Bring a Delegation to the 2015 California Bicycle Summit
CalBike does not “doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” Hoping to attract such groups to the California Bicycle Summit to develop their social change skills, the California Bicycle Coalition is offering scholarships for delegations of advocates — groups of 4 to 10 local leaders who wish to work together to improve bicycling in their community. These scholarships, along with individual scholarships, are key to realizing the summit’s goal of advancing equity, and helping to usher in a new era of bicycle advocacy in California.
The summit’s theme of equity is timely. Increasing inequality is probably the number one issue in the upcoming presidential election. Gentrification in urban centers threatens to displace long-term residents, while economic opportunity seems to pass by whole regions of the state. The bicycle is an important part of the solution to these problems. More bicycling saves money for everyone who rides and their communities and creates jobs. It fosters happiness for everyone who rides, no matter their position in our socioeconomic system.
Just as we have to struggle past the car-dependent environmentalists who think that electric cars are the most important transportation solution, we have to work to make the point that bicycling is a tool for social equity. The 2015 California Bicycle Summit will play a big role in doing that. The presence from various communities of delegations of diverse advocates — not just traditional “bike advocates” but health educators and community organizers, too — will help to connect the issue bicycling with issues of jobs and environment and health and strengthen bicycle advocates in communities throughout California.
Attendees to the California Bicycle Summit should consider joining CalBike Policy Director Jeanie Ward-Waller at PolicyLink’s Equity Summit that starts in Los Angeles on Wednesday October 25. Their summit inspired our idea to invite delegations and is a natural place to continue learning about equity and bicycling.
Apply to become a delegation to the California Bicycle Summit. Delegations make it easier to navigate multiple programming options and facilitate shared learning by fostering continued relationships among attendees after the summit. Four people may be able to attend for the price of one!
Apply for an individual scholarship. Several dozen low-cost and free passes are set aside to ensure diverse participation from across California.