Sarah Iannarone picked as new leader of The Street Trust

Iannarone in front of Portland City Hall at a rally for the 2030 Bike Plan in February 2020.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Transportation activist and two-time Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone will lead The Street Trust into their next era. Iannarone has been hired as interim executive director on a six-month contract. Her main focus will be a strategic planning process that will help the nonprofit advocacy group determine what type of leadership model they need.

Iannarone, who’s often seen at community events riding her electric bike with an Ortlieb pannier slung over her shoulder, comes to the position fresh of her second mayoral campaign where she garnered a respectable 41% of the vote (to incumbent Ted Wheeler’s 46%). No stranger to cycling advocacy, Iannarone is an outspoken member of the City of Portland’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. She also represents cycling on the Portland Bureau of Transportation Budget Advisory Committee.

In a statement released today, The Street Trust board member Thomas Ngo said, “Iannarone brings the global expertise, commitment to equity, and passion for the work these times demand.”

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Here’s more from The Street Trust:

“An urban climate policy expert notable for her candidacy for Portland mayor in 2020, Iannarone’s visionary leadership will help The Street Trust tackle unprecedented challenges facing transportation in the Portland region. Traffic fatalities are at a 24-year record high; the ongoing pandemic has gutted transit ridership and funding; and the current recession has exacerbated disparities for BIPOC and low-income communities around jobs, housing, and transportation. As local jurisdictions tend to the most immediate crises, they’re struggling to make the necessary investments to advance mobility justice and tackle climate change.”

After The Street Trust’s previous executive director Jillian Detweiler stepped down last summer, the organization named three staff members as co-directors. It was an “embrace of a new leadership model” that “reflected the changes we would like to see in society.” the organization said at the time.

Iannarone will not be a co-director. Asked whether she sees herself staying on past the six-month contract, Iannarone shared with me this morning that, “If it’s a good fit for me depending what comes out of the strategic plan… I’m committed to this work. I want to make sure the organization is stable because there’s such a strong need for leadership in this space.”

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Iannarone at a BikePortland Wonk Night event in 2016.

Before running for mayor in 2016 and 2020, Iannarone was associate director of First Stop Portland, a program at Portland State University that showcased local urban planning innovations to visitors from around the nation and globe. An urban policy expert, Iannarone is also well-versed in politics. Late last year she launched the Our Portland Political Action Committee (PAC) to promote progressive policies.

The Street Trust launched a PAC of their own in 2017 when they changed their name from the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Iannarone’s mix of political acumen, experiences in community organizing, and passion for cycling and transportation advocacy should make her an effective addition to The Street Trust at a time when they’re in desperate need of vision and leadership.

In recent years staff turnover and departures have become the norm at The Street Trust. They’ve struggled to find a balance between appealing to donors and conservative elements of the community while still being effective with the type of activism needed to move the needle for cycling growth in Portland.

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In 2017 the organization had 15 paid staff. In May 2020 that number was down to 10. Back in August when Detweiler stepped down, The Street Trust named their existing development, advocacy and financial directors to co-director roles. All three of those former directors are now gone. Before Iannarone was hired The Street Trust was down to just three full-time staff: an education program manager, an events director, and a communications director (who joined the organization in November).

Iannarone speaking up at a Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting in 2018.

According to 2018 tax filings (for a period through August 2019), The Street Trust earned $963,092 in revenue and spent $972,972 — a loss of $9,880. Their revenue included $97,606 in membership dues and $457,958 in government grants.

If Iannarone is able to work on advocacy strategy in addition to the strategic planning work, her style would mark a major departure for The Street Trust. Since its scrappy roots in the 1990s, The Street Trust has become much more conservative in recent years. Past leader Rob Sadowsky told us in 2014 that the sidelining of an aggressive advocacy style was an intentional strategy to forge productive, long-term relationships with electeds and policymakers. Detweiler, who came from a background in real estate development with TriMet, continued that trend.

