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On the scene at the BTA Alice Awards gala

Posted by on May 29th, 2015 at 3:25 pm

BTA Fundraiser Alice Awards Gala-23.jpg

BTA Board Chair Justin Yuen makes the main point of the night.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last night was the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s 25th anniversary celebration and Alice Awards gala at the Portland Art Museum.

In addition to honoring bike advocates and raising money for the BTA (it’s their largest fundraiser of the year), the night is a chance for bike people around the region to dress up and catch up. I always enjoy these events because I get to see and talk with so many of the wonderful folks I’ve been working with, photographing, riding alongside, and covering all these years.

Unfortunately a somber cloud hung over this event, given the rash of collisions and injuries that have piled up in recent weeks in and around Portland. It was hard for the BTA to strike the right tone of optimism and accomplishment (two things key to encouraging donations) while there is still obviously so many failings in our bike system and so much work to be done.

The main focus of last night’s festivities were two big auctions: one silent, and one live. The museum venue was quite glamorous and one of the main ballrooms was filled to the gills with items to bid on.

As far as news, there wasn’t much meat on the table (there wasn’t anything on the tables actually, since they don’t serve dinner anymore). Mayor Charlie Hales did speak for a few minutes and took a moment of silence to remember Mark Angeles, the man who was killed while bicycling on SE Gladstone just two days ago. Hales took an interesting approach with his speech.

Here’s how it went (paraphrased from the hand-written notes he gave me because I didn’t write it all down or record it):

“All progress depends on the unreasonable person…

It’s not reasonable to stop building highways and start building bike lanes, sharrows, and neighborhood greenways.

It’s not reasonable to require new developers to build bike parking, lockers and showers. It’s not reasonable to see local developers build double the bike parking the city requires.

It’s not reasonable to close miles of city streets on a Sunday so thousands of families can enjoy their streets and parks…

It’s not reasonable that a young man moves to Portland to live his dreams only to be killed by a tow truck while riding on Cesar Chavez and Gladstone. Let’s take a moment of silence for Mark James Angeles.

It’s not reasonable to have a vision that there will soon come a day when we have zero such deaths in our city.

It’s not reasonable to imagine separated bikeways from NoPo [North Portland] to LO [Lake Oswego], Gateway to NW Broadway, or my personal favorite on that rail line from Portland to Astoria.

All I ask of the BTA is that you continue to be unreasonable and make Portland even more wonderful.”

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Then it was back to more auctioning and fundraising.

Here are more photos of the scene and faces in the crowd…

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Spinlister handled the bike valet.
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BTA Engagement Manager Carl Larson.
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Volunteer Erin Kelley selling raffle tickets.
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“Our Heroes” was the theme of the night.
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Very sweet Igleheart was auctioned. It went for a shockingly low price of $1,750!
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PSU Bike Hub Manager Clint Culpepper (L) and Community Cycling Center CEO Mychal Tetteh brought their little ones along.
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BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky.
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L to R: Volunteer Stanley Carpenter, Brian Seltzer, and Phil Richman.
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The silent auction crowd.
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BTA Director of Advocacy Gerik Kransky and volunteer Becky Olson.
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L to R: Daniel Fleisher, Sarah Angell, Jenny Cadigan, Jackie Yerby.
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Tony Pereira from Breadwinner Cycles and Nutcase product developer Meghan Sinnott.
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Nutcase Helmets owners and founders Miriam Berman and Michael Morrow.
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Metro Councilor Bob Stacey.
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Oregon State Rep. Tobias Read and Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick.
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Sellwood Cycles Owner Erik Tonkin and Alta Planning + Design’s Jessica Roberts.
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Lawyer and activist Scott Kocher.
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First Stop Portland Program Director (and City of Portland First Lady) Nancy Hales with Metro Council President Tom Hughes.
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Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, his policy advisor (and former Oregon State Senator) Jackie Dingfelder with her husband Tom Gainer.
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2015 Alice Award winners group shot includes Metro staff (for their Regional Active Transportation Plan), volunteers with Better Block PDX, former BTA Board member Susan Otcenas and the founders of the Rosewood Initiative.
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Gladys Bikes owner Leah Benson, Portland Design Works Marketing Manager Jocelyn Gaudi and Sugar Wheel Works owner Jude Gerace.
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3 Comments
  • Adam H. May 29, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Hey Mayor Hales, speeches are all fine and dandy, but we’d rather see real action. Show us you really mean what you say.

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  • Todd Boulanger May 29, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Nice. Glad everyone had fun for a great cause.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tait May 30, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Oh, that’s what that was. I walked by that outside and wondered what was going on.

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