s a full-time job in and of itself!
What would your bio-pic be called? Who would play you?
I’m smitten with the idea of a 15-minute documentary that’s just me pedaling through life to a sweet soundtrack by that guy who does the soundtracks for Wes Anderson’s films. It’d be called “Flying” because that’s what my life has felt like in many ways and how I describe the feeling I get when I’m on a bike.