That shift to the center at The Street Trust gave rise to Bike Loud PDX, an all-volunteer group that has tried to fill Portland’s bike activism gap. While Bike Loud has done impressive work without any paid staff, the need for a respected and feared cycling advocacy organization in Portland has never been stronger. Cycling has been flat for years in Portland. The latest U.S. Census bicycle commuting numbers put Portland’s bike commuting rate at a paltry 5.2 percent, down from a peak of 7.2% in 2014. 2019’s bike commute rate was down from an average of 6.3 percent over the previous five years and the lowest single-year estimate since 2007.

Iannarone isn’t likely to stand on the sidelines while current trends continue. She’s one of the most ardently progressive voices ever to be taken seriously in Portland political circles and has made a reputation for herself in taking on the local status quo. One of Iannarone’s main policy planks in her recent mayoral campaign was a detailed Green New Deal plan that blasted, “tepid leadership and centrist incrementalism”.

If The Street Trust’s board of directors give Iannarone the green light to do for cycling and active transportation advocacy what she has done for progressive politics in Portland we could be in for a very interesting next six months.

Iannarone has an opportunity to set The Street Trust on a new path at a very opportune moment. With the incoming Biden administration promising big investments in infrastructure, several new faces at Portland City Hall, and new leadership at sister nonprofits Oregon Walks and the Community Cycling Center, Iannarone will take over a once-powerful organization in a city that used to be known as one of the greatest cities for cycling in the world. If Portland is to ever shake itself out of its cycling stupor, Iannarone could be just the type of fearless, focused, and experienced leader to do the job.

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

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Roberta
Roberta
2 years ago

Congratulations. She will do great. But we don’t need an elongated strategic planning process. We need the Bike Bill guaranteed funding legislative push in the next 2-3 months. Then do a strategic organizational plan. DO NOT LOOSE THE MOMENTUM OF THE PROTESTS with another internal strategic plan. GET the GANG started in Salem for a big bike bill. I would like to remind everybody this is a statewide organization with statewide responsibilities. Make sure you are pushing for all Oregonians. Not just Portland specific projects. GO BIG SARAH!!!

Kiel Johnson / Go By Bike
Member
Reply to  Roberta

So true! Feels like the Street Trust (and the BTA) have been strategically planning for the past 10 years.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago

When 80% of your funding comes from the government agencies you need to hold accountable, it’s much easier to do “planning” than the actual work Portland needs.

Steve Scarich
Steve Scarich
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

haha…my thoughts exactly, when I saw where their money came from, I realized they are essentially a quasi-government bureaucracy.

Roberta Robles
Roberta Robles
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Scarich

That’s why they only went for the Metro 2020 Transport package as their only legislative priority for the last 4 sessions. They were completely MIA for the SB 1601 cracking open state Highway for public transport. They will not rock the boat that feed them. That’s why we need mega push this legislative session. Show up in Salem. I mean if we need any plan, it’s STATEWIDE TRANSPORT EQUITY PLAN. The last draft fell flat in 2016 and so all legislators went for HB2017 payroll funding for ODOT which included the mega boondoggle freeway projects / pork barrel.

citylover
citylover
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Scarich

This is the reality for most, if not all statewide bike/ped orgs. I was an advocacy planner at one for 5 years, and mostly we were a PR arm of the gov’t, served on committees, etc. She needs to be able to raise unrestricted money in order to be independent – which means talking to people and fundraising.

citylover
citylover
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I was a bike advocacy planner at a statewide bike org in another state, and this is so, so true. I was told by leaders things should get done “quietly, behind the scenes” instead of by working with the public and pushing for change. Guess what? We were used by the gov’t who funded us and told to ‘stay quiet’ unless they strategically needed the people’s outrage when they lacked political will. Something to be aware of. Otherwise, I think this is a great role for Sarah- much better than Mayor. However, this is a MAJOR fundraising position and I hope she can be successful there, because that is what will allow the StreetTrust to actually do work outside of govt.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 years ago

They are a perfect fit for each other.

