If you’re looking for a great way to get more involved in advocacy on a statewide level, this could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
The Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (“ahb-pack”) has started recruitment for two openings to their 8-member group.
The OBPAC was created in 1973 after the passage of the “Bike Bill” to create more public oversight of the Oregon Department of Transportation. Originally known as the “Oregon Bicycle Committee,” the group expanded to recognize walkers in 1995. Since then it has played an important role in keeping ODOT accountable for their active transportation investments.
Here’s the recruitment blurb currently swirling around:
We are also going to be starting a recruitment for two new members of our 8-member governor-appointed Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee soon. One of our at-large members and our environmental representative will be finishing up their terms on the committee at the end of June. The Environmental rep is required to have an association with “a recognized environmental group” (e.g. our former member worked for Commute Options in Bend). For both positions, OBPAC is very interested in increasing the social and geographic diversity of representation on the committee, including increasing representation from BIPOC and Oregonians living with disabilities. We are beginning the recruitment process for their replacements now so we can get our new members onboarded and through the appointment process in time to jump in ready to go in July. OBPAC advises ODOT and the Oregon Transportation Commission on active transportation issues and also helps us select projects for funding through several programs. The committee meets virtually on the 4th Wednesday of odd months from 1-5pm and has 1-2 in person meetings around the state each year (when we’re all vaccinated and able to travel again). OBPAC members are reimbursed for any travel/expenses and receive a $30 stipend per meeting if their employer does not pay for their time at meetings.
If you want to apply or stay up-to-date on the recruitment (I don’t think it’s fully public yet), get over to the OBPAC website and you’ll find ways to contact them and sign up for email notifications.
UPDATE, 3/3: Here’s the official announcement with all the pertinent links and such.
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Thanks for promoting this, Jonathan! We’ll be getting the official recruitment press release out soon, but if anyone is already itching to throw their hat in the ring, you can complete the interest form on the Governor’s website: https://www.oregon.gov/gov/admin/Pages/How_To_Apply.aspx
Wow, Way 2 Go – that is great news for economic inclusively per broader public participation: ” OBPAC members are reimbursed for any travel/expenses and receive a $30 stipend per meeting if their employer does not pay for their time at meetings.”
[This must be relatively new…as I was not aware of it before when I used to attend as a community member.]
Can anyone speak to the efficacy of the committee? Does ODOT actually listen to the committee? My experience with gov’t public-involvement efforts in Oregon has been so negative that I’m very skeptical the committee has any actual heft. But I’d love someone to prove me wrong in this case.
I can only speak as an observer, and “efficacy” is hard to define, but I feel like it’s a very valuable group. The folks on it have historically seemed to have a sense of caretaking an important legacy and they are usually smart and dedicated and not rubber-stampers. One good example is current Chair Hau Hagedorn. She doesn’t take crap from anyone. In fact, it was her persistent questions about how Bike Bill funds are spent that led her down the path of researching the topic and finding out how woefully out-of-date the law is. It was her research that led to The Street Trust going for a funding increase at the legislature. That’s just one example, but overall I think this committee has a lot of potential and is absolutely worthy of folks’ time.
Thanks, JM. I signed up to get ODOT’s news releases from this group but I hardly ever read them b/c I can’t really grasp what they are talking about, for the most part. This is another valuable service BP provides – translating the bureaucratic language into plain language that plain folks can understand.
Official press release with all the details just came out for anyone who’s interested in learning more and/or applying: https://bikeportland.org/2021/02/24/state-of-oregon-bike-ped-advisory-committee-looking-for-two-new-members-327106