Advocacy Leadership Institute

Lead the Pack

The Advocacy Leadership Institute (ALI) and the new Eastside Advocacy Boot Camp develop local bicycling advocates into leaders by elevating their voices during the biggest time for bicycling our region has ever seen.

Building on our mission of improving lives through bicycling, ALI trains passionate people from across the Puget Sound Region to effectively organize their communities and advocate for better plans, policies and infrastructure. Along with weekly workshops, participants get the opportunity to work on current projects in their communities. 

Build Your Toolbox

Each session starts with a two-day retreat giving participants the opportunity to get to know each other and talk about their vision for a better bicycling community. During this retreat participants pick local projects that carry them through the rest of the course creating real change in their communities.

Each week different guest speakers present workshops to teach skills that are then applied to a local project. Participants learn what it takes to effectively

  • tell their personal story;
  • communicate positions;
  • develop a campaign;
  • bring people into a movement;
  • work with elected officials;
  • work with the media;
  • put a campaign plan into action; 
  • lead a team to victory; and
  • celebrate that victory! 

Graduates of ALI have, and continue to, engage with neighbors, community leaders, planners and policy makers by developing campaigns, lobbying local elected officials, driving turnout to public hearings and hosting advocacy rides. With the skills and knowledge to organize, advocate and hold decision makers accountable, graduates have the opportunity to lead city-wide campaigns. 

It’s up to us to train community members, but it’s up to you to apply. 

Contact Kelli Refer for more information about our next session.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is bicycling advocacy?
It’s working to make the streets safe for everyone to walk and bike on. It usually includes riding around on two wheels.  

What types of projects do participants work on?
Everything from getting new bike parking to lobbying for protected bike lanes on major streets. The best projects are the ones that you want to work on - ones that make your neighborhood a better place to live. 

Why is it important to advocate for safe streets?
We believe that the bicycle is much more than just a way to get around or part of our exercise routine. The bicycle is a vehicle for positive change in our communities.  When we make our streets safe everyone - more people ride. When more people ride - there is positive change.

How much does it cost?
The program is free but a commitment to making the Puget Sound Region the best for bicycling is expected. We also like to rotate who buys beer and snacks.

What if I already have these skills but still want to get involved?
Then you should consider joining our Connect Puget Sound campaign.  If you don’t live in Seattle, contact us to see what campaigns we’re running in your community. 

How do I apply?
Do you see an “apply now” link to the left? If so, click on it and apply! If you are interested in joining ALI when we are not accepting applications, just email Kelli and let her know you are interested. 

How long is the course?
We meet weekly for seven weeks. 

Why do you meet?
Because learning these skills on the Internet just isn’t as fun. 

Other questions? 

Statewide Engagement Director
Kelli Refer
[email protected]
(206) 939-4306