The seven states that comprise the state network project are all moving at a fast pace. Since the state advocacy organizers began in early March, they continue to make many very key contacts throughout their states. These include individuals that are players on the national scene, former professional athletes that are dedicating their time and money to keeping kids healthy and active, as well as influential people in the transportation and public health communities. And of course, local champions. Advocacy organizers have been invited to sit on a variety of state level committees, including those providing advice on pedestrian and bicycle-related issues, developing transportation strategic plans and health plans.
All seven states are having what will be regular network meetings starting in June and are preparing draft action plans for adoption by the networks. The networks will form action teams focused on the state network project’s three policy priorities. We are collecting baseline data and continuing to collect and share success stories about the three priorities also.
Plans to ensure project sustainability are in the works so they can reach out to potential funders. We are all getting together in July for a multi-day retreat with Safe Routes Partnership management in New Jersey. We will share our expertise, get training and as we do everyday, help each other out and work as a team. An added bonus is that our Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (state network project funder) program officer is attending on one of the days. It will be the first time most of us have met each other in person and will prove to be a very valuable few days. Follow this blog to hear more about our progress and successes.
For more information about the state network project, go to: www.saferoutespartnership.org/state/network.