Outreach Project to Broaden SFBC by John Fall

For all of its growth, the SFBC looks little like the city in which it exists. The organization is more male, more white, more thirty-something, and much more concentrated in the Mission and the Haight than the general population of San Francisco. During the strategic planning process, at Board meetings, and in general conversation, members have said that they would like to see the SFBC better reflect the citizenry.

Toward that end, the SFBC Outreach Committee has met three times, concentrating on identifying ways to transform the racial, economic, and geographic composition of the membership as it continues to grow. Members have brought new ideas, offered support to staff efforts, and identified some volunteer projects that will be largely member-driven.

Specific projects include: working with neighborhood groups to organize more ethnic history rides; forging stronger alliances with environmental justice organizations; translation of SFBC materials into Spanish and Cantonese; traffic calming slide shows in non-central neighborhoods; free bike repair & helmet give-a-ways; plus a whole slew of plans to target youth, older women, and more! Longer-term projects might include a Welfare to Work bicycle program and an SFBC teachers' group to incorporate alternative transportation projects into lesson plans.

The committee and staff have also recognized that any effort to bring new communities into the SFBC requires a long-term commitment. As with any outreach effort to any community, it's our responsibility to explain why we matter and what we have to offer. Call Mary at 431-BIKE x-1 for more information on any of these projects or come to an Outreach Committee meeting.