Advocacy Leaders Develop Local Funding Campaign in Atlanta
By Brighid O'Keane on January 29, 2013
This past weekend, the board and staff of Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) received hands-on coaching to develop a local funding campaign.
ABC is the recipient of a 3-year Advocacy Advance Model Grant, working to triple the bicycle mode share and double spending on bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs in the Atlanta region. To meet this ambitious funding goal in the era of MAP-21, advocates are looking to crack into federal safety funds and to unleash local sources of investments. In a city deflated by the recent failure of a transportation sales tax measure, T-SPLOST, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition is leading the charge in developing a “plan B.”
The Advocacy Advance team joined the leadership of ABC for a day and a half customized Winning Campaign Training, the Alliance’s signature training. Supplemented with a crash-course in campaign development with technical assistance and best practices, participants had the tools to map out a campaign to increase off-street private parking lot fees in the city (currently a mere $3 per year per space) and use a portion of that revenue stream to fund bicycle and pedestrian projects.
This is a major campaign with a potentially significant win for bicyclists in Atlanta. It is a big undertaking for the group, and the development of partnerships will be key. To enlist the feedback and involvement of dedicated members and key allies, the group hosted a community forum.
Over 60 advocates, elected officials and agency staff spent their Saturday evening discussing bicycle funding. Americans for Transit joined the group in Atlanta to talk about trends around the country in communities were bond measures failed at the ballot box, and Advocacy Advance shared stories around the country of how bicycle and pedestrian advocates are becoming part of the conversation. The City of Atlanta presented their goals and ABC shared the organization’s vision and role, eliciting dialogue on ways to move forward.
“The Winning Campaigns Training really helped our leadership team focus, providing the structure we needed to accelerate group genius,” ABC board member Jenn Graham said. “This has given me so many ideas about structuring both our strategic plan as well as our marketing plan that we’re putting together for the first time,” added another board member, Jett Marks.
Read more about the customized training in Atlanta.
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