By Bob Beane, CAzBike President
The Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists is embarking on possibly its most ambitious agenda since our founding in the early 1990s. In general, it may be summed up as connecting Arizona bicycle advocates in ways never before accomplished in order to increase our effectiveness. Ah, but “the devil is in the details” as we often hear.
- The CAzB has set a goal of having 50% or more board/advisory members from outside Maricopa County, and is specifically seeking advocacy representatives from cities, towns and counties encompassing the entire State of Arizona. We currently have participating leaders from Tucson (Wayne Cullop), Kingman (Mike Kitchen), the Verde Valley (Randy Victory) and are in discussion with advocates in Green Valley, Prescott and Flagstaff in order to add the greatest percentage of Arizona bicyclists to our voice.
- As requested by advocates in attendance at our recent Central/Southern Arizona Summit Meeting (held in Casa Grande on February 27), the CAzB will develop and propose an organizational structure and means of working together (none of us feels that we need yet another organization…we just need to work more effectively, together). For example, we will collect “resumes” of advocacy talent, maintain contact information, establish task-oriented teams and develop lists of potential volunteers from the clubs, teams and professional/technical ranks of cyclists around the state.
- We are planning a similar Advocacy Summit meeting for northern Arizona this summer in order to connect with leaders in that area.
- In order to further facilitate working together, the Coalition will put in place virtual meeting technology to allow our officers, board and advisory members and task teams to work together without requiring physical meetings in many cases.
- For the first time since our founding, the CAzB is in a position to hire an executive director to work full time as a paid staff member. We are securing the funds for that position for at least one year, and we have embarked on a campaign to maintain funding for that role as we go forward.
The CAzB has developed a number of specific goals for 2010 and beyond, and we will be reaching out to clubs, teams and individual cyclists with specific volunteer opportunities as we go forward. We will be looking for bicyclists to attend community and ADOT public meetings, write letters to legislators, and participate in Bike Month and other community events in support of bicycling. In short, we will be engaging the bicycling community, state-wide, on a level not previously seen in Arizona.
There are already many passionate and energetic bicyclist advocates working every day to make Arizona a better and more safe place to ride. We plan simply to better connect that group, and add to our collective effectiveness in any ways that we can. We will improve communication, make our individual talents and potential contributions more visible and we will recruit from the thousands of cyclists in the state those future contributors who have asked “what can I do to help?”
Saddle up! It’s time for us to roll!
Please visit our web site at www.cazbike.org for more details, or call Bob Beane at 480-861-7750 with your questions and comments.