Tag Archives: bike advocates

Clarence Eckerson Jr: The Revolution Will Be Televised

Clarence Eckerson Jr. is founder of Street Films. Photo courtesy Clarence Eckerson Jr.

I’m pretty sure my introduction to Street Films was “Hal Grades Your Bike Locking.” In it, a brash, dread-headed bike mechanic named Hal Ruzal walks around New York City grading people’s lock jobs (mostly Fs) and explaining how they could do better. The point was not to show how dumb New Yorkers are about protecting their bikes. It was to educate people about the very real threat of bike theft. Education is the point of all of the nearly-500 Street Films that have been produced since its launch in 2007. They show the best of biking, walking, transit, and street design (and occasionally the worst) to help people learn improve their own communities and lives.

That Street Films is driven by positivity and a desire to educate is little surprise given how cheerful and positive its founder Clarence Eckerson Jr. is. Through the course of our phone interview, his answers were constantly punctuated by laughter. In between laughs, Eckerson told me about Street Films’ history, his life as a filmmaker and streets advocate, the critical intersection of advocacy and mass media, and much more.

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Elizabeth Kiker: a National Advocate on the Need for Local Advocacy

Elizabeth moderating the National Women’s Cycling Forum Photo from the League of American Bicyclists flickr page.

A little over a decade ago, a coworker convinced Elizabeth Kiker that her 10 mile commute was doable by bike. And in doing so, an advocate was born. Her informal advocacy eventually led her to work for the national bike advocacy organization the League of American Bicyclists, based in Washington, DC. She is now the League’s Executive Vice President, in charge of operations and fundraising. She also runs Every Bicyclist Counts, a side-project that memorializes and compiles data about cyclist deaths in the U.S. I spoke to Elizabeth about her inroads to advocacy, the League’s work, growing bicycling sustainably in the U.S., underdog biking cities, and more.

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