Thanks to Advocates’ Nomination, Boston Official Headed to Velo-City
By Carolyn S on February 28, 2011
A few months ago, we told you about an innovative idea from SRAM and Bikes Belong to award scholarships to Spanish-speaking elected officials to attend Velo-City 2011.
Next month, the world’s premiere bicycle conference will bring together top leaders from around the globe and, thanks to nominations from Alliance member organizations, and a handful of Latino officials from across the United States will have a front row — and back room — ticket to the proceedings in Seville, Spain.
The Boston Cyclists Union was just one organization that nominated a local, Spanish-speaking official for this unique opportunity. Last week, the BCU celebrated the Velo-City scholarship awarded to Felix G. Arroyo, a city councilmember with family roots in Puerto Rico. Pete Stidman, the BCU’s executive director, says Arroyo has been a leader on issues related to asthma and a supporter of the BCU since its inception. Having Arroyo on the ground in Seville, talking to fellow city-level officials who have installed 75 miles of bikeways since 2007 and boosted its bicycle ridership from .6 to 6 percent, could plant the seeds of progress back home in Boston.
“Witnessing Seville’s transformation firsthand and absorbing the information from around the world at Velo-City could be a very enriching experience, giving Arroyo cutting-edge knowledge and tools to help move our city toward a safer and more enjoyable cycling environment,” Stidman says.
Arroyo certainly sounds excited about the experience. “I’m grateful for this opportunity brought to me by the Boston Cyclists Union,” he wrote in BCU’s latest newsletter. “By participating in this program, I can learn additional ways the city can further enhance Boston Bikes and other programs to facilitate bike usage in the city.”
We’ll keep you posted as other organizations — from cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas — announce their Seville-bound officials. But, we’d wager all them share Stidman’s sentiment: “We’re grateful to SRAM and Bikes Belong,” he says, “for this brilliant idea and the money to make it happen.”
Tags: velocity 2011, sram, scholarship, pete stidman, felix g arroyo, boston cyclists union, boston, bikes belong
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