However, I don’t quite see how this is going to help the larger community in general or the bicycling community in particular – both she and the trust are rather neo-conservative in a bidenesque sort of way – nothing new nor innovative is expected out of either.

Kiel Johnson / Go By Bike
Member
Reply to  David Hampsten

Have you listened to Sarah before? Four years ago she proposed car free neighborhoods downtown, pretty much everything I have heard from her is new and innovative.

soren
soren
2 years ago

“car free neighborhoods”

a few blocks of twee shops that mostly cater to well off homeowners and several new duplex-condo owners (e.g. the fruits of P:NW/PFE’s hard fought battle for RIP). and, of course, lots of gentrification in one of the few areas of Portland that has large multifamily buildings owned by very-low-income housing providers.

i too want to see car culture die but i’ve come to loathe the politics and priorities of jane jacobs types.

eawriste
eawriste
2 years ago
Reply to  soren

The part where she helped save a large part of Greenwich and surrounding neighborhoods from becoming a freeway?

soren
soren
2 years ago
Reply to  eawriste

Jane Jacobs was the grandmother of racist and classist urban gentrification and also a fierce opponent of large low-income co-ops and social housing blocks. It’s perfectly reasonable for me to oppose anti-poor market urbanism while also opposing monolithic anti-poor highway culture (Moses).

citylover
citylover
2 years ago
Reply to  soren

Having read JJ I don’t think she advocated for no cars. She wanted vibrant commerce, which includes a vibrant mix of walkers, bikes & automobiles. Mixed incomes, mixed uses. Actually, many pedestrian only spaces fail – the ones that are successful are those that allow cars to bisect at cross streets (I’ve lived around several in Europe and the US).

soren
soren
2 years ago
Reply to  citylover

The wanting “car culture to die” referred to the person I responded to.

Christian Samuels
Christian Samuels
2 years ago

Not expecting much from Sarah “I am ANTIFA” Iannarone. She’s in the same camp as other divisive local politicians such as Chole Eudaly and JoAnn Hardesty. I am afraid her adversarial nature will reduce the effectiveness of the organization’s stated goals of making walking, biking and transit safer, cleaner and more efficient for all.

I also have to wonder If she is such an “urban climate policy expert” why has she not finished her PhD in instead of just falsely claiming she has?

The Street Trust made an error with this hire.

https://www.opb.org/article/2020/09/18/mayoral-candidate-sarah-iannarone-hit-with-election-complaint-for-phd-statement-in-voters-pamphlet/

Kiel Johnson / Go By Bike
Member

Totally disagree, in my experience Sarah is someone who really listens and brings in a diverse group.

I hope that the Street Trust also remains anti fascist as well.

Javier Sodo
Javier Sodo
2 years ago

Antifascist so we can have more broken windows, lawless rioters, and property destruction plus elected official harassment and intimidation. Oh, don’t forgot the further cratering of our local economy. Yeah, sounds like a great idea. NOT!

https://www.kgw.com/article/news/local/protests/antifas-history-and-current-status-in-portland/283-8a9d1048-69e9-4baf-879d-b59d1c93c41a

Stay safe and Ride on!

Pete S.
Pete S.
2 years ago
Reply to  Javier Sodo

So… you prefer pro-fascist leaders? Or just fascist-neutral ones?

Chris I
Chris I
2 years ago
Reply to  Pete S.

Fascist-neutral is probably better for the economy.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

No such thing as “fascist-neutral” That’s like saying “I’m not a Racist, and I’m not Anti-Racist; I’m racism neutral.” But you already showed your cards when you put the economy ahead of a stand against fascism.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Though you appear to want others to inhabit your binary world, most people do not define themselves by their alignment with outmoded political systems. I presume you’re also an anti-Maoist, right?

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

“The Mao, the Merrier” I always say!

Chris I
Chris I
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

Switzerland was fascism-neutral.

eawriste
eawriste
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

Oh, wow. Might want to reread that history chapter.

