What’s a title without a little hyperbole? Boring, I say!
I interned in the legislature and in Peter DeFazio’s Eugene District Office, not to mention being President of the UO Transportation and Livability group LiveMove and the Vice President of GEARs. I have a lot of experience as an advocate, and I am hoping that the Eugene-Springfield community of bicyclists will help me put those skills to work. – Price Armstrong
But this hyperbole is sort of accurate – if your definition of “saving the world” includes sending a well-trained advocate to The National Bike Summit in Washington DC to represent the advocacy wing of GEARs – He’s a modern-day superhero on a mission to help save Safe Routes to School and Transportation Enhancement Funding, and to help strengthen GEARs relationships with other advocacy organizations and help take Eugene to the next level (platinum) for biking.
Who am I taking about? GEARs Advocacy Committee Chair Price Armstrong, of course! Unfortunately, attending this conference is expensive; while Price was awarded free airfare to the conference, he still needs to raise $375 to pay for registration and other expenses. Luckily Price is also an experienced mechanic, and is raising money by offering bike tune-ups for a suggested donation of $40. Since we’re half-way through the winter, and I can hear most of the bikes out on the trails before I see them, I’d think many of you might want to take Price up on his offer. Don’t put this off, Price has less than 5 weeks to raise the money, and many of your beloved rides need help long before that (this is also really cheap!).
Price has written an article for the GEARs blog explaining the GEARs Advocacy committee, which you can read here. Please take the jump to read in Price’s own words how you can, and why you should, send him to The National Bike Summit.
As some of you may know, I was awarded funding for airfare to the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC this coming March so that I can represent GEARs. I am currently looking for support for some of the other expenses. As the Chair of the GEARs Advocacy Committee, my major goals of this trip are to convey to our congressional representatives how much we value bike-supportive programs, and to establish working relationships with other bike nonprofits. You can find out more about the Advocacy Committee goings-on in this article I wrote here. (At the top is a picture of me in DC next to a cycle track!).
I need some help; my goal is to raise enough money to pay for registration ($375! Yikes!) and contribute to other conference expenses (train to PDX, food, bike rental, etc.). To that end, I am offering basic bike tune-ups (lubed chain, trued wheels, adjusted brakes, etc.) for a suggested donation of $40. I have worked in bike shops, as the lead mechanic for the UO Bike Program, and as a bike maintenance instructor. I am particularly good with older model bikes, but am proficient in all bike maintenance. I will say that one of my specialties is taking bikes that folks had considered hopelessly broken and resurrecting them to life.
[On the advocacy side of things] While a graduate student at the University of Oregon I interned in the legislature and in Peter DeFazio’s Eugene District Office, not to mention being President of the UO Transportation and Livability group LiveMove and the Vice President of GEARs. I have a lot of experience as an advocate, and I am hoping that the Eugene-Springfield community of bicyclists will help me put those skills to work.
I hope to get your support in attending this conference for a few reasons. The first is that our congressional representation needs to hear how important active transportation is in our region. It has almost become cliché to say that we want a more livable community; nonetheless, I feel most alive when I am pedaling down the River Path or Fern Ridge Trail, gliding across the I-5 bridge to do some shopping, or cruising down Main Street in Springfield. What is a livable community if not one in which you can feel most alive while getting where you’re going? Our area has spoken with their feet on this issue – 10.8% of people commute by bike, second only to Boulder. We need to let our policymakers know how much we value biking as a matter of quality of life.
There are two specific federal programs being threatened that pay for bike amenities. The first, Safe Routes to School, funds both infrastructure and non-infrastructure (education, e.g.) to support biking and walking for children in our community. The second, Transportation Enhancements, provides funding for sidewalk improvements, bike paths, and other non-motorized transportation facilities. For better or worse, the budget-slashing fever that has gripped the House of Representatives may eliminate these programs from the Transportation Authorization Bill that is due for passage this session. I will use not just my voice, but the voice of our community, to let our delegation know that such cuts will not stand.
Another major reason for attending is that I want to set up and strengthen relationships the club has with other bike organizations. I am hoping that GEARs’ presence at the national summit will continue on in the future, and that we will be working with other national bike advocates will help to enhance the power of our message. We can’t just have the Oregon delegation supporting bike initiatives. We need farmers and urbanites, Democrats and Republicans, the full spectrum of Americans all agreeing that active transportation is good for the nation. When we work together, so much is possible.
If you are able to help, please email me at pricearmstrong (at) gmail.com or give me a call at (859) 492-2755. I really appreciate all the support I can get! Also, please refer my services to anyone you think might be in need of bike loving and is feeling charitable. And, finally, if you have any advice for other ways to raise money, they are much appreciated – I only have six five weeks till the conference!