The 4th Safe Routes to School National Conference Kicks Off in Sacramento!

Deb HubsmithIn less than a week, the fourth Safe Routes to School National Conference will kick off in Sacramento, California. Since 2007, the biannual National Conference has brought Safe Routes to School champions together to share success stories, learn from one another and chart the course for the future. This is the first time the conference has been in California and I am to happy to welcome you all to my home state and the first state to launch a Safe Routes to School program through legislation back in 1999!

Here are a few things I’m particularly looking forward to at the 2013 National Conference, and tips on how you can join in the action even if you can’t be there in person!

The National Partnership’s Annual Meeting

Our free Annual Meeting is taking place Monday, August 12 from 1:00-5:00 pm at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on 12th and J —we hope to see you there. If you arrive late in the day, swing by our free Safe Routes Social from 5:00-6:00 pm at Morgan’s Restaurant at Sheraton Grand. We would love to connect then too!

Conference Shout Outs and Shameless Plugs

There are so many great sessions at the conference, here are just a few that I’m excited about. By following our Facebook and Twitter updates, you won’t miss any of the great information being shared. Follow the official conference hashtag, #4thSRTSConf, for up-to-the-minute action:

  • Shared Use of Public Facilities and Efforts to Make Our Shared Spaces Safer session on Tuesday at 10:30 am, featuring Robert Ping and our new Shared Use Campaign Manager, Mikaela Randolph.
  • Broadening Outreach of Safe Routes to School to Children With Disabilities: National Partnership steering committee member Carolina Gutierezz and others will present new research and strategies to broaden outreach to include children with disabilities.
  • A docudrama at the conference? Check out the Emmy’s, Oscars, and Safe Routes presentation on Tuesday at 3:45 pm for a fast-paced mind mixer with our state advocacy organizers on strategies to engage advocates for healthy community design. 

California Advocacy Day

For those of you from California, Thursday, August 15 Advocacy Day is a fantastic opportunity to make your voices heard at the state capital as California enters the final stretch in passing legislation with parameters for a new $134 million/year Active Transportation Program which is proposed to include Safe Routes to School. Join the National Partnership, TransForm and Sacramento Walks for an afternoon “in the Building” to meet with policy makers’ offices to advocate for legislation that will support Safe Routes to School and bicycle and pedestrian funds. To register, email molly@saferoutespartnership.org