Serenity
Serenity
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

So you’ve figured how to make edible money then, Chris? The economy isn’t everything.

Jon
Jon
2 years ago
Reply to  Pete S.

What I hear from most Portlanders is that they are sick of the Antifa and anarchist rioters breaking windows and prolonging the violence. Antifa and the anarchists have hijacked the critical peaceful racial justice protests. Now the violence and mayhem of Antifa and anarchists has been associated with the BLM protests. Instead of a clear message of racial equity the country sees images of white “allies” throwing things at police, breaking of windows, tagging buildings, and looting small local businesses. All extremists need to be stopped. The left leaning majority of people need to denounce the far left violence just like the right leaning majority needs to denounce the far right violence. We can’t let the extremists run wild. The vast majority of people in Portland are anti-fascist but they don’t want to see the continued senseless violence and mayhem created by Antifa and anarchists.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon

The thing is, they don’t view themselves as Extremists.

Nyle
Nyle
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Hate to say it, but the violence at the capital looked an awful lot like what’s happening here. It’s just amped up 100 times, served up with a different ideology and placed in the heart of our democracy.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Pete S.

It’s hard for me to understand why anyone would define themselves in relation to a failed World War II era political philosophy, much less use it as some kind of meaningful political litmus test in modern times.

We need fewer labels and more civic conversation about how to fix our many problems.

X
X
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Quacking = ducks.

I’d be really pleased if we could get a national consensus that Fascism was tried, did fail, and could be relegated to dictionaries. If that were the case antifa would be the sound of one hand clapping.

My life did not overlap with WW II, but I do remember national governments still in power that were at least completely comfortable with former Fascist regimes. There was a time that US citizens could be put under ban for fighting Fascism with military force, which was followed by a time when Fascist governments attacked the US and fighting them suddenly became our noble cause. When that war was over our government hired their rocket scientists…etc.

The US also went to war with people who learned their chops fighting for national freedom against a nation that we demonized and destroyed. Did we not become our own enemy in that case? We’ve also put people in camps with wire so deep that we are unable to find a way to release them and no longer know who their people or parents are to send them home to.

Pretending that Fascism is just for footnotes is a dangerous mistake. See: Work Makes Free. Pardon me for bringing that up, but I’m not the person who cut a stencil and put it on their shirt, last week.

Doug Hecker
Doug Hecker
2 years ago

This should be interesting. I guess it makes the Streettrust more vocal in their efforts which is probably good but I haven’t taken Sarah seriously since she said F you to Ted. That’s not to say that I haven’t either, but I’m not a two time losing mayoral candidate that couldn’t find a way to easily win the last election. Easily? Yes, she couldn’t unify the the majority of ortlanders who clearly weren’t in holds or of Ted. I find that her talking points are reasonable but why did it take Hardesty so long to endorse her and why didn’t Teresa do the same thing? I can’t help but get the feeling that she doesn’t come acrossed as genuine to BIPOC leaders which would seemingly be critical for this roll.

Vincent Colavin
Vincent Colavin
2 years ago

Funny how being a progressive female politician gets you labelled as “divisive”, but leading the PPB to attack civil rights protestors and evict houseless people during a pandemic doesn’t.

Also, in the immediate aftermath of an attempted fascist takeover of the US capitol, are you saying that anti-fascism is bad? That’s a very interesting take.

Christian Samuels
Christian Samuels
2 years ago

Well, extremists on BOTH sides of the political spectrum are bad.
Stalin was bad. Mussolini was bad.
Being divisive has nothing to do with her sex. She is just not someone who can bring people together due to her extreme views and abrasive nature.

Lucy W
Lucy W
2 years ago

Anti-fascism is hardly extreme – while I don’t agree with every action that’s been taken in the name of anti-fascism, I do hope we can all agree that “authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy” is categorically bad.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Lucy W

I think we all do.

eawriste
eawriste
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

That is the central and chilling question of the last week HK. Unfortunately, it’s pretty clear not all of us do.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  eawriste

I think taking last week’s deplorable events as a sign of general support for fascism would be a misreading. I’m willing to accept Lucy W’s statement as a consensus position.

