Seeking to “break through to the next level” of effectiveness and political power, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance officially changed their name last night.
The new moniker, “The Street Trust,” was ratified by members by a wide majority at the the organization’s annual meeting last night in northeast Portland.
Board President Justin Yuen said the new name will enable the BTA to, “Fundamentally get to the next level of change we are all seeking,” and to, “Be able to influence the conversation in the region.”
“So much of executing on protected bikeways,” he continued, referencing the bike-related investments around TriMet’s Orange Line MAX project, “Is intertwined with investments in pedestrian and transit.”
In addition to new name for their core advocacy work under a 501(c)3, BTA Executive Director Rob Sadowsky confirmed last night that they will also form a new 501(c)4 corportation that will focus on political lobbying. The details behind how exactly that new entity will operate are still being hashed out. The new (c)4 won’t be ready to influence the 2016 election but it will be up and running for the 2018 contest.
For Sadowsky, the name change is the result of asking the question, “How do we expand our community and political clout in order to get the big things we want in the street?” He also sought to reassure members that just because “bicycle” is no longer in their name and their expanded mission now officially includes walking and transit advocacy, it doesn’t mean bikes will take a back seat.
“If bikes don’t win [in a policy or project context], we don’t win. We will seek win-win-win opportunities.”
Prior to the vote, Sadowsky also promised the 60 or so members in attendance that the expanded mission will add resources to the bicycle-related work they do.
The new name, Sadowsky said, is modeled after existing non-profit organizations like the Freshwater Trust and the Trust for Public Lands.
To help understand this change in direction, here’s a comparison of the BTA’s new mission and vision statements.
Old mission statement:
The BTA creates healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, convenient, and accessible.
New mission statement
We advocate for healthy and thriving communities where it is safe and easy for people to bike, walk, and ride public transit.
Old vision statement:
Bicycling transforms communities by reinventing transportation and offering solutions for the universal challenges facing health, livability, and the environment.
New vision statement
We envision a region where all those who call our community home embrace walking, bicycling, and riding transit.
Before the vote, Sadowsky also shared a few slides. One of them listed the goals behind the new name: “denote trust and strength; embody a strong sense of pride and love for great, healthy strees; and a need for stewardship, responsibility, accountability and reward of our transportation networks for all.”
The BTA plans to launch a new strategic visioning process on October 1st.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org