Bike advocates in Georgia decided to get creative this year: They used a chunk of their budget to provide scholarships to the National Bike Summit — with funding from car owners.
Georgia is one of 20 states that offer Share the Road license plates, and Georgia Bikes is one of a number of organizations that benefits from the Peach State’s plate sales. This year, the advocacy organization dedicated a portion of its funding to get more folks to the Bike Summit.
“I secured approval from Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to use part of our travel budget to offer Summit scholarships,” said Brent Buice, executive director of Georgia Bikes. But the scholarships weren’t just for first-timers. The criteria prioritized folks who are active in bike advocacy; diverse in background and experience; and hail from Georgia districts that are underrepresented at the Summit.
So who are the lucky recipients of these funds?
- Zahra Alabanza (pictured), Chapter Co-Founder of Red Bike and Green-Atlanta. RBG is “a community-building collective of Black urban cyclists seeking to [create] a relevant and sustainable Black bike culture.” Alabanza will also be speaking at the Summit on how to bring businesses on board.
- Julie Smith, President of Trails for Recreation and Economic Development (TRED) of Rome and Floyd County. TRED works in Floyd County (northwest of Atlanta, on the Alabama border) to sustain and clean-up trails, and urge the local government to install more bike infrastructure.
- Tracie Sanchez, Board Member of Griffin Bicycle Coalition. The coalition is a group of community leaders, government officials, and local business owners that are working to make the City of Griffin and Spalding County more bike-friendly.
- Tyler Dewey, Executive Director of BikeAthens. BikeAthens works ”to promote walking, cycling, and public transit as solutions to transportation needs in Athens through education, advocacy, and community service.”
We’re excited to have so many new faces at the 2013 National Bike Summit, thanks to Georgia Bikes — and certainly would love to see this model spread to other states, too!
It’s not too late for you to register for the Summit, too! Click here to learn more and sign up today!
Katie OmbergKatie joined the League in April of 2010. For the two years prior, she worked at the Corcoran College of Art + Design as a programs coordinator. Katie has a BA in Religion from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. She enjoys biking to work.
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