Entries tagged: Winning Campaigns Training

Big Sky Advocates Ready to Make Big Change

imageThis past weekend, Montana advocates traveled up to 8 hours to attend the Alliance’s most recent Winning Campaigns Training in Helena, and left inspired and prepared to improve walking and biking in communities around the state.

“This training empowered me to frame our issue into an achievable goal. The process truly leads you through steps to building a solid campaign,” said Taylor Lonsdale, board president of Bike Walk Montana.

One of the country’s most recently-formed statewide group, Bike Walk Montana has already made great strides. From a strategic planning process with the Alliance to a statewide bike summit in March to getting the state to commit to not transferring funding out of the Transportation Alternatives Program to riding bikes with the new DOH Director, it has been a busy year for the organization’s board and executive director Melinda Barnes.

And it’s not going to slow down. Workshop participants created campaign plans for a large trail extension, a university curriculum, a regional growth plan update and a dedicated state funding source for biking and walking projects.  “I am equipped to win the active transportation campaign in my town!” exclaimed Laura Holmlund from River Stone Health. Laura is working with communities around the state on the implementation of a Community Transformation Grant, aimed to create safe and health communities to walk and bike.

One of those communities is Glendive. A sixteen-hour round-trip drive from Helena, Glendive is a town on the border of North Dakota that is seeing major growth from the rise of natural gas drilling. Dana Burns, from the town’s Public Works Department, attended the workshop to learn how to incorporate sustainable and active transportation in the region’s growth plan update. He came under the authority of Glendive’s mayor, but left as Bike Walk Montana’s (likely) newest board member.

“This was an eye-opening training that helped me to realize that the one you think is in control really isn’t,” said Dana, “and I learned how to influence that person.”

Power-mapping is one of the stages of campaign development, and an essential one for advocates to learn how to target their efforts to the person who actually has the power to make the change they seek.

The Alliance is currently accepting applications to host a Winning Campaigns Training in 2014 until September 30. In response to popular demand, training grantees will have the option to request a customized training that focuses on a single event for the hosting organization.

Posted by brighid on September 17, 2013
Tags: winning campaigns training, bike walk montana
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More Winning Campaigns on the Horizon in Georgia

Despite recent gains for biking and walking in Georgia — a statewide Complete Streets policy, new bike lanes on bridges, big funding for bike projects and Open Streets in Atlanta — advocates in the Peach State are not resting on their laurels.

Over this past weekend, 22 advocates from across the state – plus one each from Alabama and South Carolina – attended the Alliance’s Winning Campaigns Training in Athens. Hosted by Georgia Bikes!, the training walked participants through choosing a campaign and the seven elements of campaign planning: Issue Definition, Goals, Resource Assessment, Strategy, Communications, Tactics and Budgeting.

22 advocates from across Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina attended the training.

“The training focused, inspired and energized our group.  It changed the way I think about our work,” said John Bennett, executive director of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. Thanks to blueprints developed at the training, the organization will embark on a campaign to create a trail to connect several neighborhoods in Savannah. 

Board member Arte Rahn agreed with John that the training was a transformational weekend for the Savannah organization. “This really energized us and clarified how to mount a successful campaign,” he said.

Advocates discuss their plans to expand biking and walking in the southeast.

The training ran from Friday evening from Sunday afternoon, and included plenty of networking time and opportunities to explore the local community.  Saturday night was a particular highlight, with participants given the opportunity to take a look at Bike Athens’ Bike Recycling Program, a community bike shop that serves the city.

We were treated to a special tour of Bike Athens’ Bike Recylcling Program

For local organization Bike Athens, leaders used the training to create a campaign to connect a greenway and transit center.  The training was the first opportunity for local leaders to learn the essentials of planning and implementing an advocacy campaign. 

“I did not know how to plan and implement a campaign and engage membership,” said executive director Tyler Dewey.  “Now I do.”

Tyler also enjoyed the hands-on nature of the training, which allowed participants the opportunity to take a campaign concept and walk away with a blueprint for moving forward.  “It was not theory, it was practical,” he said.

Georgia Bikes! executive director Brent Buice found the training to be an inspiration for his work at the statewide level, as well as an opportunity to connect with local advocates from across the state.

“The training provided a much needed opportunity for me to connect with local advocates throughout Georgia,” said Brent. “Their exciting campaigns have definitely renewed my dedication to this work at the state level.”

Plotting out new winning campaigns

Looking to craft your own Winning Campaign?  The Alliance will be hosting two more trainings in 2013, in New York and Montana.  Learn more and register for the trainings here.

Minneapolis Advocates Brave the Cold to Plan Winning Cycle Track Campaigns

Winter is an ideal time for planning, but I must admit that a Winning Campaigns Training in Minneapolis in early February is chillier than most.  As my plane from Washington, DC descended, the pilot broke the news: “Well it looks like things have warmed up ... it’s now 13 below with a wind chill of 25 below.”

