Honest conversations

When I arrived at Cascade, I was immediately surprised by the many people who knew my name, knew about my resume (“so, you worked at the pest control association, huh?”) and were excited to welcome me to this new job. On my first day, I met at least 100 people—all of whom knew about me.

While I had been a bicycle advocate for eight years at that point, my experience had been very different. Bicycle advocacy at the national level is about similar work, in that we focused on transportation bills, bike education and safety for bicyclists, but lonelier. National advocates work together—often for decades—but very few volunteer advocates are able to join us on Capitol Hill week after week, year after year.

The more I’ve gotten to know Cascade over this past year and a half, the more I’ve seen the power of your commitment to our work, your willingness to step forward and discuss complicated issues and your demand that our board and staff be working on behalf of bicycling in the Puget Sound region in a way that feels authentic and strong to all of our members.

“The board voted strongly to affirm Cascade’s continuing commitment to political advocacy and individual endorsements—even choosing our early endorsements that night—in a fantastic ending to a complicated story.”  - Elizabeth Kiker, Cascade Bicycle Club executive director

The recent conversations the board and staff had over the tax status of the club and its foundation certainly reinforced this notion. I was surprised at the knowledge and passion of supporters—of both sides!—who contacted us. As the board and staff debated internally, we were helped enormously by the member meetings, Facebook threads and conversations that this idea sparked.

Cascade is a very strong organization, and the staff and board are committed to growing its size, scope and influence. Our journey of figuring out the best tax status going forward was helped immeasurably by listening to members, hearing the feedback and even being told by a couple of members, “I’m not sure which is the right way, but I am so glad that you are all thinking about it.”

The board voted strongly to affirm Cascade’s continuing commitment to political advocacy and individual endorsements— even choosing our early endorsements that night—in a fantastic ending to a complicated story. Thank you for speaking up, thank you for supporting Cascade, thank you for creating the energy, passion and excitement that is the Cascade Bicycle Club. You are what makes Cascade who we are today, and who we will be in the future.