Advocacy Committee

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Our Advocacy Committee is a thriving, volunteer-driven arm of our organization, focused on influencing policies and street design, and serving as a resource for communities and advocates. Much of LivableStreets' agility, outreach, and broad coverage (we currently track more than 90 street projects in Metro Boston) is possible thanks to the passion and dedication of our Advocacy Committee members.

Anyone can join our Advocacy Committee at any time. No experience is necessary. Meetings are held every fourth Wednesday of the month, with quarterly training sessions. Members and Advisors work together to write comment letters, speak at public meetings on behalf of the committee, serve as project leads, and share updates on new and ongoing projects.

How to Get Involved:

Advocacy-webpage---image-2.pngConnect with peers while learning more about transportation advocacy:

  • Attend monthly Advocacy Committee meetings
  • Participate in quarterly advocacy training sessions to gain experience and grow technical skills
  • Contribute to dynamic policy and strategy discussions at meetings and online through the Advocacy Committee listserv
  • Write comment letters and attend public meetings on behalf of the Committee
  • Become a project lead or Street Ambassador

RSVP for our next meeting today and learn how you can transform your ideas into action!

Questions? Contact us at info@livablestreets.info for more information.


Accomplishments

These three projects are a few examples of the work and influence our Advocacy Committee members have had in recent years:

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Grounding McGrath - In 2011, the McGrath Highway and McCarthy Overpass in Somerville was classified by engineers as functionally obsolete and structurally deficient. When the state highway agency decided to rebuild it at a cost of tens of millions, LivableStreets advocates rallied the community and participated in a working group, changing the course of the project by getting MassDOT to commit to grounding the overpass to create a safer, multi-modal street-level boulevard. Read more…

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Commonwealth Avenue - In 2013, $17 million in local, state, and federal funding became available for the reconstruction of Comm Ave. The city proposed a design that would narrow sidewalks and widen travel lanes. By uniting partner advocacy organizations and by educating key decision makers, LivableStreets advocates helped win a design that includes protected bike lanes, raised crosswalks, improved bus stops, and transit signal priority for the Green Line and #57 bus. Read more…

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North Washington Street Bridge - The North Washington Street Bridge is an essential connection between the North End, Charlestown, Chelsea, Everett, and other points north. During the public process for the redesign, LivableStreets advocates pushed for the addition of a bus-only travel lane that would improve travel for the thousands of people who rely on the bus routes that use the bridge daily. Read more…

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Keep Rozzie Moving - In 2018, a bus-only lane pilot on Washington Street in Roslindale was made permanent by The City of Boston after data showed reduced travel times for bus riders along the corridor up to 25% during the morning commute.The success of the bus lane demonstrates how increased collaboration between the MBTA and the City of Boston is necessary to achieve the goals of Go Boston 2030. Our advocacy committee will continue to put pressure on the City to implement more pilots throughout the city to improve bus performance. Read more…

Check out more projects that our advocates are actively involved in on our Project Tracker.


Meet an Advocacy Committee Member

 

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"Being a part of the LivableStreets Advocacy Committee helped me to understand why most cities are so car-oriented. I also realized that passionate citizens have the power to change that paradigm, making moving people the priority rather than vehicles."

Charlie Denison

 

Advocacy Committee Alumni - Where are they now?


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Angela Johnson

Angela started with us as a volunteer Street Ambassador. She now serves as Transportation Justice Organizer with Transportation for Massachusetts.

Angela says: "LivableStreets was actually the first transportation advocacy organization I ever volunteered for! Serving with LivableStreets in such a pivotal moment in my burgeoning career helped me realize that being an advocate for active transportation was ultimately what I wanted to pursue."

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Becca Wolfson

Becca started with us as a volunteer Street Ambassador. She now serves as Executive Director of the Boston Cyclists' Union.

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Jackie DeWolfe

After getting her start as a volunteer, Jackie became Executive Director of LivableStreets in 2010. She stepped up to work at the state level in 2016 and now serves as MassDOT Director of Sustainable Mobility. Jackie's foundational work for LivableStreets led the way for wins big and small -- from the first bike lane on Comm Ave to a Complete Streets redesign.

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Kara Oberg

Former LivableStreets Program Manager Kara Oberg now works as an Active Transportation Planner at the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Kara played a big role in getting the LivableStreets Street Ambassador program up and running and was heavily involved in the Better Bridges and Comm Ave campaigns.

Kara says: "When I was at LivableStreets, I experienced the importance of convening the right stakeholders, setting a vision and explaining the project benefits in a non-wonky way, which I work to employ today. A fun fact is that Hubway launched their system out of the LivableStreets office! In my current role, I oversee the regional Ford GoBike contract and work on regional bike share policy."

 


2018 Monthly Meetings

(All meetings take place at the LivableStreets office on the fourth Wednesday of the month except where noted.)

January: Allston I-90 Project | Featured Speaker: Ari Ofsevit, Amateur Planner

February: Community Preservation Act | Featured Speaker: Christine Poff, Director of Community Preservation

March: Strong Towns event, co-sponsored with T4MA and MA Smart Growth Alliance

April: Advocacy Training: "From Idea to Advocacy: Resources to Get You Started"

May: Bike Share | @ CIC Boston **Registration required due to limited space**

June: Advocacy Training: "Creating an Effective Roar: Tips for Speaking Up at Public Meetings and More"

July: Behind the Scenes at MassDOT | Featured Speaker: Jackie DeWolfe, Director of Sustainable Mobility, MassDOT

August: Annual Advocacy Committee Field Trip

September: Advocacy Training: "People Powered: How to Build a Movement"

October: Zoning | Featured Speaker: TBD

November: AFC 2.0 | Featured Speaker: TBD @ Dudley Square

We hope to see you at our next meeting! Contact info@livablestreets.info for more information.