This month, I joined Jackie Douglas of Boston’s LivableStreets at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to guide local leaders through crafting a campaign to win a network of cycle tracks, also known as green lanes or protected bikeways.  

As leaders who have worked in the Northeast for most of our careers, Jackie and I aren’t easily fazed by bitter cold. Still, though, I still couldn’t help but admire Minnesota advocates’ defiance to the cold and commitment to biking as participants rolled in sporting ski goggles and impressive layering. But we are advocates, after all, and where there is a will there is a way.

The all-volunteer Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition’s top priority is building a network of world-class cycle tracks. With over two dozen participants and representatives from six partner organizations — including Alliance members Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota and the Midtown Greenway Coalition — the group divided into two working groups to focus on complimentary campaigns.



The full group of intrepid Minneapolis Winning Campaigns Training participants

The first group got to work on a “Bikeways for Everyone” campaign vision: a long-term, big picture approach to plan, fund and build a network cycle tracks across Minneapolis. 

The second group worked on a campaign to build a cycle track on Washington Avenue, a major commercial & university corridor set for major redevelopment this year. Advocates scheduled an aggressive timeline to include the cycle track in construction so that the project will demonstrate how cycle tracks can benefit business, bicyclists, and the community.

Inspired by a suggestion from leaders in Kansas City and tested the week before in Atlanta, we added another major element to the weekend’s training: a community forum to share and discuss the proposed campaigns. 


The Minneapolis community forum in full swing

Several of Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition’s leaders (and Molly Sullivan in particular) did an amazing job involving over 50 community leaders, including three city counselors and nearly a dozen partner organizations. Small group activities helped collect new ideas and galvanize participation. While a bit stressful for advocates who had only been working on developing their campaigns for the past 24 hours, it provided instant feedback and buy-in. We closed the 12 hour+ day with a celebration and fun dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.

Sunday morning warmed up to the single digits (victory: no negative sign in front of the number!). We got back to work debriefing the community forum, adjusting and adding details to the campaigns, and focusing on the resources and fundraising necessary to win. 


Advocates hard at work discussing winning new cycle track networks in Minneapolis

“I’ve been to numerous campaign trainings over the years, this one was the best,” said Joshua Houder of the Sierra Club.

Tami Traeger of Nice Ride, Minneapolis’s awesome bike share program, agreed. “This was not just a training — it was a campaign kick-off fueled by the talent and energy and passion revealed in the process of learning campaign building,” she said.

Both Jackie and I were impressed with the team at this training. The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition was already engaging partners, but now have great plans to connect even more with the business community, their elected officials and partners in health and the environment.

Seth Nesselhuf of Quality Bicycle Products, one of the training’s business sponsors, commented, “This Winning Campaigns Training has put the Minneapolis Bike Coalition on the fast track to getting cycle tracks!”

Special thanks to Molly Sullivan, Nicole Campbell, Lisa Bender, Ethan Fawley and Hokan for all their local organizing and assistance in hosting this great training.

Going forward, keep your eyes on Minneapolis. They’ve already done a lot and are well recognized as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the U.S., but advocacy leaders know there is more to do and they are taking action to take the city to new heights.

Road to Nowhere? Nah, Bike Paths to Everywhere!

imageMay in Alaska boasts 18 daylight hours to ride a bike. The next best way to spend a day and a half of spring is figuring out how to make riding a bike easier for more people – and getting it funded!

Anchorage was the site of the most recent Advocacy Advance Action 2020 Workshop. Hosted by Alaska Trails, Alaska State Parks, and the National Park Service’s Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA), participants came from Juneau, Fairbanks, Kodiak, Barrow and the Kenai Peninsula to learn how federal transportation funds can pay for biking and walking projects in their communities.

U.S. Senator - and former mayor of Anchorage - Mark Begich joined via teleconference to give an update on the transportation reauthorization process in D.C. and share his support and need for bicycle advocacy in Alaska. State Bike/Ped Coordinator Bob Laurie presented additional information on upcoming opportunities and timelines for bicycle and pedestrian projects and funding programs.

“I learned some new twists about the familiar (federal funding sources) like STP and CMAQ, and others I didn’t know about like Section 402 grants,” said Jack Mosby, board member of Alaska Trails.  “I also enjoyed meeting (and hopefully working with in the future) a bunch of passionate folks who are striving hard to provide safer conditions for those that walk or bike to school, to work, to the store, with the family, for exercise, or just for the fun of it.”

“The diversity of interests represented at the workshop was wonderful,” agreed Heather Rice, Outdoor Recreation Planner with RTCA. “The workshop enabled all of us interested in trails to get to know one another and learn from and build on our different perspectives as we work together to enhance and expand Alaska’s bike/ped opportunities.”

Prior to the workshop, advocates participated in a customized Alliance Winning Campaigns Training that provided a framework for developing bicycle and pedestrian advocacy campaigns through the lens of increasing federal funding at the state and local levels. Alaska Trails and Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage hosted the training and will work with the Advocacy Advance team to further develop their campaigns.

