The political arm of Portland’s biking movement is back and organizing for 2016

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

A Bike Walk Vote event at Crank bike shop in February 2013.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The national political season may have officially begun with Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, but the local political season is well underway.

And Bike Walk Vote, the political action committee that has helped elect politicians in 23 Portland-area races since 2004, will be back at it in 2016.

Read more

As a big election year looms, Bike Walk Vote PAC is looking for new leaders

Bike Walk Vote candidate party-11

Future Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick speaks at a 2012 event for Bike Walk Vote-endorsed candidates.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In 2016, Portlanders will vote on a local gas tax, a new mayor, a transportation commissioner, a regional council and a governor.

If you make between approximately $7,000 and $100,000 a year, you’ve probably got $50 in free money from the State of Oregon to spend in 2015 on a candidate or political committee of your choice.

That’s the fact of Oregon’s unusual but underused political tax credit system.

But for people who believe that Oregon should be reducing its dependence on cars, the odd complication is that no political committee active on those issues seems to be asking for that money — even as Portland heads into an election year that will shape transportation issues for years to come.

Read more

Comment of the Week: The challenge of speaking up as a woman who bikes

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Wonk Night - Romp in the Comp Plan-3

Biking community leader Lisa Marie White, right,
leading an advocacy discussion at a BikePortland
Wonk Night in October.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Of all the conversations we’ve had on the site this week — there have been 1,100 comments on 27 posts — the biggest was about the line between journalism and community.

Many people who we respect disagreed with Jonathan’s decision to delete archived references in past stories to a man who, he’d decided, seemed to be using his perceived status to hurt other people.

The One of the most upvoted comments in the thread came from another reader and fellow community member who we respect a lot: Lisa Marie White, a prominent local biking advocate (most recently at Bike Walk Vote) and active community member. Here’s her take on Hart Noecker and, more importantly, on what Portland’s biking communities should learn from this conversation:

Read more

Election night a big one for Bike Walk Vote PAC

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Bike Walk Vote candidate party-13

Bike Walk Vote excited an
active (transportation) base of
Portland voters.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Tuesday night’s elections were full of good news for Portland’s re-energized Bike Walk Vote political action committee.

After being founded in 2004, then lying dormant for several years following the 2008 elections, Bike Walk Vote came roaring back last winter. Boasting some seriously smart and plugged-in new leaders (Evan Manvel, Peter Welte, Mike O’ Leary just to name a few), they threw a highly successful launch party in December. When the likes of U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer and a packed crowd showed up, it was a clear sign that Portland’s huge population of low-car advocates were just waiting to organize and make their voices heard.

With the votes counted from the May 15th primary, candidates supported by Bike Walk Vote did extremely well. In fact, five of the seven candidates they endorsed won outright and the remaining two — Jefferson Smith for mayor and Mary Nolan for City Council — finished very close seconds and will sail into runoffs in November.

Read more