Serenity
Serenity
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

Wait, weren’t you *just* saying you didn’t understand understand why anyone would define themselves in relation to “a failed World War II era political philosophy” as you put it? So… which philosophy are you referring to as “to a failed World War II era political philosophy?”

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Serenity

I understand that Maoism was a terrible thing, and am happy that I’ve never had to experience it first hand, and would even be willing to fight if Maoism somehow threatened to take over in the US. But I am not an “Anti-Maoist”; opposition to Maoism is just not part of my core identity as much as I recognize the extraordinarily harms it caused.

That does not make me, as the with-us-or-against-us crowd would have it, a Maoist.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 years ago
Reply to  Lucy W

How about Authoritarian anything?

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
2 years ago

She can bring plenty of people together. What you’re really saying is that you refuse to be one of them.

Jeff
Jeff
2 years ago

Being female has nothing to do with it – and if anything shows your sexism in assuming a criticism about a person’s political style is somehow related to their gender. She is absolutely abrasive and can’t see how her leading a non-profit advocacy group is going to help that group build support.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago

Your use of the passive voice makes it hard to discern who is labeling who as what. Wheeler called Iannarone divisive, and I called Eudaly divisive. But Eudaly was divisive by any objective measure, so that was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I am not sure that Wheeler’s application of the same descriptor for Iannarone constitutes a notable pattern.

There is nothing wrong with opposing fascism, as I imagine most of us do, but of course that wasn’t what Iannarone meant when she declared her membership in a group that repeatedly tried to attack a federal courthouse and has helped turn our downtown into a disgrace. You could almost say that her statement divided people.

Vincent Colavin
Vincent Colavin
2 years ago
Reply to  Hello, Kitty

I guess I don’t think “divisive” is a useful criticism of a politician, and I would like us to retire it. It’s certainly true that both Wheeler and Iannarone failed to convince a majority of the voters, and so you could call them both divisive. They divided the electorate.

Pretty much any politician worth their salt has opponents, right? No matter what side they’re on.

My point is that “divisive” is an empty insult that sounds substantive but is mostly used to attack progressive female politicians for their tone rather than their policies or strategies. Just like “shrill”.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago

Someone posted something elsewhere in this thread that made me think more carefully about what “divisive” means, and made me realize I was applying it sloppily. A key difference between Eudaly and Wheeler was that Eudaly tried to turn people against one another, which is why she earned the description. It wasn’t just that people disagreed about whether to support her or someone else.

I probably wouldn’t call Iannarone “divisive” in that same way, but allying herself with such a polarizing group was at least divisive-adjacent. I don’t feel the need to defend Wheeler’s use of the term, but it was an apt description for Eudaly, and was one of the primary reasons I could not support her second term.

There is a brand of progressivism that acts as if tearing people down is the right way to advance the cause, but there are other progressives who, like myself, find that tendency counterproductive and alienating. I’m open to suggestions for how else to say it, but for the moment at least, “divisive” seems like a readily understood description of the problem. I don’t see it as an “empty insult”, though I agree that in politics, many people are called things they are not, and that while perhaps inevitable, it is bad practice.

Pete S.
Pete S.
2 years ago

Weird how Iannarone, Eudaly, and Hardesty are the divisive ones and not the guy who spent the last summer leading the bureau that deployed chemical weapons against Portland residents thousands of times.

Chris I
Chris I
2 years ago
Reply to  Pete S.

Sarin gas, or mustard gas?

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Pete S.

Maybe he is divisive too.

citylover
citylover
2 years ago

The proof will be in the pudding. She’ll need to be able to raise money for the Org. or they will not be able to do any independent work and will only do the advisory committee sitting and government-funded PR/outreach. Which, is absolutely the norm for statewide bike orgs that cannot fundraise themselves.

