Today we wrap up our Streetsblog California "Meet the Board" podcast series with an interview with the Inland Empire Bicycle Alliance Executive Director and Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice Policy Coordinator Marven Norman.
Norman recounts his roots in advocacy from a bike commuter that struggled with streets designed to be unsafe for bicycle commuters, people walking or waiting for transit. Today he is one of the most recognizable faces for advocacy in the Inland Empire, if not the entire state, holding down multiple leadership positions.
This podcast holds a special place in my heart, as Marven was actually the guest on the second episode of my first podcast, #DamienTalks back in May of 2015. As a longtime follower of Marven's work, it's fun to look back and see how far he's come and how much advocacy has grown in six years. However, as Norman notes, there is still an overwhelming amount of work to be done to make the Inland Empire a safe and enjoyable place to ride a bicycle or take a walk.
This is the seventh and last podcast in our “meet the board” series. To check out our past podcasts with Jon Weiss, Carter Rubin, Kris Fortin, Terra Curtis, James Sinclair, or Abby Arnold, click on their names.
Abby Arnold has been an advocate for a clean environment, people experiencing homelessness and for other progressive causes in her beloved City of Santa Monica for a lifetime. Half a dozen years ago, when Streetsblog L.A. was launching a pilot program in Santa Monica to see if the "Streetsblog model" could work in smaller cities, Arnold was one of the first to volunteer for our steering committee and has been a fixture with our team ever since.
In today's Meet the Board interview series, we talk about politics in Santa Monica, what she would like to see us cover more in the future and how non-profits should approach grant making with both governments and foundations. I'll give you a preview: she compares the process to dating.
In addition to Streetsblog/Santa Monica Next Arnold has been a leader with a who's who of advocacy groups including Santa Monica Forward, the League of Women Voters, and CLUE. She has also served on a variety of Santa Monica Commissions including a current stint on the Pier Commission.
Regular readers of Streetsblog California will recognize James Sinclair's name as the author of the Stop and Move blog on transportation policy in and around Fresno. James was one of the first bloggers to allow us to syndicate their articles, and we've featured his work a handful of times.
James is also on the Board of Directors for the California Streets Initiative, the non-profit that publishes Streetsblog. Born and mostly-raised in Mexico, he often traveled to Fresno on holiday to visit family and developed a love for the city. In the "about me" section of Stop and Move, he explains how Fresno became a place he is passionate about :
I have been in and out of Fresno for most of my life. While it has never been my true home, it has been the closest to having one. I have been fortunate enough to live in a dozen places, and travel to dozens of countries. As such, I have been able to see what Fresno does well, and what Fresno does badly.
James now works as a bicycle and pedestrian planner/consultant. A decade after the launch of the Stop and Move blog, he sits down with us to talk about the state of advocacy in Fresno, his hopes and fears for California High-Speed Rail and some of his favorite projects.