The Wisconsin Bike Fed is again organizing Lobby Day, an opportunity for people statewide to meet with their representatives in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly and to ask them to support better bicycling in our state. Lobby Day will take place in Madison the afternoon of Tuesday April 7.
The purpose of Lobby Day is to educate members of our state government about legislative issues that affect bicycling. It is important for legislators to learn first-hand that their constituents want better bicycling in their own communities as well as across Wisconsin. This is key for encouraging our elected representatives to support bicycling with their votes.
This year, the Bike Fed wants to educate members of the Senate and Assembly about threats to bicycling in the proposed state budget and to support the following 3 actions:
- prevent changes to the current Complete Streets law,
- restore $2 million in bicycling and walking funding,
- restore the Stewardship Fund, which has helped pay for construction of dozens of biking and walking trails throughout the state.
I have attended Lobby Day twice in the past few years, so I can tell you from personal experience that it is a great event. The Bike Fed does all the work to set up time slots for you and others in your district to meet with your State Senator and State Representative. Before that meeting, the Bike Fed holds an orientation to let you know what to expect and to educate you about the specific issues to discuss.
Although the thought of meeting directly with your state legislators may sound scary, it actually is a pretty comfortable experience. Our electeds really want to hear from us, because such conversations help them do a better job of what they were elected to accomplish. It is enlightening to discover that these people who play important roles in our government are actually just ordinary folks who want to make our state a better place to live. The opportunity to tell them your personal story about why you enjoy bicycling is truly empowering. Poky Pedalers can read about my experiences at the 2013 Lobby Day via this link.
The Lobby Day events on April 7 start at 12:30 PM. You’ll attend an hour of orientation presentations, after which participants from all over the state will fan out around the State Capitol to talk with their elected officials. At the end of the day, participants will reunite at a nearby establishment for a debriefing reception. The Bike Fed asks for a $15 registration fee which includes lunch and all supporting materials.
If you want to participate in Lobby Day, go to this webpage to register. My understanding is that you do not need to be a member of the Bike Fed to participate. Everyone is welcome to take part in this special opportunity to speak directly with decision-makers in our state capitol.
Personally, I am unable to participate in this year’s Lobby Day because I will be out of town dealing with family issues. It saddens me that I cannot participate this year because the issues to talk about are important. So I want to make a special appeal to Poky Pedalers to consider taking my place at Lobby Day and asking our state legislators to support bicycling in general as well as the specific issues targeted by the Bike Fed.
Let’s all thank the Bike Fed for organizing this opportunity to appeal directly to our elected officials to improve bicycling in Wisconsin.
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