I am writing to you today to ask you to join me in the fight to make San Diego a world-class bicycling city by pledging to make a monthly donation BikeSD. Give today.
BikeSD is a bicycle advocacy organization with the vision to “transform San Diego into the world’s best city for bicycling”. Although a young organization in its third year of existence this vision has already been pushed from complete fantasy to “probably not going to happen”. Every day this push continues and the vision comes closer to reality. This ongoing progress is due to the efforts of the organization and the many, many members, volunteers, friends, and supporters working together each day.
I first became familiar with BikeSD a few years ago when I began regularly attending meetings relating to SANDAG bike corridor projects. I quickly became reliant on the BikeSD Twitter, Facebook, and website for news of meetings I could not attend. The sources, especially Twitter, were pretty much the only place to get a true picture of what was going on and being said for those not present. At the meetings I was present for it was very clear to me who the voices in the room that I supported most belonged to – those of BikeSD volunteers and members. This is the biggest reason I contribute monthly to BikeSD, to ensure my opinion has a voice at those meetings I can’t attend personally, and to increase the reach of the voice of the organization. If you look around the city today and compare to five years ago the difference in the policies, infrastructure, and discussion around bicycling is starkly different. The major change in that time period? The arrival of BikeSD as a powerful force for the interest of bicycle riders of all experience and ability.
Until this year, BikeSD was solely a volunteer organization. All the time and efforts put forth were done by people that care about San Diego and were willing to devote significant time to make this a better, safer place to live. This year the organization is increasing the capacity to create positive change and that requires dollars. Recently the first part-time hire for BikeSD was made – Kyle Carscaden receives a small monthly payment and is working to partner with businesses to provide secure, attractive bicycle parking for customers and employees. Samantha Ollinger, Executive Director, is now receiving a small monthly stipend for her time. We need to increase the ability to support these people, hire additional resources, and pay for physical materials and campaigns. You can help and ensure that the ability of BikeSD to make San Diego great is amplified and safer streets become a reality.
BikeSD is doing great work in San Diego and though many have helped and supported the organization, that has largely been due to the efforts and sacrifices of one person – Samantha Ollinger. Any city in the country would be lucky to have such a capable individual leading the push for safer streets and a healthier, happier city. The impact that Sam has had on the city is hard to overstate and shows how important it is to support her voice, and add more voices, with enhanced resources for advocacy. We need to support Sam and enable her to continue working full-time on these important issues. Her leadership and rational, uncompromising approach to building a better city has pushed the entire conversation in San Diego in a meaningful way. We need more of this, and more voices joining her.
I hope you’ll join me and support BikeSD Outreach* on a monthly basis. Whether $5 or $500, you will help to make San Diego a better place to live for all. Thank you.
[This post originally appeared on the BikeSD blog.]
* Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law