Local Advocacy

Our town is really lucky to have some passionate bicycle advocates.  Aside from making a huge push for great, and ever improving, infrastructure, they have also formed the Ventura Bike HUB.  The HUB is a pure community organization, mechanics and advocates that come together to help the community fix and learn to fix their bikes.  The mission has been growing and their work is the fuel for our local transporational cycling scene.  One of their bigger challenges has been finding a steady storage and working location.  In the past few months they were able to secure a space with the City Housing Authority that will serve them and the community well.  This past Sunday I was lucky to help them with their move from the temporary location to the new space.

9.8 advocacy wp-1020842A fully bike powered and volunteer driven event.  There new space is awesome and will get them the exposure they need to grow.

9.8 HUB Move-1020857The next steps in local advocacy have been a move up to organizing at a County level.  The City of Ventura has been doing pretty darn good, as have some of the other 10 cities in our county.  The trick will be learning from each other and developing tools that can be used to improve not just all 10 cities but the unincorporated portions of the county as well.  There is no reason why Ventura County as a whole should not be setting the standard for human-powered transport.  We have tight-knit communities, industry and year round awesome weather.

As a Coalition there has been one official meeting.  We all came away inspired, and with a few questions to answer as we define our path.  The first is if we should be Bicycle only or “Active Transportation”?  After that comes the volunteer based efforts of setting up Web Pages, Mission statements, by-laws, organizational structures, and pushing on to things like County wide maps and governmental activism.  All of this would never have made it this far if not for that hard work of Rachel at VCCool, Thank You.

I am reaching out to all of you that have ridden this path before.  Any advice or experiences you would like to share are welcome.  We will need lots of help, everything from the above mentioned web designers to fundraising, shops and people who work within the city and county infrastructure.  The next meeting will be Thursday September 26 6:30 P.M. at the Fillmore High school.  I hope to see some of you there.

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2 Responses to Local Advocacy

  1. RussRoca says:

    Well, you know what we are going to say but we would start talking about bicycling from an economic development/tourism perspective. Everyone cares about their wallet. You want to win over skeptics, so framing the argument in that way is very compelling. Ventura County has SO MANY amazing cycling assets going for it. There is no reason it shouldn’t be a cycling destination!

    • Rob says:

      I figured as much, and that was my big push at the meeting. If you can convince the leadership that there is money in it, then things will start to move. We plan to reach out to the folks in SLO and learn from them. Likewise I would like to have online and paper maps for each city, and the whole county, that are like the regional Portland maps. This is going to be a ton of work, but worth it in the long ride

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