Activism isn’t always this exciting. Burnout can happen when progress ebbs and fatigue sets in. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
“Burnout is a way of telling you that your form of activism was perhaps not very full circle.” – Gloria Steinem
Burnout is a part of activism that doesn’t get talked about often enough.
Ever since we celebrated the fourth anniversary of BikeLoudPDX (the all-volunteer activism group I co-chair) in August 2018, I began to feel conflicted about my bike activism. I still had moments of excitement and interest that had drawn me to the group and this kind of work in the first place, but I was feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, and sometimes resentful and angry. [Read more…]
This post is by our activism co-editor Catie Gould, a very busy local transportation activist who has a full-time job on the side.
Does the New Year have you hoping to get more done?
Certainly the times demand a lot of us. How on earth can we manage everything — working, doing the laundry, spending time with loved ones — all while finding time to reform our transportation system and combat climate change in a way that doesn’t burn us out?
Often overwhelmed myself, I sought out the advice from two of my Portland heroes. I hope their stories help you stay effective and inspired!
Portland transportation activist Ted Buehler uses his trusty measuring devices (in his bike basket) to uncover the dangers of rail tracks. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)
“Who’s running Portland right now? You. Pick a problem that really matters to you. Seek organizations addressing it and give them anything you’ve got: time, money, intellect, energy, even tweets. But don’t sit this out. You must engage.”
How can you “engage” in transportation advocacy? You’re in the right place, since one of our missions here at BikePortland is to get you inspired and informed enough to have a valuable role in local policy and project decisions. But you need tools. Our activism editors Catie Gould and Emily Guise of BikeLoudPDX have put together a list tools they use to sharpen their activism skills.
There are over 20 yard signs like these on 7th Avenue. (Photos: Kiel Johnson)
BikePortland supporter and contributor Kiel Johnson (owner of the Go By Bike valet) has been working to create more support for a neighborhood greenway on 7th Avenue as part of PBOT’s Lloyd-to-Woodlawn project. This is his latest post in a series.
You don’t need to change the world to make a difference.
That’s what I’ve learned from these past few months of hunkering down on my advocacy for a NE 7th Avenue neighborhood greenway. If built as proposed, the project would transform 7th — from I-84 to Woodlawn — into a street where safety of all users is the priority.[Read more…]
On the evening of April 7th, Alex Hubert was crossing to the MAX platform to catch a northbound Yellow Line train back home when he was struck by a car. There was no police alert on Twitter. There were no news reports. But I was there.
This post is about my attempt to learn more about the safety issues at the intersection and find out why they haven’t been fixed.[Read more…]
This is the second post by Kiel Johnson in a series about his effort to talk to his neighbors about the Lloyd to Woodlawn neighborhood greenway project.
This past week my wife Kate and I went door-to-door from NE 7th and Alberta to NE Thompson inviting people to an ice cream social to talk about the proposed Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway. As I shared last week, the purpose of the event was to create a low-stress place for neighbors to meet each other and share their opinions about the proposal that would add diverters and create a new family-friendly bikeway between I-84 in the Lloyd to Dekum Street in Woodlawn.
For a 32-year-old, knocking on the doors of complete strangers is not the easiest thing to do. [Read more…]
My door-knocking partner, Kate Johnson. (Photo: Kiel Johnson)
This post is written by Kiel Johnson, a local business owner, transportation activist, and northeast Portland resident.
Over the next few weeks, in their downtown offices, city staff will determine the route for the Lloyd to Woodlawn Neighborhood Greenway using a combination of personal egos, local political winds, community feedback, and hopefully, reason. Whenever the city wants to make it a little harder to drive a car somewhere they are always faced with passionate opposition. Trying to do it in inner northeast Portland, an area that has undergone rapid gentrification and change, is even more difficult.
I recently moved to NE 7th so this process has gotten a lot closer to home. Over the next weeks I am going to share my attempt to navigate this complexity and advocate for the route greenway route to be on NE 7th. Our society has wronged a lot of groups and as a white male I have benefited from a lot of those policies. Is it possible to address this privilege while also advocating for something that will be a big change for a lot of people? My approach is to include as many people and viewpoints as possible and make sure everyone is heard, even if I disagree with them. [Read more…]