Dialogue and collaboration at the Action 2020 Workshop highlighted unique and urgent opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian programs and projects. In the next two weeks to two months, applications for Section 402 funds are due; public comments for STIP project criteria will be accepted; the Alaska Long Range Transportation Plan, Comprehensive Plan, and Anchorage Trails Plan will be developed; and HSIP nominations can be submitted.

Additionally, there is $3 million in Safe Routes to School funds available for application for reimbursable grants and advocates are urged to contact Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator Steve Soenksen – who gave a short presentation at the workshop – to apply.

The workshop presentation and priorities developed by the participants are available on Alaska Trail’s website. The Alaska Funding Profile and additional resources can be downloaded from AdvocacyAdvance.  A segment on Advocacy Advance was included in the Bike Week special of Alaska Public Radio’s Talk of Alaska.

Action 2020 Workshops are facilitated by Advocacy Advance – a partnership between the League of American Bicyclists and Alliance for Biking & Walking. These workshops are designed to ensure advocates, agency staff, and elected officials have the knowledge, skills and resources to access untapped or under-utilized federal funding sources at the state, regional and local level to build bicycling and walking infrastructure and programs.

We invite advocates and agency staff to register for the nearest workshop, which are offered for free, thanks to the generous support of SRAM Cycling Fund. For more information about Advocacy Advance and the Action 2020 Workshops, or to apply to host a future workshop, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Bicycle Coalition of Maine Completes Innovation Grant

imageThe Bicycle Coalition of Maine, a recipient of a Fall 2010 Advocacy Advance Innovation Grant, completed its “Community Spokes Grassroots Advocacy” proposal this past month.  BCM used the $18,000 award to launch a series of one-day advocacy trainings. Modeled after the Alliance’s Winning Campaign Training approach, these workshops train Community Spokes to carry our successful campaigns in their local communities.

BCM has already seen its new Community Spokes in action. Craig Saddlemire, a participant of the November training, created a joint bike/ped committee for the twin cities of Lewiston-Auburn and met with the newly elected mayors of the cities to advocate for better biking. When BCM organized for the successful Cardin-Cochran Amendment campaign in March, Craig created a local delegation, including a local bike shop owner, transportation planner and public health advocate, to make in-district meetings.

The Advocacy Advance grant, and the additional $33,000 in matching funds leveraged by BCM, gave the resources and focus to develop a strategic program the Coalition has dreamed of for years. The first Community Spokes training was followed by multiple Mutual Aid Calls on topics such as “What does the MDOT do and how can it help you?” and a second training is planned for June 19.

Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Community Spokes curriculum and Toolkit can be used by other Alliance members interested in facilitating advocacy campaign trainings in their communities.

Posted by brighid on April 17, 2012
Tags: winning campaigns training, bicycle coalition of maine, advocacy advance grant
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Seattle Advocates Use Winning Campaigns Training to Win Bike Boulevards

imageA successful campaign to increase walking and biking sometimes take years, but the right amount of perseverance, skill and timing can lead to a quick win. That’s exactly what happened for Neighborhood Greenways in Seattle.

The group advocates for a citywide network of low-traffic streets that limit cut-through cars and are safe for biking and walking. Only a few months after forming, the group celebrated its first victory, in no small part thanks to the tips they learned at the Alliance’s Winning Campaigns Training in Seattle.

“At your Winning Campaigns Workshop I made some great contacts and did some good strategic thinking about developing a complete citywide network of neighborhood greenways,” said Cathy Tuttle, one of the groups leaders who attended the training last June. “Making a citywide network is something I’ve been thinking about for years. Winning Campaigns helped me think about our own people powered movement in a smarter, stronger, more strategic way.”

The campaign included a well-placed Op-Ed in The Seattle Times that called on members of the City Council to support greenways, while letting Seattleites know that greenways will create a safe place to walk and bike, without forcing people out of their cars.

At a January Neighborhood Greenways Meeting, City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw announced plans to fund several miles of greenways in 2012. Not only has the campaign resulted in a tangible win on the ground, it has also lead to new groups in neighborhoods advocating for more greenways. “Quite frankly what I’m dealing with now is how to manage success,” said Tuttle. “Local greenway groups are springing up all over the region!”

Looking to jump start your next campaign? The Alliance is hosting three more Winning Campaigns Trainings this year in Boston, Houston and Kansas City. Learn more about the trainings and register to attend here.

PHOTO: Exploratory tour of a potential bike boulevard in Seattle courtesy of Neighborhood Greenways.

Posted by mlhall on February 07, 2012
Tags: winning campaigns training, seattle, neighborhood greenway, bike boulevard
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Arizona Training Launches Winning Campaigns for Ciclovias — and More!

imageThis past weekend, 15 advocates gathered at the Alliance’s Winning Campaigns Training in Tucson, Ariz., to launch five new campaigns that will improve walking and biking in their communities.

