Bike Walk Vote
From Portland Afoot
The group re-launched in 2011 with a December fundraiser at the Crank bike shop that drew about 100 people, including U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, mayoral candidates Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith, Metro council candidate Bob Stacey and Portland city council candidate Steve Novick.
Its goals include fundraising, coordinating volunteers, circulating a survey about political issues that matter to low-car voters and selecting candidates to endorse.
As of December 2011, Bike Walk Vote's steering committee includes co-chairs Peter Welte and Evan Manvel as well as Steph Routh, Jodi Jacobson-Swartfager, Beth Flanagan, Heidi Guenin, Scott Lieuallen and Jeff Jacobson-Swartfager.
Bike Walk Vote was first formed in 2004 by a group that included Manvel, then a board member for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and Scott Bricker, then a staffer for the nonprofit. Its victorious candidates included Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen, Metro councilor Robert Liberty and Commissioner Sam Adams.
The group backed candidates for various offices, including a co-endorsement of Chris Smith and Jeff Bissonnette for council and endorsements of Sam Adams for Portland Mayor; Jim Middaugh and Randy Leonard for council; Jackie Dingfelder for state senate and Jules Kopel-Bailey and Michael Dembrow for state house of representatives.
The 2011 reboot was initiated by Peter Welte, a bicyclist who, on a trip to the Southwest United States, was trying to think of "what would be fun enough to do that would convince me to stay in Portland in the rain for a year."
After deciding on the political project, Welte spoke with bicyclist and political professional Michael O'Leary, then with others who joined the group's steering committee.
For the May 2012 election, Bike Walk Vote made nine endorsements. Seven of those candidates won, and two - Jefferson Smith for Mayor and Mary Nolan for City Council - went to run-offs. The seven that won include Sam Chase, Bob Stacey, and Craig Dirksen for Metro Council, Alissa Keny-Guyer and Jeff Reardon for the Democratic nominations for the Oregon Legislature, Steve Novick for City Council, and Dick Schouten for the Washington County Commission.
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