One
2 years ago

Great for the Street Trust. I wish she was our mayor!

Javier Sodo
Javier Sodo
2 years ago
Reply to  One

I think I would need to move if she was. What a bullet Portland dodged with her loss!

Bradley Bondy
Bradley Bondy
2 years ago
Reply to  Javier Sodo

I suppose if you want continued stagnation in our bicycle modal share then you should be glad that Wheeler won. She would’ve done great things for our bicycle network.

mh
2 years ago
Reply to  Javier Sodo

Feel free to find a better-fitting environment. Sarah’s minority of voters is more supportive than Ted’s minority of voters. If Sam Adams comes on board, we might reasonably be optimistic.

Jeff
Jeff
2 years ago
Reply to  mh

Well seeing as how more of us agree with Javier’s take – it’s you that might want to look for a better-fitting one…

Pete S.
Pete S.
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff

Who is the “us” here? If you’re referring to Portland voters, I’d point out that most people voted against the current mayor.

Or is “us” just the members of the reactionary BikePortland comment section?

Jon
Jon
2 years ago

Hopefully this works out. I let my membership lapse after their name change. They appeared to have lost their way when they decided to widen their focus beyond bicycle transport. Time will tell. She can’t do any worse then what they have done recently.

Kiel Johnson / Go By Bike
Member
Reply to  Jon

Jon, time to renew. We need to give the Street Trust all the support we can right now.

Doug Hecker
Doug Hecker
2 years ago

Will you start selling Street Trust tshirts with all this fanatical support?

Jon
Jon
2 years ago

Until they start focusing on bicycle transport again I’ll spend my money elsewhere. If you look at their most recent legislation page at least half of their priorities have very little direct impact on transportation and even less on bicycles. Giving money to 1000 Friends of Oregon and Causa would probably go farther for advancing the current list of priorities for the Street Trust. They are just another generic left leaning organization of which there are 100’s that are more effective for pushing that agenda. the NWTA is a good example of an organization that has a bicycle focus and does not try to do a bunch of other random advocacy. I wish there was a road transportation version of the NWTA in the area.

Christian Samuels
Christian Samuels
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Agreed. It seems that every non-profit in Portland is hearing the Sirens signing to them that they now must pivot to racial/social/climate justice instead of their original mission. The Sirens are sure to lure many of them into the rocks of confusion. I would just like to be able to bike around town with out worrying about getting hit by a speeding car every other minute. Anything wrong with that?

Christian Samuels
Christian Samuels
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon

Jon,
Maybe you should start up a road version of NWTA—sticking to BICYCLE advocacy. If you do, I’ll join! 🙂

mh
2 years ago

Feed – meaning fund – their political side, which they don’t make easy.

Kiel Johnson / Go By Bike
Member

Just renewed my long lapsed membership! Very excited about having strong leadership and vision in this important executive director position. I hope Sarah is able to make the position a good fit and stay for awhile.

Would love to see the Street Trust eventually find ways to bring in and support the many other transportation advocacy groups and energy in Portland.

It has been a long week but I optimistic about the future.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
2 years ago

Agreed. And for anyone else who supports Sarah’s hiring and you’ve let your membership lapse (or never joined), your money will speak louder than your comments here – let the Street Trust know you support this direction by donating.

eawriste
eawriste
2 years ago

I would urge Sarah to take the Street Trust in the direction of Transalt (Transportation Alternatives), and go so far as to invite members of that org to train and implement advocacy models. Transalt has created an incredibly robust and organized group of advocates that engage local partners, provide training, regularly release initiatives and are consistently in the news.

citylover
citylover
2 years ago
Reply to  eawriste

I was a bike planner at a statewide bike/ped advocacy org and it is widely known that TA doesn’t take any government money. That is how they can be activists without strings attached for fear of losing funding. It’s not as simple as wanting to take the ST in that direction. So, if Sarah can raise lots of unrestricted money, then she can. There are endless discussions about this stuff at the annual advocacy orgs conference.