The event was hosted by local advocacy organization Living Streets Alliance, who set a high mark by bringing 11 members to the training.  The training also served as a follow-up to the Action 2020 Workshop put on by Advocacy Advance in Tucson last September.

Not surprisingly, the majority of the campaigns created at the training will be carried out in Arizona. Living Streets Alliance launched three campaigns for Tucson, including:

  • Expanding the city’s open streets initiative, Cyclovia
  • Launching a Pedestrian Safety Campaign aimed at securing new funding and
  • Creating a new regional master plan for biking and walking

A coalition of advocates from Phoenix launched a campaign to create a Ciclovia in their community, while the one out-of-state campaign came from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, who created a complete streets campaign in DeKalb County, Georgia. Energy was high throughout the weekend, as participants were able to step back from the grind of day-to-day advocacy to plan out their campaigns.

The Alliance is hosting three more Winning Campaigns Trainings this year, in Boston, Houston and Kansas City. Learn more about these exciting weekends here.

Click here to check out photos from the training.

Oakland Advocates Celebrate Banner Year for Bike Lanes

imageAs public works employees put paint to pavement on Friday, advocates and officials celebrated Oakland’s most successful year yet in biking and walking infrastructure.

Leaders from the East Bay Bicycle Coalition and Walk Oakland Bike Oakland joined Mayor Jean Quan to mark the installation of more than 18 miles of bike lanes and nearly 300 bike parking spots in 2011 alone.

Though it didn’t hit the organizations’ target of 30 miles by the end of 2011, the uptick in infrastructure has been a major victory for the Oakland Bikeways Campaign, a joint effort of the EEBC and WOBO. And city officials promised the next wave of sharrows and bike lanes should be on the ground by mid-2012.

“The bike lanes installed this year go a long way to fulfilling WOBO’s goal of connecting Oakland’s neighborhoods with safe, reliable and affordable transportation options,” Gloria Bruce, chair of the board at WOBO, said at the press conference. “Bicycling is fun, it’s healthy, and people want to do it. Despite the budget and other challenges, the City is moving forward quickly to build the network and we applaud them for that. Safe biking makes a big difference in people’s lives.”

“It’s not just putting down more miles, but miles that connect, and create a safe, continuous network that really gets you where you need to go and doesn’t drop you along the way,” Renee Rivera, executive director of EEBC, said. “We need to make Oakland a safe place to bike for everyone. We need to pay more attention to the eastern side of town, working with great partners like Cycles of Change and their earn-a-bike program, and bringing more infrastructure to the east side where it’s so badly needed.”

It’s worth noting that staff and volunteers from WOBO and EBBC worked on aspects of the Oakland Bikeways initiative at Alliance Winning Campaigns Training in 2008 and 2010 respectively. Jumpstart your 2012 campaigns by attending one of these workshops in your area. The first is coming up in a matter of weeks: Register now for the Winning Campaigns Training in Tucson, AZ, January 13-15th. The early bird rate — just $75 for Alliance members — ends on Friday.

Read more about last week’s celebration from the EBBC here.

Photo: Renee Rivera (left), executive director of the EBBC, with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. (Credit: Gene Anderson)

Six More Winning Campaigns Launched in South Carolina!


This past weekend, pedestrian and bicycle advocacy leaders gathered in Columbia, South Carolina, for the Alliance’s final Winning Campaigns Training of 2011. The 13 participants — from universities, government agencies, and traditional and non-traditional advocacy organizations — created six campaigns that affirmed their commitment to dramatically improve walking, biking, and livability in their local communities.

“This training has been life-changing for me, giving me the courage to actively engage in change,” Valerie Marcil, from the Columbia Bike / Ped Advisory Committee, said.

Three campaigns created at the training will focus on projects in South Carolina, including:

  • A statewide design guidance change to improve accommodations for bicycles and pedestrians
  • A plan to improve standards and policies at the South Carolina Department of Transportation
  • The implementation of a city art/bike rack program in Columbia

Maryland participants will work to close the gaps in their trail network, while Georgia advocates will push for a state-wide complete streets policy and the establishment of a community bike shop in Savannah. According to Brent Buice, Executive Director of Georgia Bikes: “This training gave us not only an actionable plan for a specific advocacy goal, but also the knowledge for achieving future goals.”

The workshop helped participants learn the process and planning necessary to win campaigns, and it also offered opportunities for attendees to connect and build peer relationships. Some chose to go on a walking tour through the city, while others chose to take a bike ride through Columbia’s beautiful neighborhoods. Whether having dinner with some great discussion, or even kicking back to take in some local football on Saturday night, there were plenty of opportunities for leaders to get to know each other and share their experiences.

“We often talk about the power of partnerships, and this weekend was no exception,” Rachael Bronson, the Executive Director of the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, wrote on her organization’s blog. “The training truly would not have been possible without the many partners and sponsors involved — and the projects developed will not be a success without such future collaboration.”

