Jess Thompson at an event in April 2019. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)
Oregon Walks Executive Director Jess Thompson announced Wednesday morning she’s leaving to take a job as leader of a nonprofit in Hawaii. The move will further hasten the organization’s shift away from traditional walking advocacy and toward anti-racism work that centers racial and social justice.
Thompson was hired in October 2018 to lead Oregon Walks, a group founded in 1991 that was formerly known as the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition.
“It is a bittersweet transition,” Thompson said in her announcement, “because I have learned so much from each of you as we have engaged in the work to center walking as climate, health, transportation, and social justice solution.”[Read more…]
Walkers for racial justice on the Burnside Bridge on June 1st. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)
In the latest sign of evolution in the transportation advocacy world, Portland-based nonprofit Oregon Walks has named Don’t Shoot PDX as a winner of one of their ‘2020 Oregon Walkstar’ awards.
Don’t Shoot PDX formed in 2014 in response to the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The group has been on the frontlines of Portland’s protests against racial justice. In June they filed a lawsuit against the City of Portland over the use of tear gas against people protesting in the street*. [Read more…]
Detweiler at the 2018 Alice Awards gala. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)
After three years at the helm of The Street Trust, Executive Director Jillian Detweiler plans to leave the organization. “It is the right time for me to step down,” she said in a statement released Friday.
Instead of searching for a new leader, The Street Trust has named three current staffers to new “co-director” positions. Current Advocacy Director Richa Poudyal, Development Director Tia Sherry, and Director of Finance and Operations Greg Sutliff will “embrace a new leadership model.” The staffers will maintain their current responsibilities and split ED duties.[Read more…]
An oasis for many riders in our community. (Photos: Eric Thornburg/No Lens Cap)
Bike Farm in northeast Portland is based on a simple tenet: be open to everyone regardless of what they look like, what they believe, or how how much money they have. That’s why it’s been such a difficult blow to the organization and the people they serve to have been closed for over a month due to coronavirus concerns.
If you’re lucky enough to have a repair stand and tools at home (and the skills to use them), or if you can confidently stride into your local bike shop and get the service you need, you might not understand the value of a place like Bike Farm. This nonprofit, volunteer-run cooperative is a welcoming place full of used parts, tools anyone can use, and people eager to help you use them. They demystify bike repair and create self-reliant riders who are the backbone of our resilient transportation system.
Leaders of Bike Farm made the decision to close on March 13th, 10 days before Governor Kate Brown issued the “Stay Home” order. The plan was to re-open two weeks later, but ongoing virus fears have kept their doors locked. With no source of income during these warmer spring days when they usually get swamped with volunteers and customers, the outlook for them to keep up with rent and other operational expenses gets more ominous with each passing week.[Read more…]
NW Bicycle Safety Council founder Bruce Buffington fitting a helmet at the Hillsboro Tour de Parks in 2008. (Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)
In 1995 Bruce Buffington organized the first-ever Beaverton Bicycle Safety Fair, an event inspired by his own fall where his un-helmeted head hit the pavement. That first year the fair lasted a week and included a criterium race, group rides, a bike safety rodeo for the kids, free bike registrations, a legal clinic, and more. That event would eventually morph into the nonprofit Northwest Bicycle Safety Council, which Buffington launched just before he retired in 2005.
NWBSC became a mainstay on the west side in recent years by participating in annual events like the Hillsboro Tour de Parks, Beaverton, Banks, & Beyond, Bike Beaverton, and Cycology Today, a local cable access television show*. The organization was primarily known for fitting free helmets to anyone who needed one. NWBSC President Ann Morrow estimates they’ve placed over 17,000 helmets on the heads of bike riders region-wide.
This week the organization announced it had reached the end of the road and would dissolve.”While we still believe adamantly in our cause of bicycle safety and particularly helmets properly fitted on heads, we have struggled to find volunteers to continue this passion,” Morrow wrote in a letter to supporters.
Morrow is also on the executive board for the Portland Bicycling Club, the oldest and largest bike club in the region. NWBSC and Portland Bicycling Club have been partners on helmet-related initiatives since 1995.
Long time volunteer Gary Brannan said the impact of the organization went far beyond bicycling and to any activity where a head injury could occur. Brannan credits NWBSC with “extending the range of bicycle safety consciousness” through their helmet giveaways and partnerships with local schools, Legacy Emanuel Hospital and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. “Our greater community will continue to benefit from the ‘seeds’ that Buffington and his organization planted,” Brannan shared in an email Sunday.
The NWBSC has donated all their remaining assets to Bike Clark County, a nonprofit that serves southwest Washington. Bike Clark County Executive Director Peter Van Tilburg said they were “humbled and honored” to receive the donation of supplies, a utility van (which they didn’t need, so they donated it to a Portland area nonprofit), and some funds.
*The Cycology Today TV show will continue to tape new episodes.
Incoming CCC Executive Director Jonnie Ling (left), Blaze the Trail Cat (center), and outgoing CCC ED Kasandra Griffin. (Photo: Community Cycling Center)
Kasandra Griffin has decided to leave her job as Executive Director of the northeast Portland-based nonprofit Community Cycling Center.
In a statement to be released later today, the CCC says Griffin will leave at the end of February to spend more time with her family (Griffin and her wife are expecting a baby in early March). Taking her place will be longtime staffer Jonnie Ling, who’s been with the organization since being hired as a seasonal mechanic in 2008. Ling has worked his way up to Director of Programs and Enterprise, which means he supervises the managers of the CCC’s retail shop (Northeast Alberta Street), summer camps, and community programs.
Griffin began her tenure with the CCC in summer of 2017 and had previously worked for Upstream Public Health and served many years as a board member of The Street Trust. At the CCC, Griffin was a strong voice for cycling and active transportation activism. She spoke recently at the 2030 Bike Plan rally and was a member of the Getting There Together Coalition that’s pushing for a greener Metro transportation bond measure.
En route to PCC Rock Creek and Sylvania! (Photos: WashCo Bikes)
A fleet of 20 new bicycles is headed to two Portland Community College campuses on the westside. The bikes are part of a partnership between Hillsboro-based WashCo Bikes and PCC’s Sylvania and Rock Creek locations. [Read more…]
A Community Cycling Center STEM instructor (right) and student from Helensview High School . (Photo: Community Cycling Center)
Teaching young people about how to work on bikes and ride them with confidence is the bread-and-butter of many cycling-related nonprofit groups. At the Community Cycling Center, they take that idea one step further by using bicycles as the centerpiece of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.
The CCC has led a STEM bicycle mechanic program since 2015 at two local alternative secondary schools: Rosemary Anderson Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) in north Portland and Helensview High School in northeast. In keeping with the CCC’s mission, they focus on schools that serve low-income youth and students of color who face barriers in traditional educational environments. The classes use hands-on lessons that give students confidence and training they can apply to life beyond high school. So far over 65 students have participated.
Now the program is set to expand even further afield with a new class in Woodburn. CCC will add Lord High School at McLaren Youth Correctional Facility to their STEM education program. [Read more…]