“Umbrella” nonprofit helps navigate the wonky side of activism

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

[Editor’s note: This profile of local livable streets nonprofit Umbrella is the first story of new BikePortland news intern Jenny Leonard. Welcome, Jenny!]


“Umbrella seeks to empower community-based street culture. Streets are meant to connect, not divide, neighborhoods. We support active ideas that develop streets as vibrant, safe, and welcoming public spaces that serve communities.”
–Umbrella’s mission statement

Our city is chock full of community events for alternative transportation. The small organizations that man these events put in a lot of time and effort setting up, running, and enjoying the event. But there is more happening behind the scenes — the nitty-gritty accounting and organization nobody sees.

Often the people who handle these chores belong to a volunteer-run, non-profit group called Umbrella. Steph Routh, the organization’s president (her day job is leading the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition); secretary Matt Picio (co-founder of bike touring organization Cycle Wild), and board member Theo Elliot Roffe sat down with me to detail how Umbrella started, what exactly Umbrella is and how it works in the greater Portland community.

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