California Walks, the statewide advocacy group, is hosted the Best Foot Forward Summit in Oakland on November 8th & 9th. I’m thinking of attending, but am unsure how exactly to make use of the summit to support efforts in the Sacramento region. If a critical mass of people from Sacramento attended, then we could have very useful discussions at the summit, and come to a consensus about how we can use the experience to move things forward here. However, there are only four people from the region registered at the moment. On the other hand, those who do attend could bring back a summary and skills for working on our regional issues, and share them locally with others. At the moment, it does not appear that WALKSacramento has the capacity to implement either of these ideas. But I’m asking that every reader here will consider the opportunity, and then share what they think, either by commenting here on the blog or by responding to the @GetAroundSac tweet and using the hash tag #BestFootForwardSummit.
What we know is that the transportation agencies in the region will move at a snail’s pace to improve walkability and livability, unless we exert strong public pressure on them. In fact, I believe that the harm they do will continue to outweigh the good they do, for some while, as they cling to outmoded ways of thinking and outmoded views of the kind of place that resident want. It will take a transformative experience to get advocates fired up and moving forward, together. I’m not sure if this is that experience, but I’d like to know what you think.
I am not minimizing the work of WALKSacramento and other advocates that have made a difference, particularly in the lower income South Sacramento area. This is all good work, and the priorities identified by community participants reflect the changing needs and desires of the region, but it is a drop in the bucket of what needs to take place.