Monday, June 13, 2011

Deb Hubsmith Shifts Gears at MCBC

Deb Hubsmith Shifts Gears at MCBC- Andy Peri is the New Advocacy Director

Deb Hubsmith Shifts Gears After 13 Years on Marin County Bicycle Coalition StaffAndy Peri is the New Advocacy Director 

The Marin County Bicycle Coalition announced today that Deb Hubsmith, its "front line," energetic, Advocacy Director who has been on staff for the past 13 years will be taking on a new role within the organization as an Advisor.
Hubsmith is making the shift to focus more energy on the national organization that she directs and founded six years ago, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership
Andy Peri, who has served on MCBC's advocacy staff since 2006, will be taking over as MCBC's Advocacy Director in July. As a five-year MCBC advocacy team member, Peri brings the experience, relationships, and know-how to take MCBC's advocacy program into a new era of success.
"I'm changing my role, but I'm not going too far -- MCBC has been my baby," explains Hubsmith. "You can still expect to see me at key public meetings advocating for critical projects such as the SMART train and pathway, the Alto Tunnel, and the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program -- visionary projects that will provide an alternative to Highway 101 and are essential to building the continuous North South Greenway through Marin and Sonoma Counties. Things are going well in Marin; it's a good time to make this shift. At the national level, however, we're struggling with a new Congress, many of whom are trying to eliminate bicycle and pedestrian funding. It's time for me to have an increased focus on national level policies. Ultimately, my national advocacy will help bring more funding to Marin County for bicycle facilities, creating healthier more livable communities here, and nationwide."
In addition to Peri's 5+ years of experience working on bicycle and pedestrian projects with MCBC, he brings a comprehensive understanding of sustainability and equity issues to the job. "After five years on MCBC's advocacy staff, I'm excited to be moving into the Advocacy Director position. The transition has been smooth and virtually seamless due to my ever expanding roles within the organization and on projects throughout the County." 
Deb Hubsmith was the MCBC's first Executive Director from 1998-2005, and served as Advocacy Director since 2005. She built the organization's reputation as a political power house, and led the effort to bring more than $100 million in funding to Marin to build more bikeways, including her work on the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program which brought more than $25 million from Washington DC to Marin. For 12 years Hubsmith led the campaign for completion of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, (which opened to much fanfare in December 2010) and since the 1990's Hubsmith has been a key leader for Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) which will create dozens of miles of multiuse pathways in Marin and Sonoma Counties, and establish a new train. Deb Hubsmith also played a key role in establishing and funding Marin's popular Safe Routes to School program, which is now in 50 local schools. During her tenure at MCBC, bicycling in Marin has more than doubled. 
Deb Hubsmith's 13 Year History with MCBCA founding board member of Marin County Bicycle Coalition in the spring of 1998, Deb Hubsmith became the organization's first Executive Director later that year. She started as a volunteer, and grew the organization's budget, structure, programs, staff and membership to become a political powerhouse in Marin County. The non-profit Marin County Bicycle Coalition has been led by Executive Director Kim Baenisch for the past six years. 
In the year 2000, Deb Hubsmith pitched Safe Routes to School to Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN), and landed MCBC a federal contract with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop a national model program for getting children to and from schools walking and bicycling as a way to help reduce childhood obesity. Based on the success of the Marin program and increased momentum throughout the nation, Hubsmith worked with Oberstar and his staff to craft national legislation to develop the federal Safe Routes to School program to bring opportunities for safer walking and bicycling to schools to children and families in all 50 states. Hubsmith also worked with together with Oberstar to develop the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program as a demonstration project to test the effectiveness of investing in a connected bicycle and pedestrian network.
In March 2005, Hubsmith stepped down as Executive Director of MCBC to become the organization's part time Advocacy Director because she knew that she need more time and focus with Congress to ensure that the federal transportation bill SAFETEA-LU would include the Safe Routes to School program and the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program. Both pieces of legislation were enacted in August 2005, and Hubsmith simultaneously launched the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, a national non-profit which now includes more than 550 organizations and is advancing policies to improve bicycling and walking to schools and in communities nationwide.
Including the Pilot Program, which resulted in more than $25 million, Hubsmith helped lead the way to bring more than $100 million in funding to Marin County jurisdictions for safer bicycle and pedestrian routes, including projects such as the Cal Park Hill Tunnel, Lincoln Hill pathway, and bicycle lanes, routes and racks all over Marin. 
Hubsmith spearheaded the development of Marin's first Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and worked for seven years to ensure that solid active transportation policies were included in Marin County's 2007 Countywide Plan. She was also a key player since the 1990's in crafting the policy language for and running campaigns to ensure the passage of Measure A (Marin's 2004 transportation funding measure) and Measure Q (SMART's 2008 funding measure for the train and pathway). Over the past year, she worked diligently with SMART's staff and board to ensure that two-thirds of the pathway was retained when the economy forced project changes.
As she moves into an Advisor role, Hubsmith will remain active with MCBC. She will be continuing as MCBC's representative to the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, working on regional transportation policies, and she will continue to advocate for critical local projects including the SMART train and pathway, the Alto Tunnel, which will link Mill Valley and Corte Madera, and the Nonmotorized Transportation Pilot Program which is a national model. Through her roles as Chair of the California Safe Routes to School state network  and Director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Deb Hubsmith will remain active in bringing state and federal transportation resources to make Marin County more sustainable, green and healthy.
During Deb Hubsmith's tenure at the Marin County Bicycle Coalition,
bicycling in Marin County increased 135% on weekdays and 159% on weekends