Obama’s words to me: Keep up the good work, bike advocate!

President Obama made a whirlwind visit to Seattle on Tuesday and I managed to catch him for a quick powwow over a cup of java in Pioneer Square.  What an opportunity!  Here’s a synopsis of my conversation with the President of the United States (POTUS):

Me: Sir, we need a national Complete Streets mandate. Not only is traffic congestion contributing to global warming, but it’s ruining the livability of many of our communities. We can’t build our way out of this. We only make things worse when we try.

POTUS: Good point, Louise. May I call you Louise?

Me: Yes, sir. May I call you Mr President?

POTUS: Of course. What else is on your mind?

Me: Sir, I’m concerned about our national obesity epidemic and the health of our children. For a variety of reasons, our young people are leading more sedentary lives. We need to find ways to engage them in a more active lifestyle. Incorporating biking and walking into their daily lives is an affordable solution and Safe Routes to School helps us do this.

POTUS: Believe me, this is on my radar screen. Michelle is tackling this issue and she’s all over it. Anything else?

Me: One more thing, Mr. President. Your Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, he’s a keeper.

POTUS: Thanks. I like Ray too. I’ve gotta get moving. Patty Murray is waiting for me.

“Keep up the good work, bike advocate!”
And with that, President Obama hopped into his waiting vehicle and waved good-bye. “Keep up the good work, bike advocate!” he said as he was whisked away…..
What–you don’t believe me?  Well, maybe it wasn’t quite like that, but I assure you it was close.  I mean, I’m sure that’s how it would have been had the President and I actually met. 
Ok, so I was walking to the coffee shop Tuesday morning when I noticed dozens of motorcycle cops and hundreds of onlookers lining the street.  I walked over to check it out.  Unimpeded, I stepped right up to the intersection just in time to see the President’s motorcade approach. A rousing cheer went up from the crowd as his vehicle rolled by and President Obama waved to the bystanders, including me! 
And I swear I heard him say, “Keep up the good work, bike advocate!”

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