The annual National Bike Summit, hosted by the League of American Bicyclists, took place in early March. For the second year in a row, the Summit was a virtual affair, but that didn’t lessen the impact of the dozens of informative sessions that were offered to attendees from across the country.
The culmination of each National Bike Summit is Lobby Day. On March 3rd, 25 advocates from across Illinois spent the better part of their day meeting with U.S. House and Senate members from Illinois and their staff via Zoom. The Illinois delegation, which was led by state coordinators Elizabeth Adamczyk and Dave Simmons, was the 3rd largest in the nation behind only California and Texas!
During the course of the day, advocates spoke with Senator Durbin’s office and the office of 11 House representatives about several bills that, if signed into law, will increase safety for vulnerable road users and increase funding for bike and pedestrian infrastructure at the federal level.
The delegation appreciates the time that the elected officials and staff took to listen to our appeal. Each conversation concluded with asking the elected official for their support of these bills. While the answer to those pointed questions was often “we’ll need to learn more before committing” the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Here is a list of the offices with whom the Illinois delegation met during Lobby Day (or shortly thereafter):
Speaking with elected officials can be a bit unnerving. As a result of the training offered by the League of American Bicyclists and the discussions the Illinois delegation had prior to Lobby Day, the conversations were meaningful and focused. Ride Illinois would like to thank the following individuals for actively participating in Lobby Day meetings:
Ride Illinois asked those who participated in Lobby Day for their feedback, such as “On a scale of 1 (no impact) to 5 (major impact), how much of an impact do you feel our efforts on Lobby Day made?” The average response was 4.1, which means it was time well-spent!
Many from the Illinois delegation were kind enough to share some reflections from their experience. Some of their reflections are as follows:
Soon, we’ll be following up with those with whom we met with during Lobby Day. The bills and topics we discussed must remain top of mind!
Ride Illinois encourages citizens from around the state to contact their elected officials to discuss the importance of safety and infrastructure in their community. We’re happy to offer our expertise prior to contacting your elected officials. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 216-9282.
Search for your elected officials on the Illinois State Board of Elections website. Then, give them a call or send an email to voice your concerns and suggestions to improve biking and safety in your community.
Please share your experience (and the response from your elected officials) with Ride Illinois via email or phone. Together, we are making Illinois better through biking!