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Posted by on May 25, 2016 in FBA | 0 comments

Educate your Delegate

Happy National Bike Month!  Ride, ride, ride, right?

Care to consider write?

Our Florida Bicycle Association membership receives quarterly updates and just recently (as in moments ago), FBA member bicycle clubs received their own update in the form of a member bicycle club e-news.  The major topic of conversation, one shared with all FBA members at the start of National Bike Month, is the formation of our Legislative Committee and our “Session ’17” strategy to educate your delegate.  Today I thought it appropriate to share this strategy to give non-members the opportunity to be part of our big picture.  Of course, non-members can be part of our big picture updates at any time simply by joining Florida Bicycle Association.  As an individual member, you’ll receive emails with information such as the following:

FBA has a strategy for the off session to educate legislators on cycling basics to prepare for Session ’17 and we look towards our membership and member bicycle clubs to help implement the plan.

The first part of this strategy is for membership to start a habit of sending emails to legislators.  These 3-5 sentence emails are a great way to build a relationship with the legislator and their staff and to ask for their help.

For example, I sent the following email to House Rep James Grant:

Hi, my name is Becky Afonso.  I live in Oldsmar and enjoy active transportation by riding my bicycle for short trips of less than 5 miles.  I’m concerned with bike/ped crash fatalities.  There has been a Vulnerable Road User bill before Florida legislators in the past two years but it has yet to pass.  Please consider doing what you can to save the lives of vulnerable road users in the next session.

Thank you for your time,

Becky

I received a response from staff within 24 hours and have a meeting set up for May 31st.  I intend to share with House Rep Grant’s staff our Complete Streets Savvy presentation as a means to educate cycling issues and concerns.  I hope my experience will not be an isolated occurrence and that other FBA members are reaching out and making contact.  Please note: Our Complete Streets Savvy presentation PowerPoint is available upon request.

The goal of this strategy is to build up to 10 emails a month to legislators by the start of the 2017 session (March – May next year).  Email content will become more and more educational as the session nears (FBA will supply the content via membership emails such as this one).  Start the “educate your delegate” habit now if you haven’t done so already by reaching out at the close of National Bike Month.  Please use the following link:

Find your elected officials

FBA member bicycle clubs may consider taking this “educate your delegate” one step further by encouraging participants at club rides to send emails.  Reminders on a weekly basis may help solidify the email habit and ensure constant contact with legislators and staff.  Is anyone interested in making a contest of it?  Special recognition to the club with the most emails sent?  Most educated delegate?  We are open to ideas to make the process informative, engaging and to some degree, fun.

There is one week left in National Bike Month.  Do the write thing, make contact with your legislator and educate your delegate.  Ride on!

Join Florida Bicycle Association!

Think you know everything about Florida bicycling?  Take the Florida Bicycle Safety quiz!

Do you have a bicycle story to tell?  Photos to share?  Be our guest and be our next guest blogger!  Send your story and photos to Becky@floridabicycle.org.  Speaking of stories, our quarterly Messenger newsletter is available online for your internet reading pleasure.  Visit the FBA website Home page or click here.  Want a hard copy of our Messenger?  Join Florida Bicycle Association or visit one of our bicycle shop members!

Rejjee, Inc., the smart way to manage all of your valuables, has been selected by the Florida Bicycle Association to be their official bicycle registry to help reduce bike theft and increase recovery of stolen bikes.  Register your ride for FREE at SAFE Bikes – use code FLBikes and Rejjee will donate $3 to Florida Bicycle Association!

Complete Streets Savvy, or CSS, is a general, non-confrontational bicycle educational presentation.  The purpose is to provide basic information with regards to the Florida Department of Transportation’s adoption of Complete Streets policy and how cyclists and motorists can share the road safely. This presentation runs 10 – 15 minutes and is designed for legislators, civic organizations and other entities that meet regularly and need informative content.  There is no fee.  Make your request for CSS today!

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