Yesterday the 98th Michigan Legislature concluded businesses for 2016. Unfortunately, despite our tireless advocacy efforts, the 5-foot passing and driver's education improvement bills were not put to a vote before the House adjourned.
While this is a disappointment for the bicycling community, it is only a temporary setback to our efforts to make bicycling safe and convenient for everyone in Michigan. In the meantime, we can feel good knowing we made a noticeable impact.
- Nearly 10,000 emails were sent from concerned citizens to legislators in support of these bills.
- In the last week alone, 1,750 people signed LMB's petition demanding action and our social media outreach was shared over 200 times resulting in hundreds of calls to the Speaker's office.
- Dozens of shop owners gave voice to Michigan's bicycle industry by adding their names to our sign-on letter.
- Likewise, dozens of clubs, event organizers, and organizational partners responded to our call to action by submitting letters of support.
- This fall, in a demonstration of solidarity, individual cyclists offered powerful testimony as they joined LMB to pack the committee hearing on the legislation.
This hard work led to the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously adopting the bill package and shortly after the bills were passed by the entire Senate with large bi-partisan support. While the legislation did not make its way to the Governor's desk (yet), we successfully gave voice to the concerns of the Michigan bicycling community.
We can also be proud of the hard work at the local level by advocates who successfully organized support for safe passing policies. Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Portage, and Ann Arbor now all have local safe passing ordinances to give drivers better guidance on how to pass bicyclists.
None of this could have happened without your support! On behalf of the LMB board and staff, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took action. Thank you for calling! Thank you for emailing! Thank you for the Likes and Shares! Thank you to those who testified at public meetings! And thank you to everyone who joined and donated in support of LMB's mission! While we didn't meet our ultimate goal, we recognize legislation often requires multiple attempts and because of your continued support, LMB's bicycle advocacy efforts are stronger than ever!
As 2016 winds to a close, I hope you will consider LMB during our Annual Campaign. Your gift will provide us the resources to quickly reintroduce our bicycle safety package next session and ensure that the concerns of Michigan bicyclists are front and center when the new Legislature returns to Lansing.
I'm pleased to share that a few generous donors have pledged to match all donations through the end of the year, up to $15,000. I hope you will take advantage of this unique opportunity to maximize the impact of your year-end giving!
Thank you again for all your support!
LMB Executive Director