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You look around and there is an oil spill just about everyday, but we can’t put up a wind turbine because it might kill a bird or it might be ugly.
— Robert Kulick, president of CRESIT Energy, on the challenges of creating a wind power revolution in Detroit.  (via thisbigcity)

(via thisbigcity)

Priscilla started coming to Major Taylor Project club meetings during her freshman year (of high school), after her sister, Melissa, told her about it. She’s adventurous, and the club offers an endless array of new experiences. “We went to places I never knew were around here, like the marina in Des Moines and the beach. It’s more than just road riding. We get to go mountain biking and go to the Velodrome.”
She’s tried other clubs and after-school sports, but, she says, “I don’t think anything else is better than Major Taylor. People told me to try tennis, but you’re just running back and forth, hitting a racket, not doing anything.”
Bicycling with Major Taylor gives Priscilla the opportunity to lead her peers and feel successful. “When I play basketball, I worry about big people running into me because I’m puny. And if you miss the basket, you feel like you failed.”
She never feels like a failure when she’s on a bicycle. “You’re capable of doing so much, you feel like a different person,” she says.
cascadebikeclub, 26.04.12.
» Want to empower African American kids? Give them bikes

There is such a lack of diversity in cycling or in any sport that has an economic entry. Cycling, golf, tennis, swimming, you name it; if there’s an initial investment you’re going to have low numbers in diversity. Then you start to peel back the layers of why that is. It’s the bigger conversation and it’s what we’re starting to do here at Cascade Bicycle Club. The effort went from existing in the small Major Taylor program to existing throughout the whole organization. Now diversity and inclusion is one of our five values in our strategic vision.

When we started, the idea of doing the Seattle to Portland ride was just a whim that we threw in front of the students. The first year, we had nine students who were interested, but were also like, “Why would you want to ride your bike to Portland?” We told them it’s a cool experience, you challenge yourself physically and mentally, and you end up in Portland. Some of them had never been past SeaTac [Airport]. We put together a plan, just like a racing training plan. We’re going to go five miles. Then we’re going to go 10, then 15, then 40. This year we have almost 40 students doing STP.

The third phase grew from a debrief with the students. We asked them what they wanted to do next, what they like about bike club — they call the Major Taylor Project “bike club” on campus. They asked, “Can we use the bikes to raise money?” … Could the bike help me get into college? Could the bike help me find a job?

One kid raised his hand and said, “I like doing the rides. But man, there are a lot of white people out there. It seems like when we go outside of our neighborhood people don’t look like us.”

I asked them if they knew why that is and they said no. Thank goodness one of our ride leaders does a lot of work with youth transformation and empowerment around race and equity. He broke down the redlining of the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, and the geographic differences. And he explored that out, asking the students what else they notice when they ride to [the whiter, more affluent neighborhoods of] Ballard or Redmond or Alki Beach. The students pointed out those communities have grocery stores, bike lanes, nice roads, libraries, Starbucks. Everyone has nice bikes.”

read more: interview with Ed Ewing, director of diversity and inclusion for the Cascade Bicycle Club and co-founder of the Major Taylor Project, a program that uses cycling to empower underserved youth in the Seattle area. grist, 05.07.14.

» Oakland's "worst street" finally to be repaved

"I’ve always said it’s the worst street in all of Oakland," said John-Paul Deveer, who has lived on Jackson for eight years and has several punctured bicycle tires to show for it. "I call these pot trenches," he says pointing to section of missing pavement, "because they ceased being potholes long ago."

In September, thanks in part to a state grant, Jackson will be completely repaved from Lakeside Drive to 11th Street. Additional repairs will be made between 4th and 7th streets. Overall, that will be one giant step for the quality of life of hundreds of Oakland residents; but it will be only a drop in the bucket when it comes to Oakland’s deepening road problems.

The city’s roads rank 98th out of 109 Bay Area cities, according to data collected by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Oakland has nearly as many miles of road as San Francisco, yet its $4.78 million annual budget for road repairs last year was 10 times less than San Francisco’s $49 million, said Kristine Shaff, spokeswoman for Oakland’s Department of Public Works.

oaklandtribune, 14.07.14.

worth noting that jackson street has a freeway entrance. streets are usually especially worse at those areas. if less people would drive out of the city… 

blues/reggae every wednesday(?) at the end of the work day. in front of city hall, downtown oakland.
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