Click here for a few photos from the event.

A big shout out to our host, Palmetto Cycling Coalition, our national training sponsors, and local sponsor champions: Hawley, Earth Fare, Abacus Planning Group, Outspokin Bicycles, and Cycle Center.

The Alliance already has our Winning Campaigns Trainings mapped out for 2012. Be sure to check them out and reserve your spot today.

Los Angeles Set to Win Campaigns County-Wide


The Alliance held its most recent Winning Campaigns Training in Los Angeles last week, hosted by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC). Thirty biking and walking advocates from 18 organizations, two states, and two countries came together to participate and propel their campaigns toward success.

Most of the participants were local members of the LACBC Regional Partnership and have been working together for months and years to build a cooperative network of L.A. bike-ped advocacy. Additional participants from Sacramento, Idaho, and Mexico added diverse perspectives that led to rich discussion and enthusiasm. Ron Milam, an organizational consultant and the founding Executive Director of LACBC, joined me in facilitating the workshop.

The Alliance’s signature training uses proven curriculum, targeted specifically to the unique needs and experience of bicycle and pedestrian advocates. They are intended for any potential campaign leader who would benefit from gaining the tools to craft and manage powerful advocacy campaigns. Manuel Zavala, of the Montebello Bicycle Coalition, summed it up well: “This training gave me the confidence to conduct a proper campaign!”

“I have been absolutely changed, empowered and inspired by this training to become a more effective campaign manager,” added Andy Rodriguez, LACBC’s Bilingual Bicycle Safety Coordinator.

“Every Alliance-facilitated training or retreat I’ve attended has been inspiring, but this training has been my favorite,” said Carol Feucht, Membership and Online Media Manager for the LACBC. “Seeing so many groups, particularly LA county’s fledging regional groups, at this training signifies how far the regional bike-ped movement has come.”

The weekend included a walking tour of the area and through the site of Occupy L.A., and a bicycling tour that highlighted a recent campaign win for the LACBC: the 7th Street Bike Lane. Supported by an Advocacy Advance Capacity Building Grant, LACBC will continue its bilingual education and outreach to build a larger and more equitable network of bike lanes and bicycle-friendly streets in South, Northeast, and Central Los Angeles.

The workshop was a great preparation for the California Bike Summit, held in L.A. November 4-6 and hosted by the California Bicycle Coalition. Los Angeles County is also the location of the 2012 Pro Walk / Pro Bike Conference and Alliance Leadership Retreat, both held in September in Long Beach.

This affordable training wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors: Planet Bike, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, SRAM, Bikes Belong, AARP, Alta Planning + Design, Clif Bar, Team Estrogen, Sun Bicycles and Specialized. Additional support from Kaiser Permanente allowed the Alliance to offer 15 scholarships to the LA training.

Register now for the Alliance’s next Winning Campaigns Training, hosted by Palmetto Cycling Coalition, in Columbia, SC from November 4-6.

Alliance Announces Locations for 2012 Winning Campaigns Trainings

Winning Campaigns Trainings give you more than tips and tactics to plan a successful campaign. The Alliance’s three-day boot camp for advocates leaves participants energized, excited and prepared to take on new campaigns that reshape their communities.

Since 2009, the Alliance has worked with nearly 300 advocates from across the continent at our signature workshops. By working through the Winning Campaigns Training curriculum, those participants tweaked or launched hundreds of different campaigns to boost biking and walking in their communities.

Over the past few months, as we’ve held the first half of our 2011 series, we tried to give you a taste of this energy by sharing the rave reviews of participants. But, while we can give you a hundred testimonials, you have to experience the training yourself to understand its impact on how you plan and execute your campaigns.

In 2012, we’re giving you four opportunities to jumpstart your next winning campaign with the guidance of our expert facilitators and the assistance of your bike-ped peers. As you begin to plan out your 2012 budget, don’t forget to include space to attend this transformative training.

Registration for each training is already open. Reserve your spot today.

And don’t forget about our final two training in 2011. The Alliance will be in Los Angeles, October 14-16, and in Columbia, SC, November 4-6.

Apply to Host a 2012 Winning Campaigns Training

imageThe Alliance is happy to announce a request for proposals for our 2012 Winning Campaigns Trainings. Through a competitive process, we will select up to six communities to hold this must-attend training. All proposals must be submitted by August 15.

The Winning Campaigns Training is the signature training offered by the Alliance. Our proven curriculum helps biking and walking advocates choose, direct, and win various types of campaigns such as complete streets, share the road campaigns, infrastructure improvements, key legislation, and more. The training gives current and aspiring advocates the tools to craft and manage powerful campaigns. After two and a half days of fun and inspiring work with other leaders and advocacy experts, all participants leave with their own customized campaign blueprint and action plan to implement and win their campaign.

