Bikes Belong backs two big Congressional fundriasers
August 31, 2009
Bikes Belong supported two successful August Congressional fundraisers: one for Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and the other for Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota. Blumenauer and Oberstar continue to be two of bicycling’s strongest supporters in Congress.
The Blumenauer event, held August 4 at the headquarters of Cycle Oregon in Portland, attracted about 70 guests. Congressman Blumenauer led the group on a one-hour
bike tour of some of Portland’s most innovative and cost-effective bicycling facilities, including a floating multi-use path along the east bank of the Willamette River. At the reception, Blumenauer spoke about current bicycling legislation being considered by Congress and
also described his vision to increase bicycle use throughout the United States. Jay Graves of the Bicycle Gallery, Jerry Norquist of Cycle Oregon, John Burke of Trek and Bikes
Belong’s Tim Blumenthal served as hosts.
The Oberstar event was held August 13 in Madison, Wisconsin. Hosted by Trek, the event
attracted several hundred guests. Congressman Oberstar spoke about the steady progress
of U.S. bicycling funding during the last two decades and he presented details
of the bicycling elements in the $500 billion federal transportation bill that he introduced
in Congress in July. Trek’s John Burke served as master of ceremonies and introduced Mr. Oberstar. Burke also presented the Congressman with a framed map of U.S. Bicycle Friendly
Communities—all of them beneficiaries of federal bike funding and policies championed by Mr. Oberstar.
Collectively, the two events raised close to $100,000—an unprecedented sum for Congressional fundraisers hosted by the bike industry. BikesPAC, Bikes Belong’s political
action committee, contributed to both events. These donations affirm BikesPAC’s goal of supporting the re- election campaigns of the members of Congress who
consistently back bicycling legislation and funding. Many Bikes Belong board members and staffers also donated.
“Backing these fundraisers in partnership with industry leaders is one key component of our political strategy. Members of Congress appreciate our steady support and are working harder than ever to help us get more people riding bicycles more often,” said Bikes Belong executive
director Tim Blumenthal. “They recognize—as we do— that when people ride bicycles, good things happen.