Seven Inspiring Leaders Win Alliance Advocacy Awards

| 3/22/2011 4:55:31 AM

Tags: ., Carolyn Szczepanski,

In my job with the Alliance for Biking & Walking, I'm privileged to work with amazing leaders on a daily basis. In recent months, I was doubly lucky to be in charge of our Advocacy Awards program, an opportunity for us to shine the spotlight on the progress and victories of the bicycle and pedestrian movement.

Since 2009, the Alliance has solicited public nominations and recognized the individuals, organizations and business leaders who are propelling our People Powered Movement. For the 2011 awards, we got a record number of submissions from across North America and, let me tell you, the judging wasn't easy. When we did narrow it down to the final winners, I was struck by one common thread that tied together all the recipients.

The Alliance got its start in 1996, when a handful of bicycle and pedestrian leaders met in middle-of-nowhere Wyoming to strategize how to turn their still-few local and state advocacy efforts into a larger, stronger movement. Many of the folks who attended that gathering are still in the trenches of hard-charging organizations. But nearly all of the leaders who took home advocacy awards this year were probably still in high school when the Alliance was born. So, as read through the accomplishments of the 2011 winners below, remember their names. They're just getting started.  

Advocacy Organization of the Year- Bike Pittsburgh 

imageOn its face, Pittsburgh is a tough place to ride a bicycle. The streets are steep and twisting, and the winters are long and brutal. But bicycle mode share is up and the Steel City is charged up with new enthusiasm for active transportation. Why? Bike Pittsburgh. The advocates at BikePGH have been working hand-in-hand with government officials to get new infrastructure on the ground, partnered with the local companies to get the business community on board and created innovative programs, like Car Free Fridays, that are getting more people on bicycles. But BikePGH excels at more than the nuts and bolts of basic organizing. The members of their small staff are the best kind of ambassadors for the movement: They’re friendly, energetic and welcoming. The work and attitude of BikePGH are making Pittsburgh a mighty appealing place to ride… despite the tough terrain.

Advocate of the Year: Jackie Douglas, LivableStreets (Boston) 

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