Cory P
Cory P
2 years ago

This is Great news!

bjorn
bjorn
2 years ago

Sadowsky quietly sidelined advocates within the organization by doing things like just ceasing to schedule meetings. I was on the legislative committee at the time, it was never disbanded, nothing was ever said, meetings just were cancelled for a couple months and then emails asking when they would resume weren’t answered. It was extremely unprofessional.
The bigger problem though was that he didn’t just harm advocacy from within TST/BTA he actively opposed the efforts of advocates outside the organization. There is a reason the street trust is a gutted shell of what the BTA was and while it shouldn’t all be laid at his feet he did real damage imho. I have been starting to wonder if TST is salvageable or if we should be trying to grow another organization to replace it, in recent years it seems like they just kind of vacuum up limited resources without a lot of positive outcomes. I hope Sarah sticks around awhile and has some success, the constant churning of staff is part of the problem at TST and if they are looking for another ED in 6 months, well…

Steve Scarich
Steve Scarich
2 years ago

This is a meaningless appointment. If the Street Trust was serious about her, and if she was serious about the job, they would not have been made an ‘interim’ appointment. She is a placeholder that will, if she is lucky, not make Street Trust even more irrelevant.

Erin Haley
Erin Haley
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Scarich

If you read the article, she’s joining as interim ED for 6 months so they can analyze and revisit the more equitable and socially conscious co-director model during the strategic planning. I think all parties are very serious and very excited!

Steve Scarich
Steve Scarich
2 years ago
Reply to  Erin Haley

Exact quote form her…”it’s a pretty good fit for me”..Does that sound like enthusiasm. I had an interim appointment once, and my staff paid attention to me sometimes, and sometimes they just rolled their eyes.

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Scarich

there’s nothing wrong with going for a test drive.

Hotrodder
Hotrodder
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Mann

I thank the gods she’s not taking the Portland City Council out for a “test drive” right now.

Evan Manvel
Evan Manvel
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Scarich

Those familiar with nonprofit management know nonprofits often hire interim Executive Directors, who sometimes go on to become the permanent executive director.

I’ve served in both roles – there’s nothing out of the ordinary here.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago

I agree. If the organization is able to become as relevant and effective in advocating for bicycing as it once was, I will happily join again, regardless of who their executive director is. Show me some results; I don’t care about the blah blah.

David Burns
2 years ago

This afternoon, I renewed my long-lapsed BTA membership. I’m very glad to see things looking up.

citylover
citylover
2 years ago
Reply to  David Burns

I’m hopeful. I’m not a Sarah fan as a citywide politician, but I think she could do a lot in this position and for the org. It brings me back to the classic BTA t-shirt: Work to live>live to bike>bike to work. The focus on ***bikes as transportation*** could use being revisited.

Hotrodder
Hotrodder
2 years ago

Wasn’t it Sara who suggested that Portland should relinquish the Springwater to the homeless with the city’s blessing? I know, it’s the Street Trust, not the Springwater Trust, but it always seemed to me that for cyclists who no longer feel safe on what used to be one of the best and safest connections to all parts of the city, that statement alone should have dismissed her from any consideration as a community leader. It did for me.

Bjorn
Bjorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Hotrodder

There is a whole bike portland article about this, what she actually said was: “First off, unlike our incumbent mayor, I rely on our multi-use paths for my transportation, especially the I-205 path. The conversation needs to stop being “how do we get these people out of sight” and become “how do we get these people housed?” I’m not talking about closing our MUPs, I’m talking about the reality on the ground. Wheeler never met a problem he didn’t want to arrest. I’m trying to broker peace in this City. Wheeler’s campaign is too busy complaining about my social media to generate an original idea. We need to use our resources to get people safe housing. Meantime, we might need to strike a deal for camps to remain there until they have safe alternatives, a deal that involves sanitation, not obstructing the pathway, lighting & safety protocols.”

