Creating Space: Notes from a first state-local BIPOC Mobility Justice Lab

by / January 24, 2018

On Saturday, January 20th, CalBike co-organized a gathering of Los Angeles area community organizations and individuals to provide the opportunity and space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to collaborate on local and state transportation justice issues. Co-sponsored by PolicyLink, California Walks, and Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM), the meeting recognized the historic and current capacity gaps and barriers for grassroots organizations to engage in policy issues at the state level. Attendees concentrated on the ways in which to “humanize the mobility justice movement” with the hope of having community members tell their own stories to encourage elected officials and bureaucratic transportation agencies to share decision-making power.

The meeting implements two important and related parts of our new strategic plan: prioritizing marginalized communities in transportation spending and policy decisions and strengthening the power of the transportation justice movement. Ultimately, our success in Sacramento—to advocate for equitable, inclusive, and prosperous communities in which safe and healthy biking can be a key element—is dependent on the influence and power of local organizations and movements that can apply pressure from below to hold our state legislators accountable. It was clear that the day’s event brought advocates hungry for more, with an appetite to shape state policy to meet local needs and win local struggles.

But, even more importantly, the day attempted to capture the insatiable vigor for justice from below that recognizes mobility inequities as part of a larger movement against historic and current practices of over-policing, divestment, racial segregation, displacement, gentrification. A movement that seeks to redress the lack of community land ownership, healthy food, clean air, safe passage and green spaces.

We look forward to strategic meetings, new partnerships, and powerful outcomes in the months ahead!

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