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Meet the 2022 Candidates For Our Board

The road to building a Bicycle Friendly America needs your vote. Beginning August 12th, League members will be electing leaders to our Board of Directors to keep our momentum to build better, stronger communities for people who bike. 

Six candidates, approved by the League Governance Committee, are up for two member-elected positions. Those who volunteer their time, skills and resources to serve on our board are eager to help the League work on behalf of better biking for everyone and move us toward our goal of realizing a future where everyone has access to safe and connected places to ride — and this round of candidates is no different. Read their candidate statements below.

League members will receive an email at the email address we have on record with further instructions about voting on August 12. Check your membership status online and if you aren’t yet a member, consider joining as an individual or with a family membership to have a say in the League’s leadership.

Christine Acosta

It’s an honor to be a candidate for the Board of Directors for the League of American Bicyclists, and I hope you will vote for me. I have demonstrated a strong commitment to the League’s mission, especially in the areas of education, diversity, and equity, for many years. I will bring my private sector knowledge, bicycle-friendly successes, and creative energy to the Board.  

I have personally biked in 30+ cities in 10 countries and maintain a deep understanding of active transportation issues, challenges, and solutions. I stay abreast of trends and policies affecting not just bicycles, but closely related topics and obstacles, such as transportation demand management, land use and parking policies, access to jobs and education, transit, micromobility, public health, and placemaking.

My membership, at both personal and business levels, and participation in League programs – I have helped over 100 businesses attain Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) certification – have changed my life, and the lives of others, for the better.

Through advocacy and social enterprise leadership, I’ve been able to advance bicycle-friendliness in my community and region. With your support, I can continue at the national level by serving on the League’s Board.

If you don’t support me, that’s OK. If you do, please vote and share your endorsement of me with others!

Thank you for your consideration!

Christine Acosta

Pedal Power Promoters, LLC, and Walk Bike Tampa 

Jim Baross

I am offering to serve a second term on the League Board to help promote the League and my personal goal: to “help save the world by and for bicycling.” Because more and better bicycling can improve our world in many ways – reducing dependence on a fossil-fuel, carbon-producing economy; reducing collisions and fatalities from motor vehicle crashes, congestion, and pollution; encouraging healthy active transportation and recreation; etc. Where there is little or no bicycling, the health of a community is likely at risk.

I am a bicycling educator and advocate, first certified as an Effective Cycling Instructor in 1986 by the League of American Wheelman, then re-certified as a League Cycling Instructor with the League of American Bicyclists after the name change. I became a League Cycling Coach in 2002. I have since conducted more than 50 training seminars certifying more than 430 LCIs, taught nine Smart Cycling courses to more than 110 California Highway Patrol officers in six California cities, and trained 23 officers as LCIs. I am active in local and state-wide bicycling advocacy and work with many California government agencies and local groups to improve the safety, effectiveness and convenience of bicycling.

I seek to help the League promote the benefits of the wide acceptance of bicycling as a viable means of transportation and recreation. I believe that public roads should be for all transportation modes and people, not just for people in cars.

Jackie Martin

I am an avid cyclist, nurse, and mom of two young kids- so safe, accessible cycling is so important to me. Apart from serving as a LAB board member for the last 3 years, I’ve also worked with cycling nonprofits on the local level, including serving as president of the Tempe Bicycle Action Group and working with the Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists. The focus of my advocacy for the past 5+ years has been working with schools and local governments to expand children and family cycling programs, with a focus on safety and education. Plus, I developed a family ride best practices toolkit which has been implemented nationwide by schools and cycling groups. 

I am so honored to have served on the LAB board for the past 3 years. While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the advocacy landscape and made many things more challenging, a highlight of my LAB service thus far has been strategizing, with the board and staff, a quick pivot to offer an online Bike Summit in 2020. This unexpected change led to long-lasting improvements in NBS delivery and pricing. I am also proud of contributing to the updated strategic plan, which includes specific goals to increase programs, advocacy efforts, diversity and inclusion, and sustainable funding. 

