LACBC and Santa Monica Spoke Named Finalists for National Awards

We have great news to share this week: LACBC and local chapter Santa Monica Spoke are finalists for several Advocacy Awards from the Alliance for Biking & Walking, including Advocacy Organization of the Year! 

The Advocacy Awards, which honor excellence in biking and walking advocacy each year, take place next Monday, March 7th, in Washington DC on the first night of the National Bike Summit. LACBC will be well represented there with staffers Tamika Butler, Eric Bruins, Ishraq Ali, and Hyeran Lee all heading to Washington DC next week on behalf of LACBC.

LACBC and our local chapters are represented as finalists in the following categories:

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Advocacy Organization of the Year - This award goes to a biking and/or walking advocacy organization who, in the past year, made significant progress. Their leaders have worked tirelessly together to grow and strengthen their organization and fulfill their mission. The proof of their efforts is in the growth of their capacity and programs and the victories they have achieved for biking and walking in their state/community.
  • Living Streets Alliance (Tucson)
  • Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
  • Walk San Francisco

We are thrilled to be finalists here after a big 2015 that included passage of Mobility Plan 2035, the launch of the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance, a successful Operation Firefly season that distributed bike lights to 2,000 riders, a massive bicycle and pedestrian count with our partners, and more countywide coverage through our local chapter program and Southeast Cities work. This recognition is shared amongst all LACBC chapters, members, donors, and supporters.

Advocate of the Year - This award goes to an individual leader of a biking and/or walking advocacy organization who has shown tireless commitment to promoting active transportation in his/her state/community. This person goes above and beyond the call of duty to transform his/her state/community into a great place for walking and biking. His or her time, knowledge, creativity, and commitment are the highest standard of excellence exemplifying a role model for peers.
  • Tamika Butler, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
  • Eric Bruins, Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
  • Fernando Martinez, formerly of BikeTexas
  • Cathy Tuttle, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

We admit it: it's a little surprising to see that two-elevenths of our staff were named finalists for Advocate of the Year. But we get it. As LACBC's Executive Director since December 2014, Tamika has guided LACBC with equity as a core value for all the work we do and, in the process, built strong relationships in areas affected by mobility issues. Her passion, combined with her charisma and sweet style (Have you seen her bow ties?), have inspired many to join (or re-join) LACBC and think beyond the bike.

As LACBC's Planning & Policy Director since 2012, Eric has helped expand LACBC's countywide by strengthening the local chapter program, building and maintaining partnerships, and being at the table when big decisions are being made. One of his key campaign victories of 2015 was the passage of Mobility Plan 2035, which required strategic online mobilizing, working with partners, and framing conversations around the plan to focus on the big picture. Eric also attends dozens of meetings each month so that you don't have to, and we are all very grateful for that.

Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award - This award commemorates Susie Stephens, one of the Alliance’s founders and an enduring inspiration for many members of the bicycle and pedestrian movement. The honor goes to an individual who carries on Susie’s passion for advocating for bicycling as a fun and economical means of transportation, as well as creating a safe biking and walking environment for all.
  • Keisa Bruce, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition
  • LeeAnn Fergason, Bicycle Transportation Alliance (Portland)
  • Cynthia Rose, Santa Monica Spoke

As Director and founder of LACBC's local chapter Santa Monica Spoke, Cynthia has had a banner 2015! One of Santa Monica Spoke's key accomplishments this past year was to do outreach for L.A. County's first public bike share program: Santa Monica's Breeze Bike Share, which already has over 10,000 members (in a city of 92,500) in its short existence. As the local chapter representative on the Board of Directors of LACBC, Cynthia has also been integral in forming the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition’s Local Chapter Program to cover the vast county. Known also as “Purple” due to her love of the color, Cynthia has combined her advocacy with making bicycling fun.

Winning Campaign of the Year - This award goes to an organization for a winning campaign, in the last year, which has had the biggest impact on walking and biking. Their victory will dramatically increase active transportation in their state/ community or will dramatically shift the way that walking and biking are considered.
  • Cascade Bicycle Club, Move Seattle Levy
  • Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, Mobility Plan 2035
  • Oregon Walks / Bicycle Transportation Alliance, Vision Zero
In August, the L.A. City Council passed Mobility Plan 2035, which makes safety the City's top transportation priority and aims to improve access, choice, and reliability for all modes of transportation. LACBC partnered with many transportation, as well as community, business, and environmental organizations to build mainstream support for this groundbreaking blueprint.  LACBC also mobilized its base through an online campaign called #MobilityMondayLA, where followers contacted their council member, posted their support, and encouraged others to take action. Mobility Plan 2035's passage was hard-won, but now signifies a new era of giving Angelenos real options for getting around. Read more about LACBC's Mobility Plan 2035 campaign on the Alliance for Biking & Walking blog.
Congratulations to all of the finalists. Thank you to the Alliance for Biking & Walking for recognizing the work of LACBC and our local chapters, and thank you to LACBC's members, donors, and supporters! You can always support LACBC's work by becoming a member or renewing your membership. With your membership, you can join one of our 13 local chapters (that are led by passionate volunteers like Cynthia Rose) at no extra cost. 
Read more about the finalists, and follow the National Bike Summit / Advocacy Awards action next week on LACBC's Twitter account.

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