Traveling 150 miles to the California Transportation Commission to secure $7.7 million for better bicycle infrastructure as a representative of the Westside of Santa Barbara was something of a quest.
Speaking in front of the CTC
I carpooled with SBBIKE advocacy staff to Riverside, CA. We traveled a total of 300 miles in four and half hours to only speak 3 minutes at the CTC. It might seem like a big hassle, but it’s pivotal moments like these that determine the safety a community and thousands of people for decades to come.
Speaking among lawyers, state representatives, engineers and government officials made me feel like I was in the right place. Yes it was nerve wracking. It always is when it comes to public speaking and especially in government spaces, but I knew I had the privilege of being a stakeholder, a real community representative, someone who commutes via bicycle from the Westside to all of Santa Barbara.
“As a Santa Barbareño, community organizer and a resident of the Westside, I’m here today to share my voice,” I said as my introduction to the eleven voting members and two non-voting ex-officio members. My speech focused on how it's my duty to invest in the safety of our community.
After speaking, I felt that my voice was heard and within a hour of leaving the building (to avoid LA traffic) we got the word that we secured $7.7 million!
I’m looking forward to 2020 so I can ride down the bicycle boulevard on Chino Street!