The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is holding its 2013 Bicycling Lobby Day on Tuesday April 9 in Madison.
The Bike Fed holds this event each year to give constituents from all over the state an opportunity to talk to their representatives in the WI State Senate and Assembly about how these elected officials can support bicycling in their districts and around the state. This event is open to all, whether or not you are a member of the Bike Fed.
The Bike Fed will spend the morning training you on what to expect and what to talk about. They will set up afternoon appointments for you and others who live in your district to meet with your representatives. All you really need to do is show up, and the rest goes pretty smoothly.
This will be my third year at Bicycling Lobby Day. My first year I was pretty nervous, especially since I was the only person present from the Stevens Point area. It went OK – not great but not terrible – and it was a terrific learning experience. I did my best to speak about bike issues with aides to Senator Julie Lassa and then-Assemblyperson Louis Molepske Jr. It is common to speak with aides if the representatives themselves are unavailable.
My second year, I felt much more confident in my conversations with the legislative staff. It had helped immensely that I had been through it once and discovered that the sky didn’t fall on me. I would even say it was fun. Together with another person from Wisconsin Rapids, we had the opportunity to speak directly to Senator Lassa for about 10-15 minutes.
Now, I look forward to Bicycling Lobby Day every year. And I encourage all Poky Pedalers to join me. Our representatives need to hear that ordinary people of ordinary athletic ability riding ordinary bikes while wearing ordinary clothes need safe, comfortable, and convenient places to ride on streets throughout their hometown. Whether you use your bicycle for commuting, for shopping, for exercise, for pleasure, or for any other reason, your story matters to our state legislators. They need to understand that their efforts at the state level can benefit bicycling where we – their constituents who vote – live.
Bicycling Lobby Day also provides opportunities to chat with others from around the state about bikey stuff. I found it interesting to learn about what is happening bike-wise in cities and towns, both big and small, around Wisconsin.
Stevens Point is represented by a new assemblyperson this year, Representative Katrina Shankland. I hope Poky Pedalers will join me in letting her know how she can act to improve bicycling in the Stevens Point area.
To learn how to register and get more information, visit the 2013 Bicycling Lobby Day webpage on the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin website. This info, which includes a schedule for the April 9 event, can be found at this link.
The Bicycling Lobby Day page under the Speak Your Poky item in the menu bar above has all the links you need to stay informed about this event.
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