|Thursday's sunset on the Hill|
I had the fortune to arrive in DC on Tuesday to attend the Women's Cycling Forum, hosted by the Alliance for Biking & Walking and APBP. Sue Macy, author of Wheels of Change, opened the session with a review of fascinating history that she collected for her book. Then, several panelists discussed topics relating to women and bicycling, ultimately considering ways to engage more women in the movement.
Tuesday evening was a time to network over dinner, and enjoy the keynote address from Mark Mckinnon, Former Presidential Campaign and Chief Media Adviser. Mark offered a entertaining approach to help advocates better understand effective communication and lobbying, particularly during Thursday's Congressional meetings.
We began the day early on Wednesday, with inspiring remarks from USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood, Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD), Representative Tim Johnson (R-IL), Representative Tom Petri (R-WI), Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and US Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. The day was followed with two informative breakout sessions, and we then cruised into a rousing keynote luncheon featuring Jason Dorsey, the Gen Y Guy.
|Six of the eight of the SC Delegation|
On Wednesday evening, several of us enjoyed catching up with our bike friends from Georgia, before making it an early night for Thursday's meetings.
|Out front Congressman Gowdy's office|
What seemed to resonate best were the proposals in the Petri amendment--that it consolidates programs, streamlines delivery, and gives authority to local governments. Staff also seemed to respond to the evidence that we shared relating to the economic benefits of bicycling in South Carolina.
We may not have finished the day with a win, but we did make some crucial headway in making the case of why bicycling in important to South Carolina. And no message is delivered better than in-person, face-to-face visits. Very important work lay ahead as we follow-up with each office and remain on their radar throughout the year. We will need your support in the months to come, so please stay tuned on ways that you can be involved and strengthen our voice in DC.