After months of planning by Ted Rogers, Michael Cahn, Josef Bray-Ali and Patrick Pascal, the League of Bicycling Voters Los Angeles (LBVLA) held its official kickoff meeting this past Saturday (with excitement about LA Bike Week undoubtedly in the air).
Facilitated by Ted "Biking In LA" Rogers, ten bicyclists from across the LA Basin came together to lay the foundation for a new type of bike advocacy organization in Southern California. The member-approved mission statement reads:
"The League of Bicycling Voters LA promotes active transportation issues in the political arena by supporting candidates, lobbying legislators, and educating voters in order to create a safe and welcoming environment for LA."
Accordingly, during the meeting the group decided to move forward with incorporating as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. This status would allow the LBVLA to engage in the types of explicit political activities that are off limits to other bike advocacy groups in Los Angeles, as a result of their own 501(c)(3) tax status (i.e. Streetsblog).
For instance, LBVLA discussed publishing a report card for candidates running in local elections, à la the League of Conservation Voters. Candidates’ grades would be based on their commitment to bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly policy (the League’s state-level candidate survey is listed below).
Later on, the group selected members to head up sub-committees and designated a steering committee to oversee operations until officer elections are held in the next month. In the meantime, LBVLA is going to review the ballot measures in the upcoming State election and determine if it wants to take a stand for or against any of them.
1. What do you consider the problems facing cyclists in California, and how would you encourage greater safety for cyclists?
2. What are the primary steps that can be taken on the state level to promote greater safety for all road users?
3. What role should bicycling play in the State’s transportation and health policy?
4. What role do you believe bicycles can play in reducing traffic congestion and improving the health of Californians?
5. Do you believe the rights and responsibilities of bicyclists are appropriately enforced in California?
6. Why do you believe you deserve the endorsement of the League of Bicycling Voters LA?
Full disclosure: I attended this meeting in order to join as a member. This report is just intended to help keep the Streetsblog community up to speed.