Washington, D.C. - June 20, 2012 - With $25,000 in grants, Advocacy Advance will boost the growth of young advocacy organizations and dramatically increase biking and walking in Mississippi and Tucson, Arizona.
Since 2009, Advocacy Advance -- a partnership of the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League of American Bicyclists -- has awarded more than $750,000 in direct grants to 40 state and local advocacy organizations that have used those dollars to achieve powerful improvements for biking and walking in their communities.
In 2012, the grants program specifically targets capacity building efforts and will help grow and professionalize two energetic and promising organizations: Bike Walk Mississippi and Living Streets Alliance in Tucson, Ariz.
"Receiving this grant is a real game-changer for Living Streets Alliance," says Emily Yetman, Founder and President of Living Streets Alliance. "It will provide us with the resources we need to expand our programs and reach out to entirely new audiences in the greater Tucson region and beyond. Our Pedestrian Safety & Comfort Campaign will make our city a safer, more enjoyable and more convenient place to walk."
"Although a state typically ranked high in obesity and low in bicycle friendliness, Bike Walk Mississippi believes that local communities have both the drive and passions to do their part to transform Mississippi into a healthier, happier and more bicycle friendly state," says Melody Moody, Executive Director of Bike Walk Mississippi. "With the help of the Advocacy Advance matching grant, Bike Walk Mississippi will launch a grassroots movement to connect citizens in the public, private and voluntary sector to the resources and tools needed to take action toward becoming more livable communities."
Advocacy Advance received 47 applications with project proposals requesting a total of $560,000. Capacity Building Grants in 2012 are made possible with generous funding by Planet Bike.
2012 Capacity Building Grants
Bike Walk Mississippi (BWM) will receive a $10,000 matching grant to hire a second staff person to increase their effectiveness throughout the state with targeted campaigns. The new campaign manager will work with communities to develop action plans to increase bicycle friendliness. BWM will create a toolkit of resources leading to increased infrastructure, policy and programs on the local level while increasing representation on and ownership of Mississippi's statewide Bike/Ped Plan. Learn more about Bike Walk Mississippi.
Living Streets Alliance (LSA) will receive a $15,000 matching grant to hire their first full-time executive director to strengthen bicycle and pedestrian advocacy in Tucson. With 23 pedestrian fatalities in the region in 2011, LSA aims to address pedestrian safety through grassroots mobilization to galvanize support for their 2012-2013 Pedestrian Safety & Comfort Campaign. The goal of this multi-tiered campaign is to make walking a safer and more desirable transportation choice through the inclusion of a $25 million county bond package to create "safe neighborhood streets" in 2013. LSA will also supplement their successful bicycle programs and events with Cyclovia Tucson, the city's open-streets event. Learn more about Living Streets Alliance.
About Advocacy Advance
Advocacy Advance is a dynamic partnership of the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League of American Bicyclists to boost local and state bicycle and pedestrian advocacy efforts. With support from SRAM, Advocacy Advance provides targeted trainings, reports, grants and assistance to equip advocates with the specific tools they need to increase biking and walking in their communities.