Virtual Lobby Day: This Wednesday, Tell Congress To Support Biking!

As we MassBike staffers cross our collective fingers for smooth travels to Washington, DC for the National Bike Summit with snow in the forecast, we want you to know about your opportunity to tell Congress to support bicycling, all from the comfort and warmth of your own home or office. Yes, the time has come once again for MassBike’s National Bike Summit Virtual Lobby Day!

This Wednesday, March 5, join your fellow constituents from across Massachusetts in calling, emailing, and/or tweeting your representative and senators. The good news for us Bay Staters is that all of our legislators strongly support bicycling, but we still need to show our numbers and ask them to co-sponsor specific pieces of legislation.

In this post you will find all you need to successfully participate in Virtual Lobby Day, including this year’s “asks”, and detailed contact info for your Senators and Representative.

The Asks

*** UPDATED 3/4: Because our Senators and Representatives are so bike-friendly, a lot of them have already signed on as co-sponsors of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act (HR 3494)! If your Representative is one of the following, please thank them for co-sponsoring, rather than ask them to co-sponsor, when you call, email, or tweet them: Rep. Mike Capuano, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Bill Keating, and Rep. Katherine Clark. Senator Markey is also a sponsor of the Senate version of this bill (S 1708), so please thank him for his co-sponsorship when you contact him. Finally, if you are in Rep. John Tierney’s district, please thank him for cosponsoring the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act (HR 3494) AND New Opportunities For Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure (HR 3978).

We recommend calling your Senators’ and Representative’s offices so they (or their staff) can hear the voices of their constituents directly. It’s great to have their phones ringing off the hook all day, and it is also the easiest way to get in touch with them. Tell your Senators and Representative what bicycling means to you, your family, or your business – your personal story matters!

Whether you are calling, emailing, or tweeting, the sample emails we’ve provided below contain the specific “asks”, and are a helpful reference no matter how you reach out. We encourage you to use these as a starting point for your own personal message, but feel free use them as they are. We’ve adapted the bullet points from the League of American Bicyclists’s very helpful info page, which we strongly encourage you to review.

If you reach out by phone or email, send an email to action@massbike.org to let us know.

For the House of Representatives

Dear Representative ______________:

As a constituent who strongly supports providing more opportunities for people to use bicycles for transportation because of the many benefits it offers for our health, environment, and mobility, I am writing to you today to urge you to co-sponsor the following pieces of legislation:

  • The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act (HR 3494) would require the U.S. Department of Transportation set a specific performance measure for non-motorized safety, as well as for motorized safety. The number of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities has risen for the past three years (2010 -2012) while overall traffic deaths have gone down dramatically. Without it, people who bike and walk will remain in the blindspot of our transportation system.
  • The Safe Streets Act (HR 2468) would ensure that all streets are designed, planned and built with all users in mind, including bicyclists and pedestrians. This bill will make streets safer for people driving cars, walking, biking and taking public transit — at little or no extra cost, and will not trigger any new federal spending.
  • The New Opportunities for Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act of 2014 (HR 3978) would take steps to advance equity for bicyclists and pedestrians, and offer mayors and communities a new tool for funding for bike/ped projects in low-income communities.

Thank you for your past and future support of bicycling.

Sincerely,
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip
Your Phone Number

For the Senate

Dear Senator  ______________:

As a constituent who strongly supports providing more opportunities for people to use bicycles for transportation because of the many benefits it offers for our health, environment, and mobility, I am writing to you today to urge you to co-sponsor the following pieces of legislation:

  • The Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act (S 1708) would require the U.S. Department of Transportation set a specific performance measure for non-motorized safety, as well as for motorized safety. The number of bicyclist and pedestrian fatalities has risen for the past three years (2010 -2012) while overall traffic deaths have gone down dramatically. Without it, people who bike and walk will remain in the blindspot of our transportation system.
  • The Safe Streets Act (S 2004) would ensure that all streets are designed, planned and built with all users in mind, including bicyclists and pedestrians. This bill will make streets safer for people driving cars, walking, biking and taking public transit — at little or no extra cost, and will not trigger any new federal spending.

Thank you for your past and future support of bicycling.

Sincerely,
Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State, Zip
Your Phone Number

Twitter

If you use Twitter, tweeting directly to your Senators and Rep is a great way to let them know you want them to take action! You can find their Twitter handles below in ‘Contact Info’. Of course, you can always come up with your own creative messaging – for instance, you could write one tweet for each bill – but we’ve provided some samples to get you started:

  • For your Rep: “[@RepX] Pls support bike safety and co-sponsor HR 3494, HR 2468 & HR 3978! #NBS14 #MassBike
  • For your Senators: “[@SenX] Pls support bike safety and co-sponsor S 1708 & S 2004! #NBS14 #MassBike

Be sure to use and follow the hashtags #NBS14 and #MassBike to stay in on the action!

Contact Info

If you’d like to send an email, please note you will have to use their online contact form. We’ve provided links to their online contact form which you can access by clicking on their name below. In most cases you will need to know your Zip Code + 4, which you can look up here, before you can proceed in submitting an email message.

House of Representatives

District Rep Name Office Number Twitter
1 Richard Neal 202-225-5601 @RepRichardNeal
2 Jim McGovern 202-225-6101 @RepMcGovern
3 Niki Tsongas 202-225-3411 @Nikiinthehouse
4 Joseph Kennedy III 202-225-5931 @RepJoeKennedy
5 Katherine Clark 202-225-2836 @RepKClark
6 John Tierney 202-225-8020 @RepTierney
7 Mike Capuano 202-225-5111 N/A
8 Stephen Lynch 202-225-8273 @RepStephenLynch
9 Bill Keating 202-225-3111 @USRepKeating

Don’t know who your U.S. Representative is? Click here and enter your zip code to find out.

Senate

Senator Name Office Number Twitter
Elizabeth Warren 202-224-4543 @SenWarren
Ed Markey 202-224-2742 @MarkeyMemo

 

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