Political scientist David Easten famously labeled politics is “the authoritative allocation of values for a society.” For us as a statewide bike organization, this means engaging in politics to further our values and our vision of Bicycling for All.
This is a new role for Washington Bikes, one we took on as we merged with Cascade Bicycle Club and restructured the responsibilities of each of the two sister organizations.
Electing bicycle-friendly candidates at every level is essential to increasing public investments and enacting policies that make streets safe, accessible, and truly connected for people on bikes. As we add direct political engagement to our toolkit we will focus on doing so in a smart, thoughtful way that continues our bipartisan and commonsense approach to building support for policy. Forming a broad-based, statewide constituent committee, we will develop a legislative agenda and decide where and how we get involved in relevant federal, state, county and city races.
What we will do: We will amplify your voice, doubling the number of electoral races around the state in which we become involved through endorsements, candidate questionnaires and political-action committee activities. As we develop and execute plans of engagement in selected races, we will continue to build relationships and monitor activities of candidates we support to ensure follow-through and accountability.
Our current level of success: For the 2015 legislature, our c4 endorsements* totaled 51 races in four counties, 20 cities/towns and three ballot measures.
Our strategic priorities
- Support the election of bicycle-friendly candidates
- Promote bicycle-friendly policies and investments
- Increase ridership statewide
- Communicate our purpose
*Endorsements in 2015 were a function of Cascade Bicycle Club, which previously worked as a 501(c)(4). In the merger and restructuring Cascade became a 501(c)(3), which can endorse issues but not candidates.