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Kasandra Griffin is the new leader of the Community Cycling Center

Posted by on June 8th, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Kasandra Griffin.
(Photo courtesy Kasandra Griffin)

The northeast Portland-based nonprofit that believes bicycles are a vehicle for changing our communities has hired a new leader. The Community Cycling Center announced yesterday that Kasandra Griffin is their next executive director.

Griffin is known quantity in local bike advocacy circles. She spent eight years (on and off) on the Board of Directors for The Street Trust and also served as their interim executive director for five months in 2002 and as their finance director from 2003 to 2005. She has also worked at the City of Portland’s parks bureau and most recently as policy manager at Upstream Public Health, a nonprofit.

“Coming back to an organization centered on bikes feels like returning to my first true love,” she said in an interview posted on the CCC’s website yesterday. “Doing it at an organization that is also focused on equity makes me feel honored, delighted, and eager to get to work.”

Asked what her dream is for the region, Griffin replied, “To live up to its hype!” Here’s more from that answer:

“Many white people like to think of Portland and Oregon as progressive, but really the city and state have an incredibly racist past, which leads to a racist present. I want the community to not just be the kind of progressive that votes to expand the bottle bill, but also the kind of progressive that shuts down the white supremacist organizations in our midst instead of providing free bus service for hate marches.

Similarly, I would love for the transportation system to live up to its hype. Portland’s bike facilities and ridership statistics may be better than most large American cities, but that is a depressingly low bar, and we need to aim higher. Furthermore, since our transit system is much weaker, we don’t have a combined car-free system that can serve our community well. And of course, the best bike facilities and the best transit service are both concentrated in wealthy, close-in neighborhoods, not the ones further out where people are less likely to be able to afford car ownership.

As ED, Griffin will oversee an organization that currently operates several successful programs including: Biketown for All, Portland’s bike share program for low-income residents; a STEM bike maintenance education program at local public schools; a full service bike shop on Alberta Street; collection, renovation, and donation of used bikes for programs like the Holiday Bike Drive; and a variety of community partnerships all centered around stheir mission of expanding access to bicycling.
Some of the current activities include:

Griffin joins a staff of 27 full-time employees at the CCC and will start her new role half-time next week and will be full-time as of July 1st. She takes over for Mychal Tetteh, who left the organization last November. Tetteh held the position of CEO for four years and now works at the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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11 Comments
  • mran1984 June 8, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    The bottle bill benefits the distributor. There is nothing progressive about that. Do you think this is some type of employment?

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    • rainbike June 8, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      In early morning
      Trucks drive by, collecting dimes.
      Do they break even?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 9, 2017 at 10:02 pm

        Haikus are easy.
        But sometimes they don’t make sense.
        Refrigerator.

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  • Jim Labbe
    Jim Labbe June 8, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Yahoo! Go Kassandra!

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  • Dave June 8, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Hey, a higher bottle deposit IS a benefit to cycling–less stray glass broken on the roads! I’d make it $0.50/bottle for that reason alone.

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  • jeff June 8, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    holy non-sequitur. did she actually compare the bottle bill to a reduction in white supremacy?

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    • Art Fuldodger June 8, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Not as I read it, but you be the judge: ” I want the community to not just be the kind of progressive that votes to expand the bottle bill, but also the kind of progressive that shuts down the white supremacist organizations…”

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      • Middle of the Road Guy June 9, 2017 at 9:03 am

        And does not provide bus service for those people attending hate marches. Only progressives get free bus service. Where do you draw the line? Voter registration cards?

        While I in no way support alt-right activists, if they are not doing anything illegal they should be allowed to ride public transit. Just like the Antifa folks who end up doing property damage.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty June 9, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        I want us to be the kind of progressives that support free speech.

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    • mooneysuzuki June 9, 2017 at 5:18 pm

      The previous director of CCC never once categorically defined an agenda for the organization based around race. By my memory, and by reading his statements he at most occasionally and democratically eluded to class and cultural differences impeding needs for those unused to cycling,.. all the while himself being a person of color.
      Funny,.it seems Griffin has to go for the jugular on the race issue straight out of the starting gate …despite not being a person of color.

      Can’t we all just get along? Can’t we all just ride our friggin’ bikes?

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  • Bill Stites June 9, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Congratulations Kasandra! If memory serves me, we were in the same PSU Transportation class in, uh, 1998? Glad you’ve stayed with the good work.

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