BOULDER, Colo. (October 09, 2014) – Last week PeopleForBikes hosted its fourth Executive Fly-In of 2014 in Washington, D.C. The goal of this fly-in was to meet with members of Congress and discuss three areas: reauthorization of the transportation bill, bicycle eligibility for TIGER grants and using the voice of business to show bicycling’s economic impacts in each state and district.
The fly-ins were first announced at Interbike 2013 with the goal of educating Congress and thought leaders about the economic benefits of bicycling, with 15 industry leaders participating thus far.
Karen Bliss VP of Marketing for Advanced Sports Inc, George Simone VP of IBD Sales at Accell Group North America and Bob Margevicius Executive Vice President of Specialized Bicycle Components, along with D.C. lobbyists from Continental Tires, Outdoor Alliance and Bosch joined forces to deliver our message on this Fly-In.
This executive team, accompanied by PeopleForBikes’ Vice President of Government Relations Jenn Dice and Vice President of Finance Erik Esborg, discussed with members of Congress the economic impact of bicycling in each district and state. There was an emphasis on the bicycle industry’s influence on jobs, small business, contributions to tax revenues and the many ways the bike industry is helping to improve America. In addition, the group advocated for a robust, multi-year transportation reauthorization for the next transportation bill.
There was a specific emphasis on the Environmental Goods Agreement, an initiative that is being driven by the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes for tariff relief on bicycles and bicycle components. This is a World Trade Organization directive to stimulate production of Green Goods.
"The fly-in was much more energizing, exciting and rewarding than I imagined,” said Margevicius. “It is stimulating to engage with key governmental leadership and to contribute to growing the bicycling community. The interactions were productive, enlightening and enriching."
Executive Fly-In agendas typically include a short training session, meetings on Capitol Hill with members of Congress, other gatherings with important coalitions and think tanks, and participation in evening fundraising events that connect industry leaders with members of Congress. Additional strategies that the PeopleForBikes uses to improve the political climate for bicycling include: In-district meetings, grassroots communications to policymakers, engagement with local elected officials and engagement with partners in D.C.
The next Fly-In takes place Feb. 3-4, 2015. Those who are interested in attending should contact Kristy Kibler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PeopleForBikes is a movement to make riding better for everyone. They are uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses, and hundreds of communities to improve bicycling. Join the movement at PeopleForBikes.org.