This is your opportunity to bring national bicycle and pedestrian advocates to your region to train your staff, board, volunteers, and other allies on how to win biking and walking campaigns in your community. In addition, you’ll have the chance to highlight your local/state successes and address your challenges, while sharing and learning from other advocates. Host organizations gain great exposure locally, regionally, and nationally. The Alliance awards a $1,000 stipend to host organizations in recognition of the assistance they provide in creating a successful training.

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition hosted a training this spring. “I was really excited about the opportunity to hone my advocacy skills and this program delivered,” says Mark Wyatt, the coalition’s executive director. “We’re thinking about campaigns in a much more strategic way than ever before.”

To send a proposal, complete the online application here. All proposals must be submitted by August 15. Any questions or request for feedback can be e-mailed to training@PeoplePoweredMovement.org by August 8.

We look forward to your proposals and working together to create successful trainings to advance pedestrian and bicycle advocacy in your community.

Photo: Smiling faces at the 2011 Winning Campaigns Training in Davenport, Iowa

Posted by Carolyn S on July 18, 2011
Tags: winning campaigns training, walking, campaign strategy, biking, alliance for biking & walking
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Winning Campaigns Training Energizes Advocates in the Pacific Northwest

Last week, 18 advocates met in beautiful - and sunny! - Seattle to align their biking and walking campaigns toward success. Twelve organizations, three states and two countries were represented, with participants traveling as far as 2,500 miles to attend the Alliance’s most recent Winning Campaigns Training.

The training was hosted by the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and facilitated by Dave Snyder, Executive Director of the California Bicycle Coalition... and me! I’ve been with the Alliance for just more than three months and this was my first time facilitating the workshop. It couldn’t have been better. Every step of the way, I was impressed by the creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication shared by everyone in the room.

University program managers, non-profit organizers, bike shop employees, planners, and engaged citizens brought their diverse perspectives together to develop campaigns for bike lanes, greenways, Safe Routes to School, 20-mph bills and Complete Streets policies.

The Alliance’s 2.5-day signature training uses proven curriculum targeted specifically to the unique needs and experience of bicycle and pedestrian advocates. They are intended for any potential campaign leader who would benefit from gaining the tools to craft and manage powerful advocacy campaigns. “This training breaks down complex efforts into small, doable pieces to promote implementation and action,” said Kathleen Ferrier from Walk San Diego.

“The greatest gift is time – for staff to dedicate to logically think thorough problems and solutions,” said Laura Koch, Program Director of the Community Cycling Center in Portland, OR. Laura attended the training with coworkers from CCC to develop a campaign for bike storage facilities at affordable housing units. “We walked out of the training with a much clearer road map,” she said.

The Alliance’s next Winning Campaigns Training will be held in Lansing, MI from July 26-28.  This training will mirror the curriculum of a traditional WCT, but will be specifically focused on campaigns that relate to Advocacy Advance, a partnership between the Alliance and the League of American Bicyclists aimed at doubling federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects by 2013. For more information about Advocacy Advance, click here.

This affordable training wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors: Planet Bike, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, SRAM, Bikes Belong, AARP, Alta Planning + Design, Clif Bar, Team Estrogen, Sun Bicycles and Specialized.

Click here for pictures from Seattle!

Another Successful Winning Campaigns Training!

imageTwo weeks ago, 13 advocates from seven Midwest bike/ped organizations gathered in Davenport, Iowa for an Alliance Winning Campaigns Training.

Hosted by the Iowa Bicycle Coalition and facilitated by veteran bike/ped advocate Dave Snyder and Alliance CEO Jeff Miller, participants had two and a half days to develop their campaign strategy, learn from fellow organizers, and – of course – bike along the Mississippi River.

“This training helped me become a better leader and advocate for bicycling,” said Jessica Giard from the South Dakota Bicycle Coalition. Giard not only worked through the development of a complete streets campaign, but also said she plans to apply what she learned to other aspects of her burgeoning organization.

Campaigns that were addressed by other training participants included 3-foot passing laws, Safe Routes to School, mandatory training for all crossing guards in Iowa, and working with a state DOT to update drivers’ license manuals and exams to include questions about biking and walking.

Not knowing what a campaign was before the Friday evening session of the course, Ruth Myers from Active Transportation Alliance in Chicago said she now has a clear blueprint, identified targets, manageable goals, and is well on her way to work on improving Chicago metro stations to be more accessible to cyclists and pedestrians. “Whether you are a novice advocate or an old hand, you’ll learn something from this course,” she said.

Heed the advice of Wes Ridgeway from the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation: “If you want to participate in projects in a positive way, please take this training.” Join the many organizations and advocates who have participated in and grown from the Alliance’s Winning Campaigns Trainings and sign up for the upcoming training in Baltimore, MD, May 13-15. Early registration ends today, so register online for a discounted weekend price.

This affordable training wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors: Planet Bike, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, SRAM, Bikes Belong, AARP, Alta Planning + Design, Team Estrogen, Sun Bicycles and Specialized. Sponsorship opportunities are still available; click here for more information.

