From left to right: MCM’s Maria Sipin, Caro Vera, Rio Contreras and Allison Mannos with Metro’s new bike share bikes. Photo courtesy of Metro.
Thanks to all who joined us at the bike share launch last week! As part of the Better Bike Share Partnership, Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM), Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition (LACBC), Metro and LA Department of Transportation are part of a collaborative effort to address equity barriers in DTLA’s bike share system. Thanks to our advocacy, MCM expanded the partnership’s outreach focus to launch the first surveying and community engagement efforts for Metro’s bike share system to ensure that the needs and concerns of low-income communities of color are heard.
Introducing our Bike Share Community Research Team!
We are thrilled to introduce our bike share community research team. These individuals are skilled, passionate leaders and will be implementing innovative community engagement strategies in English and Spanish, developing relationships with community partners, and facilitating conversations with Downtown workers, students, and residents on how to make bike share accessible to all. Please join us in celebrating and welcoming them!
Active Transportation Project Coordinator
Rio (Jill Contreras) has been a bicycle educator and advocate since 2002. In 2007, they – gender pronoun- were certified as a League Cycling Instructor and in 2015 as a School Cycling Instructor. Rio has taught over 8,000 students in bicycle education and engaged many in bicycle advocacy. Rio has mostly worked with people who are low-income, undocumented, Spanish speaking or Queer Trans People of Color. Rio’s commitment to bicycle use is wide (from arts to infrastructure), yet they are most invested in ensuring equity, accessibility, and justice within the growing national bicycle “momentum.”
Active Transportation Education Specialists
Kris Fortin is a Los Angeles native, but he currently splits his time with his home region and Orange County/Santa Ana. Kris has been a journalist for more than eight years, making stops at Planetizen, Los Angeles Streetsblog and the Orange County Register. When he’s not writing articles, he’s advocating for equitable transportation infrastructure in low income communities of color with Santa Ana Active Streets. Kris is currently working on a semi-biographical book of fiction about growing up in suburbia. His favorite activities are riding his bike in pitch-black darkness, chatting with his dad in the mornings, hugging his mom, and napping on hammocks. You can call him catorce.
Erick Huerta is a digital strategist and communications consultant for non-profits, labor unions, and grass-roots organizations. He has a background in journalism from East Los Angeles College, is a hyper local blogger for the neighborhood of Boyle Heights, and freelance writer. Erick is an advocate for immigrant’s rights, cyclist of color, and working class communities. You can follow him online as El Random Hero.
Community Engagement Specialists
Diane Velez is a public health advocate with a background in reproductive health and the built environment’s effect on the health of communities. Previously she served as a wellness ambassador providing health resources for the Boyle Heights community at The Wellness Center – LAC + USC General Hospital. She is a proud community college transfer to UCLA where she obtained a degree in Anthropology and recently obtained a Masters in Public Health from SDSU. Diane is a San Gabriel Valley resident and lived in Bogota, Colombia as a child – where she spent countless Sundays riding and playing through the original “Ciclovia”.
Zena Zendejas traces her ancestral path to Los Angeles from the Villamar hills and cobblestone streets of Zamora, Michoacán. Like the monarch butterflies who recognize no borders in their migration, Zena keeps decolonization on her mind and sees climate justice as integral for transnational healing. As Community Engagement Specialist with Multicultural Communities for Mobility, Zena hopes to collect the stories and ideas of the Spanish-speaking commuters of Downtown Los Angeles, helping to elevate their voices in an effort to make equitable transportation a reality.
Support MCM’s work!
Click the button below to donate and help grow MCM’s capacity to create safer, more bikeable and walkable streets!
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Our bike share community engagement efforts are supported by the Better Bike Share Partnership, a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, PeopleForBikes Foundation and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and funded by The JPB Foundation.