Chris I
Chris I
2 years ago
Reply to  Bjorn

You seem to be selectively quoting her. This is the quote that so many have taken issue with:

“And so, we may have to do some immediate negotiation in the short term about maybe even ceding those multi-use paths for a short time but then trying to make sure that we’re carving out greater space on the right-of-way.

What I want to do is bring the community together to enhance understanding of the different groups. There’s a lot of acrimony between a lot of groups — cyclists and people without housing, cyclists and motorists, and motorists, you know, and transit — we’ve got to get people talking more civilly so that we can start to hammer out solutions to our biggest problems. Because right now, having hundreds of people concentrated along the paths is not working for anyone involved.”

https://bikeportland.org/2020/10/27/mayoral-candidate-sarah-iannarone-addresses-off-street-path-safety-concerns-322077

Paul
Paul
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris I

I wouldn’t mind ceding all streets to them temporarily. Shut down all transportation, if that’s what it takes to make people take the homelessness problem seriously and get everyone housed quickly.

Serenity
Serenity
2 years ago
Reply to  Bjorn

People hear what they want to hear. The people who already decided they don’t like Sarah probably arn’t interested in what she actually said.

SJ
SJ
2 years ago
Reply to  Hotrodder

I really regret not being more mindful of the situation of the Springwater when we bought our house here in Lents a few years back. As a recent transplant from Arizona, I was hopeful that I’d find the same kind of non-road access to riding (like canals and greenways in AZ). COVID has definitely changed the look and feel but I don’t see anything getting better any time soon.

BELPRIVATE
BELPRIVATE
2 years ago

I’m thinking of dropping my membership. I’ve been a long time member starting when 1st formed by Rex Buckhalter. Disappointed with with Sarah selection. Seems like orgroup as lost focus. Sarah more interested in turning over the bicycle commute paths to the homeless, supporting antifa like violences.

Brendan
Brendan
2 years ago

I still struggle with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance becoming the Street Trust. I think this rebrand and focus on too many items has made the org meaningless. If anything, a simple return to the BTA and clear focus on cycling issues would be a step forward. We have Oregon Walks and Bike Loud PDX which are clearly named and focused on their subjects.

Erin Haley
Erin Haley
2 years ago
Reply to  Brendan

Which one might argue that is a great reason for The Street Trust to focus on the intersection of social justice and transportation. Bike Loud PDX and Oregon Walks are doing a great job with their respective niches.

Hello, Kitty
Hello, Kitty
2 years ago
Reply to  Erin Haley

Let’s judge them by the progress they make. The past decade or so has been a bust, but maybe now they’re ready to start making headway!

bjorn
bjorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Brendan

Sadowsky’s rebrand was obviously a complete failure as witnessed by the fact that he got fired. They were hoping to grow revenue but that hasn’t materialized and they have alienated many of their longtime members. It could potentially still be salvaged but I think it would be a good move for the organization to simply go back to being the BTA and focus on cycling.

citylover
citylover
2 years ago
Reply to  bjorn

As a former employee of a statewide bike/ped org (Vermont), it is a classic problem is that people don’t really identify with being pedestrians as much as they do with being cyclists. So it’s hard to get them to donate and get involved as advocates. AARP actually does a great job with pedestrian advocacy.

Jake Robbins
Jake Robbins
2 years ago

What a great reason to not give any money!

Fred
Fred
2 years ago

Before I read the 73 comments posted here, I’ll just say that I became disenchanted when BTA became the anodyne Street Trust, which doesn’t seem to stand for anything. Even the name means … nothing much (I like streets, we all like streets).

My wish would be for Sarah to steer the organization toward a specific identity – something cycling advocates can really get behind and support. I’ve never felt TST has a real identity, and Bike Loud (and others) have moved into the cycling-advocacy space in a more effective way.

Serenity
Serenity
2 years ago

Congratulations, Sarah!