We hope to see you in Maryland next month!

Register By Wednesday to Save on Baltimore Training

imageA powerful campaign to increase biking and walking takes time, research and plenty of knowledge about grassroots organizing. Unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts in transforming your community. But there is one way to get your campaign on the fast track to victory.

The Alliance created the Winning Campaigns Training to give both novice and veteran bicycle and pedestrian advocates the skills, strategies and advice they need to launch and turbocharge campaigns to improve biking and walking. What better way to celebrate National Bike Month than attending the Alliance training in Baltimore, MD, May 13-15, 2011?

Led by longtime advocates and national experts, our Winning Campaigns Training will teach you to:

  • Identify and map the key decisionmakers
  • Craft a persuasive message to rally members and policy makers
  • Use media outlets to communicate to a broad audience
  • Become an effective fundraiser
  • And much more!

The workshop is hosted by your neighbors at Bike Maryland and facilitated by Alliance staff and consultants, who will help you create a detailed Campaign Blueprint to chart your path to victory, step by step. But the Winning Campaigns Training is more than a class. It’s a fun, interactive, inspiring experience that fosters collaboration and connection among your region’s advocates.

Register for this affordable training by next Wednesday, April 13, to get the early-bird rate of just $75 for Alliance members or $125 for the general public. That’s 25 percent off the regular rate, so sign up today. If you live on the East Coast, don’t miss this unique offering in your area; join us for the Winning Campaigns Training in Baltimore

Posted by Carolyn S on April 08, 2011
Tags: winning campaigns training, maryland, bike maryland, baltimore, alliance
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Q&A with Dave Snyder: New director of California Bicycle Coalition

imageWe’ve got a parade of new, but familiar, faces taking the helm of Alliance organizations in 2011. Many of you know Dave Snyder from his frequent role as the expert facilitator of our Winning Campaigns Trainings. But now that he’s the executive director of the revitalized California Bicycle Coalition, we wondered what he’s been up to in recent years and what winning ideas he has planned for the Golden State.

When and how did you first get involved in bike-ped issues way back in the day? 

I got involved on Earth Day 1990, when I decided that bicycling promotion was a good way to channel my activism. I published a newsletter (this was pre-world wide web) to facilitate communication among the various flavors of bicycle activists and coordinated them under the name of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, an organization that had gone legally defunct after its 1971 founding but was being maintained in name, at least, by one stalwart dedicated activist.

Anyone who’s been to an Alliance Winning Campaigns Training knows you’ve had many and varied successes in your long career; what was the very first campaign you worked on?

It was one I wouldn’t have worked on if I had had the training! Highway One between Stinson Beach and Mill Valley had closed due to mudslides. It became a beautiful bike ride: We fought to keep it closed to cars forever. It would have been amazing but utterly un-winnable and not exactly on message or mission in any case. We had fun, though!

You grew the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition into a powerhouse organization; what’s one of your best memories or biggest lessons learned from those years?

Turning out about 150 people to a hearing on the citywide bicycle network, and coordinating the testimony to make an incredibly strong statement about the need for the network.

I’m assuming you left SFBC to start Livable City? Why? What else have you been up to since SFBC?

Creating bicycle habitat by changing land use is equally, if not more, important than adding bike facilities to streets, as it also can make housing more affordable and therefore especially improve the lives of lower income people. After I passed Livable City on to another great leader I decided to work for the Alliance for Biking & Walking (then the Thunderhead Alliance) as the Director of Program Development. After that I served a stint as the Transportation Policy Director of a local think tank called San Francisco Planning & Urban Research, and most recently as the project director of yet another startup organization: the San Francisco Transit Riders Union.

What are some of the successes of the California Bicycle Coalition that you’ll be building on in 2011?

California started the Safe Routes to School movement and was the first large state to adopt a complete streets policy. We’ll build on that by working to ensure the complete streets policy is implemented, and that the California delegation to Congress voices strong support for the federal safe routes to school program.

California often pushes the envelope for the rest of the country on progressive issues like transportation and energy. Do you see CBC helping to advance that reputation on the bike-ped front?

I think that we can work with our new governor, Jerry Brown, to create a transportation policy for the state that can be a model for reauthorization of the federal bill. Brown is known as a frugal, practical leader, and California’s challenges in transportation policy — huge deficits coupled with extreme difficulty in raising taxes — call for creative solutions that the rest of the country can learn from.

You took the helm of the SFBC back in 1991; now you’re taking over the CBC in 2010. How has the national/state/local atmosphere change? How does this gig feel different?

I think that state level advocacy is so different from local advocacy that it’s hard to say what’s different. There are communities in California that are no more advanced than San Francisco was in 1991, so for those communities, there’s little difference. Except for this: There’s a general acceptance at all levels of government and among a majority of the population that bicycling is a realistic transportation option for some people. It used to never occur to policy makers that bicycling mattered. The implications of this are huge, because a supportive context can allow a community to become more bicycle-friendly in much less time than it took us in the early ‘90s. Fresno, California, has made as much progress in the past two years as San Francisco has made in a whole decade. Also, the example of New York City shows that supportive policy makers can utterly transform a city and do it quickly.

