This California Streetsblog 2015 Streetsies goes to Jeanie Ward-Waller, policy director for the California Bicycle Coalition, for her effective, energetic, and knowledgeable advocacy for sustainable streets issues in California.
Ward-Waller, who moved from the National Safe Routes to Schools Partnership to the California Bicycle Coalition last year, is a tireless voice for active transportation and sustainable streets. She shows up at every key meeting in Sacramento on transportation policy and climate change, reminding lawmakers and staff of the importance of including walking and bicycling issues in their policy conversations.
Ward-Waller also creates partnerships with other statewide active transportation, health, and equity organizations through the Coalition for Active Transportation Leadership, and with affordable housing, transit, and conservation advocates through the Sustainable Communities for All Coalition. Her knowledge and understanding of the connections between health, equity, and active transportation helps her inform lawmakers about the effects their proposed policies and laws have on encouraging active, sustainable transportation throughout the state.
There are a number of highly qualified, hard-working people doing this behind-the-scenes work in Sacramento, and all of them deserve our thanks. Josh Stark of TransForm, Chanell Fletcher of National Safe Routes to Schools Partnership, and Tony Dang of California Walks all spend many thankless hours attending hearings and meetings, and their presence is essential to making sure sustainable transportation is not ignored or dismissed.
Ward-Waller embodies the kind of knowledgeable advocacy that we need, and benefit from, in Sacramento. Here is a video clip showing her at work, reminding legislators in last year’s Transportation Special Session that funding bike and pedestrian access to transit is key for reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
And here’s an interview with Jeanie from the California Health Report, when she was the policy director of the National Safe Routes to School Partnership, talking about the importance of getting kids to walk and bike to school.