Multicultural Communities for Mobility History
MCM, founded in 2012, is an all-volunteer organization fiscally sponsored by Community Partners. The origins of MCM begin in 2008, when volunteers founded the City of Lights program that at the time was incubated at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. The City of Lights program developed one of the nation’s first bilingual, culturally-relevant bicycle safety curriculum, taught hundreds of cyclists at various centers that serve low-income populations, in addition to engaging in fundraising, and led a Spanish language public education campaign that resulted in the creation of a public service announcement and bus shelter ad.
City of Lights’ most successful effort was the 7th Street bike lane campaign, where volunteers led community workshops and a coalition of groups to advocate for the addition of a bike lane along 7th street in Westlake to the City of Los Angeles’ Bike Master Plan. Over the years, volunteers recognized that mobility issues for low-income residents went beyond bicycle safety and advocacy and a much broader vision that included walking, and transit would more holistically capture the work they wanted to do in Los Angeles. As part of a much broader mission, Multicultural Communities for Mobility looks to empower, educate, and advocate for increased multi-modal mobility for low-income cyclists, pedestrians, and transit riders. We achieve this by conducting culturally competent, multilingual safety and advocacy workshops, programs, and campaigns, in coalition with low-income focused groups in the City of Los Angeles.
Multicultural Communities for Mobility Works
In 2013, over 450 low-income cyclists have been served by MCM through our bilingual bicycle safety and legal rights workshops and distribution of free bicycle lights, helmets, and safety gear.
MCM advocated for low-income residents to be meaningfully engaged in community planning workshops we designed after the adoption of the citywide Bicycle Master Plan. We have conducted dozens of workshops since 2011.
The 7th Street bike lane that currently runs from Korea town to Downtown L.A. was a two-year campaign of MCM. This was the first bike lane striped out of the 2011 LA City Bike Plan, especially in a low-income area. It will be extended to Main Street in the near future. We successfully got equity/income criteria inserted into the Bicycle Plan.
Prior to our 7th Street campaign, we engaged jornaleros and community members to identify areas for bicycle parking racks in the Pico-Union/Macarthur Park area, resulting in 73 locations receiving racks in 2009.
We helped create the BiciDigna/BiciLibre bike repair space, jornalero led bike repair co-op in 2010. We also have led culturally themed bike rides to build community amongst a diffused population. We support groups like the DREAM Act riders in building a bigger movement to serve low-income cyclists.
Our partnerships include CARECEN, CHC, KIWA, CCNP, TRUST South LA, SEACA, the Ovarian Psychos, Eastside Ridazz, the LA Conservation Corps, the California Endowment, REI, Bikesanas, the Womyn of Wilmington, and the UCLA Labor Center.