I look at this job from two perspectives. One, I’m going to simply try to do my job well and make sure the CBC plays its part as a player on the larger team: the federal effort, state efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and reform transportation policy, and strengthen local efforts. Second, I’m looking for the big win, but I’m not sure what that is, yet. Age has not made me more patient. If anything, it’s done the opposite, because I’ve seen 20 years of bicycle activism increase bike to work rates from about 1 percent to about 4 percent. I want to see 10 percent or 20 percent and I don’t want it to take another 20 years!

Excited to be back to bike-specific advocacy?

Heck yes.

Keep up with Snyder’s effort on the CBC website. Photo from Bike Commute Tips Blog.

2011 Winning Campaigns Trainings Announced

imageIt’s impossible to capture even a hint of the energy and inspiration of an Alliance Winning Campaigns Training in a newsletter or blog post. Over the past few months, as we wrapped up our 2010 series, we tried to give you a taste, by sharing the rave reviews of amped-up participants. But short testimonials don’t do the workshop justice. You’ve got to experience it yourself to understand the impact.

In 2011, we’re giving you six opportunities to jumpstart your next winning campaign with the guidance of our expert facilitators and the assistance of your bike-ped peers.

In 2010, the Alliance hosted its three-day trainings in six cities across North America. In total, the workshops drew 117 advocates from a wide array of organizations. By working through the workshop’s curriculum, those participants tweaked or launched 59 different campaigns to boost biking and walking in their communities.

Now that it’s a new year, it’s time for a new round of trainings. So save the date for a 2011 Winning Campaigns Training in your area:

  • April 1-3: Hosted by the Iowa Bicycle Coalition, Davenport, IA
  • May 20-22: Hosted by Bike Maryland, in Baltimore, MD
  • June 3-5: Hosted by the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, in Seattle, WA
  • August 26-28: Hosted by the League of Michigan Bicyclists, in Lansing, MI
  • October 14-16: Hosted by the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, in Los Angeles, CA
  • November 4-6: Hosted by the Palmetto Cycling Coalition, in Columbia, SC

Registration for each training is already open; click here to reserve your spot.

imageLike 2010, we’re happy to announce a measure of friendly regional competition for 2011, too. The host organization that draws the MOST participants to its training in 2011 will win a free international getaway from VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations that they can raffle off or use as a fundraiser.

In 2010, Local Motion in Burlington, Vermont, packed their Winning Campaign Training with attendees and narrowly edged out the good folks in Oakland for the free bicycling trip to Italy valued at $3,500. “This goes to show that small communities can make BIG impacts,” Adele Dienno, Local Motion’s event’s coordinator, says of the organization’s win. “Thanks to all those who came from as far away as Nova Scotia; to VBT and its president, Gregg Martson; and to the Alliance and our presenters, Jeremy Grandstaff and Ron Milam.”

Who will take home the 2011 prize? Register now for a training near you.

Advocates Fired Up After Successful Winning Campaigns Training


Kendra Arnold was baffled. Sure, she’s known around town as the “bike lady” with her own two-wheelin’ blog for the local newspaper, but she wasn’t entirely sure how to make her city more bicycle-friendly. A weekend in Edison helped change that.

Arnold was among the nearly 20 activists who shared experiences, tactics and more than a few laughs at the Alliance’s Winning Campaigns Training this weekend. The fast-paced, info-packed curriculum gave Arnold the tools to crank it up when she gets back home.

“It made me think a lot about how to get things done and not be so baffled about where to start,” the advocate from Morristown said. “I’m no longer baffled.”

She wasn’t the only one motivated by the two-day training, facilitated by veteran bike-ped advocate Dave Snyder and Alliance CEO Jeff Miller.

“One of the hardest parts for non-professional advocates is, ‘What’s the framework I have to work in to get to the results I want?’” Brendan Poh, a board member for the NJ Bicycle Coalition, said. “We’re passionate, committed and now we have a blueprint to make those results happen for us.”

“It gave me new focus on a lot of problems we’ve been thinking about,” Jim Nicholson, president of the NJBC, said. “It gave me an organized framework to think about trying to solve them.”

“Personally, this is the second time I took [the training], but the first time in my new advocacy director position,” said Eric Boerer of Bike Pittsburgh.  “It really helped me to sharpen my skills and be able to focus on what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Big thanks to all the members of the New Jersey Bicycle Coalition and East Coast Greenway for hosting the training. For pictures — both studious and silly — visit our Flickr page. For more info and to sign up for the next Winning Campaign Training, click here.

Posted by Carolyn S on June 07, 2010
Tags: winning campaigns training, new jersey bicycle coalition, new jersey, east coast greenway
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