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Off the Chain With Tamika: Who Runs the World?

“Off the Chain with Tamika” is LACBC Executive Director Tamika Butler’s monthly letter to the LACBC family. Here is the latest for March.

Hey LACBC Fam,

Happy March! I hope you’re enjoying the spring and getting in a ton of fantastic rides. As you may or may not know, this past Tuesday was International Women’s Day. In other countries, this day is celebrated by people giving the women in their lives gifts and making sure those women know how important and special they are. We’re not there yet everywhere in the United States, but I wanted to take this chance to celebrate the fact that at LACBC we have many women who keep this organization going.

On Monday night, Santa Monica Spoke Director and LACBC Board Director Cynthia Rose was honored with the Susie Stephens Joyful Enthusiasm Award from the Alliance for Biking & Walking in Washington DC. It is appropriate that Cynthia would win an award named in honor of the late Susie Stephens, a co-founder of the Alliance who dedicated much of her life to growing the bike movement. Not only has Cynthia been a leader in Santa Monica, but she has helped launch LACBC’s local chapter program, which now boasts 13 local chapters, and she does this with joy.

I was also privileged to be on a panel at the National Bike Summit with Maria Sipin and Maryann Aguirre from

Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM). We discussed the joint MCM and LACBC Women Bike, Women Lead initiative and focused on the struggles and challenges that women and people of color face in the active transportation advocacy space. As I’ve grown into my role over the last year, the fearless women at MCM have been inspiring role models who have helped move the policies LACBC members care about. They have also helped shape a lot of our work and continue to push us to do the very best for all people who bike in Los Angeles.

Back in L.A., we’ve also been doing a ton of work with Jessica Meaney and her organization, Investing in Place. With Investing in Place, we’ve been following the money and trying to ensure that social equity is a key component of transportation planning throughout the county. Like Cynthia, Maria, and Maryann, Jessica has been a shining beacon helping LACBC and me find our way as we work to impact transportation spending and policy in Los Angeles.

The stories of women who shape what we do at LACBC are countless. From board members to volunteers and from partners to staff, ladies are crafting our work and delivering results. Having women-identified leaders at every level of our community and organization is not necessarily the norm. We’re happy to say that in L.A. and at LACBC we’re ahead of the national curve, as we learned at the National Bike Summit. However, we aren’t done and know that we can continue to train and develop a pipeline of women leaders, genderqueer folks, people of color, low-income leaders, and leaders with disabilities.

Next time you’re biking around, notice the ladies and appreciate all that women bring to the space. Women are crucial to the success of what we do at LACBC, and it doesn’t take a holiday for us to say thank you. Make sure you don’t wait until next year.

Ride On!

Tamika Butler LACBC Boss Lady

P.S. In case you missed it, we were nominated for a ton of awards, won a couple, and set the Twitterverse ablaze at the National Bike Summit. Stay tuned for our blog post on our adventure.

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