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Off the Chain With Tamika: Shining Lights, Going Green

Dear LACBC fam,

The weather is great! Daylight saving time is over and we wanted to share some news. Operation Firefly season just concluded last week  and it was more successful than ever! I was also just named to theMetro Policy Advisory Council and will be working with a group of amazing leaders on shaping the Measure M guidelines. Finally, we also wanted you to know that we’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and green bike lanes tomorrow with a ride!

Let’s talk about making people safer as the ride at night! Every year we shine the bike light on those who need lights. Our data shows that most people we give lights to use bikes as their primary mode of transportation and don’t have lights because they can’t afford them. This was Operation Firefly’s fifth year and we exceeded our goal to provide bicycle lights and educational information to 3,000 people countywide, growing the program once again. Despite all the rain this year, we conducted 39 on-street distribution events which took place in 10 different cities and included over 150 Team Firefly volunteers.

We’re grateful to our Season Sponsor, AARP Los Angeles, as well as SoCalGas, the City of Long Beach, L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis, and L.A. Council Members Bob Blumenfield, Joe Buscaino, Jose Huizar, Nury Martinez, and Mitch O’Farrell. We can’t thank our volunteers enough for enduring all the scheduling and rescheduling due to weather and for showing up to staff the on-street distributions and be the human face of the program. We also partnered with 16 different community organizations to help with distribution, including Trust South LA, API Forward Movement (formerly APIOPA), Multicultural Communities for Mobility, Lamp Village, the Weingart Foundation, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, CICLE, Bike SGV, East LA College, the Bicycle Kitchen, the Bike Oven, theBikerowave, Ride On! Bike Co-op, and Bici Libre. Be on the lookout for an Operation Firefly summary of results in May.

Making people safe happens through direct action like passing out free bike lights, but it also happens when we fight for the policies that ensure funding goes to the most vulnerable road users—people who walk and bike. That’s why we’re delighted that I’m on the Metro Advisory Council.  We’re lucky to be sharing space with our amazing partners. It took all of us together to get Measure M passed last November. But that was only the first step. In order to truly provide the infrastructure we need for people who bike throughout the county, we need to make sure that implementation include our voices. We’ll be there, fighting for all people who walk and bike, and we’ll be giving you updates at every step along on the way.

Finally, we hope to see you tomorrow as we close out Green on the Ground Week with a short lunchtime ride celebrating green bike lanes and St. Patrick’s Day. Over the years we’ve seen an increase in green paint in bike infrastructure around L.A. County to increase visibility, and our members have been highlighting their favorite green bike lanes for the LACBC blog. Check out the stories, and ride with us tomorrow. We meet at Pershing Square at 12 noon. Wear green!

Ride on,

Tamika Butler

LACBC Executive Director

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