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.
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.
Transportation leaders and bright minds from around the region convened at the Lagunitas Community Room on Thursday night for the latest rendition of the Community Cycling Center and Oregon Walks’ Transportation Trivia event. It was an overflow crowd and for the first time in the event’s history, all tickets were sold out before the festivities even began.
In Portland, the lower your income, the more likely you are to use a bicycle to get to work. That’s also true on the national level, as Harvard’s Anne Lusk so adeptly pointed out in an article posted by CityLab this week.
Most discussions around this topic center on the need for infrastructure equity and access to safe streets for all. But what about access to the gear and products that can make the act of pedaling a bike more feasible and comfortable?
Portland’s Community Cycling Center (celebrating their 25th anniversary this year!) is dedicated to making cycling accessible to everyone. I recently learned they have Low Income Commuter Discount program at their bike shop on Alberta Street and asked Executive Director Kasandra Griffin to share more about it.
Think you know a lot about local transportation issues?
Here’s the lowdown, straight from CCC staffer Yashar Vasef:
Transportation Trivia is back! This Wednesday evening (September 5th), the Community Cycling Center and Oregon Walks are teaming up for the seventh annual benefit trivia event. Hosted at the Lagunitas brewing event space at Broadway and NE 3rd, your $20 admission covers dinner catered by Hale Pele, beer or wine, and three rounds of fun, competitive trivia covering an array of transportation topics. Proceeds benefit the Community Cycling Center and Oregon Walks!
Well-known northeast Portland neighborhood organizer and nonprofit leader Craig Fondren has been hired as the Community Programs Manager at the Community Cycling Center.
Fondren was formerly executive director of the Sabin Community Development Corporation (CDC), a group that works to make housing more affordable for people of color and people with lower incomes. In 2011, Fondren was named Newsmaker of the Year by the Royal Rosarians for his work in bringing free technology and training to northeast Portland residents.
Here’s more from a CCC press release:
Mr. Fondren’s primary initial work will be leading the Community Cycling Center’s programs in the New Columbia / Portsmouth neighborhood of North Portland… Mr. Fondren will also be working with the parents, staff, and community at Cesar Chavez and Rosa Parks schools (both in Portsmouth) through our “Community Based Safe Routes to School” initiative. In the longer term, Mr. Fondren will work with the team at the Cycling Center to identify other needs and opportunities for Community Programs.
Thousands are expected to turn out this Saturday, April 14th, at Pioneer Courthouse Square beginning at 10am for the Portland March for Science. This year’s rally and march has been organized by an all-volunteer crew in support of scientific inquiry, science-informed policymaking, and access for all to science education. Last year, over 15,000 people joined Portland’s March for Science as a direct action in protest of President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The science of cycling has been guaranteed a place on the mainstage this year. Andrea Chiotti, Education Coordinator with the Community Cycling Center and its STEM Bicycle Mechanics program, and Rex Burkholder, co-founder of the organization now known as The Street Trust and a former Metro Councilor, will both be speaking about science in our lives, our region’s policies, and our schools.
We asked Rex and Andrea to share a few thoughts about the March for Science…
When is the last time you sent someone a hand-written note? Maybe doing that more often was one of your new year’s resolutions that needs a nudge?
For the second year in a row the Community Cycling Center will set up a letter courier system in their retail bike shop on Northeast Alberta to commemorate St. Velotine’s Day — which they call, “an emerging tradition celebrating all-analog affection.” For one day the CCC will buck the growing digitization of our lives and encourage people to send hand-written notes to one another in a bid to boost positive community spirit.
Here’s more from the CCC:
Instead of jotting a quick email thanking a friend or coworker, imagine having that note manually typed on a mid-century Olympia typewriter, then couriered by bike within Portland city limits to surprise and delight its recipient on February 14th. That is precisely what Cycling Center staff and volunteers intend to do for hundreds of messages.
From now through February 14th (which is traditionally Valentine’s Day, if you haven’t realized yet), anyone can stop into the CCC Bike Shop (1700 NE Alberta) and order a velotine for a $10 suggested donation. Once typed up and sealed with a kiss, it will be queued for bike delivery on Valentine’s Day.
This would be a great way to tell your friends and special someones that you appreciate them!
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