Serving on the LAB board has been an honor and pleasure, and I humbly ask for your vote to continue this important work. 

Patrick Valandra

I grew up on the Rosebud Sioux and White Mountain Apache Indian Reservations, I fondly remember cycling the endless roads and cow tracks. Then, as now, I feel that all cyclists have a similar memory of the freedom that cycling can bring.

My early career was in the military focusing on Health and Health IT. In 2019 I “retired” from managing a large IT group at a major health organization in Phoenix, AZ. I am a past president of the Tempe Bicycle Action Group and I am part of the planning group that supports the Tempe Tour de Fat with New Belgium. I travel frequently and can be found in the “wild” astride some sort of 2-wheeled vehicle. 

My good fortune has allowed me to focus my interests in improving cycling. As an LCI, I thought it important to expand cycling education, so I produced a series of Traffic Skills 101 videos for our local organizations to use. My current focus is to improve cycling on Tribal Land. As a consultant to the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, I am working to help Tribes apply as Bicycle Friendly Communities with The League. I also work closely with the Knowledge Exchange for Resilience at Arizona State University. Here, because of the pandemic, I’ve seen the value of embedding and exchanging ideas within the community, using this Information to Influence and bring partners to Innovate new solutions that Improve everyday lives.

As a League Board Member, I will be your representative to gather and share Information, Influence partners, design Innovative ways to expand cycling and Improve cycling for all. 

A. J. Zelada

I started cycling in the 6th grade and dreamed of cycling across America. In my twenties, I went from New York City to Illinois alone and in my thirties, I soloed from Oregon to New York City. 

When I joined the Portland Bicycle Transportation Alliance I met kindred spirits. Being among like-minded cyclists challenged my knowledge and involvement of cycling in transportation advocacy. 

As a member of the legislative team, we initiated and passed the first Vulnerable Road Users and the 3-feet rule-like laws in Oregon. I was appointed Member/Chair of the Bike & Pedestrian Advisory Committee of the Oregon Dept. of Transportation. In this role, I came to understand the Federal/State silos of monies for transportation. We distributed 6 to 12 million dollars per biennium to many towns, counties, cities within Oregon during my tenure. I worked to create rides and cycling experiences for groups not usually included. My rides included pedicab rides for Elders with dementia and bike clinics for children and adults needing adaptive bicycles/tricycles. 

The League is at the heart of breaking down barriers with its legislative actions and increasing the number of those who know the joy of cycling. I want to further break down more barriers by increasing accessibility. Breaking down barriers is the first step of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. For example, Slow Streets, a byproduct of the pandemic; the Back to Bikes movement powered by e-bikes; and the growing amount of cycle/pedestrian infrastructure ~ these all contribute to creating better accessibility in building our vibrant community of cyclists.

Anna Zivarts

I am a low-vision mom and disability transportation advocate from Washington State. As the director of the Disability Mobility Initiative, I’ve seen how too often the needs of people biking are seen as in conflict with, and sometimes even pitted against, disabled community members. As someone who is both disabled and who relies on biking to get around because I can’t drive, I want to ensure that disability is part of active transportation advocacy. By building relationships between disability and bike advocates we can fight for communities where all of us can go where we need to go and enjoy the freedom and joy of walking, rolling and riding. 

I also believe disability and bike advocates have much to gain by working together on road safety and equity, especially as we’ve seen really frightening increases in pedestrian and cyclist deaths. This year, I served as the equity and accessibility expert on NHTSA’s Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Program Assessment teams for Kentucky and Maryland, and have been asked to join the National Safety Council’s Mobility Safety Advisory Group.

My son also shares the same vision condition, and will also be someone who relies on walking, biking and riding transit to get around. I am passionate about mobility justice not just for myself and the other nondrivers I organize at work, but so that when he grows up, he won’t have to face the same challenges in access that we encounter today.