Legislation. Washington Bikes works year-round for more funding, better policies, and new laws that grow bicycling and create safer and more complete streets statewide. Over the past 25 years Washington Bikes has led efforts for the passage of the majority of bike-friendly legislation enacted into law. We accomplish this by:
- Lobbying in Olympia. Washington Bikes has a statewide policy director and works with a contract lobbyist in Olympia to forward our legislative priorities. Staff and lobbyist serve as our eyes and ears, but members are our voice.
- Involving You. You can help advocate for safer streets and greater bicycling accessibility by signing up on our email list, providing input to Washington Bikes’s Legislative and Statewide Issues Committee, and becoming a member of Washington Bikes so we can truly say we work for you.
Statewide Issues.Washington Bikes works to reach out to our members and board members, to clubs and organizations, and to local governments, bicycle boards, and elected officials across the state. The Legislative and Statewide Issues Committee works year-round to identify, research, and prioritize key issues for cycling that need to be addressed at the state level. We connect you to the latest issues and topics, help build capacity for better bicycle infrastructure, and seek to hear from you about legislative needs.
Speaking Up: How to Contact Your Legislators
For information and examples on contacting legislators about bills, see this Washington Bikes blog post. It includes information on how to use the legislative district finder to identify your legislators and an example of the kind of message you can send in support of a bill.
Don’t stop after the legislative session ends! Just a few of the actions you can take to keep support for bicycling visible year round so it’s top of mind when they come back to Olympia:
- Send your legislator a thank-you note at the end of session for his/her votes in support of bike projects.
- Invite your legislators on a bike ride to showcase infrastructure needs (and bring along a reporter or write a blog post for us with some photos).
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of a local project or bike master plan update. (Ask your friends to comment online to add their voice to yours. Ignore any trolls who may disagree with you–feeding them by responding just encourages them and they represent only a small minority.)
- Attend public meetings–your local Bicycle Advisory Board if you have one, city council, county commissioners, board of your metropolitan planning organization or regional transportation planning organization, school board, Planning Commission–and ask them to adopt policies that support expansion of access to bicycling.
- Share information about these meetings and bike events with your friends on your social media accounts; creating a Facebook event can be very effective for turning people out at project open-house events that are often lightly attended.