We learned today that Cascade Bicycle Club is being investigated for improperly using funds to support the Streets for All Seattle campaign promoting a yes vote on Seattle Proposition 1 on the fall ballot.
We are confident that the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (“SEEC”) will find that there have been no violations by Cascade Bicycle Club in this manner. We expect the complaint to be dismissed without merit.
Sadly, this frivolous complaint attempts to degrade the good work being done to make Seattle a more livable city by investing in transit, walking, biking and roadway improvements.
From 2008 through 2010, Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation was contracted by the city of Seattle through an RFP process to perform services related to teaching safe riding classes to kids and adults, outreach in neighborhoods by residential request, putting helmets on heads, delivering enrichment programs for disadvantaged youth, and providing safety improvements around schools. The majority of the work completed during this time was to implement the City of Seattle’s three-year Bike Smart Seattle program, which was established under Mayor Greg Nickels leadership and funded through the Bridging the Gap levy. In 2011, we continued ongoing free and low-cost helmet sales at community events.
In contrast, our support for Streets for All Seattle and Proposition 1 has been funded by money raised through BikePAC, a registered political action committee. BikePAC is funded through private, voluntary giving. None of BikePAC’s funding comes from the City of Seattle. On Oct. 3, BikePAC paid $3,000 to Streets for All Seattle in support of Proposition 1 in the November election.
Our opposition hasn’t been careful in looking at—or don’t know about—the range of activities Cascade does. Our political work happens through our 501(c)4 organization, while our education and outreach work occurs within our 501(c)3. For tax and legal purposes, we are meticulous about getting this right. We have been independently audited, and all audits have been clean.
In other words, there is absolutely no connection between any of the contractual work we completed for the City of Seattle and our efforts to pass Proposition 1.
We are disappointed that our opposition is wasting citizen tax dollars and the city payroll’s time by filing this distracting, meritless complaint. Lacking true substance, the opposition campaign is grasping at straws. We, and the many other endorsers of Proposition 1, look forward to continuing the conversation with voters about how Prop. 1 will make our transit faster and our streets safer. Cascade Bicycle Club will continue to educate voters on how voting yes for Proposition 1 is the right choice.
Prop. 1 will invest $100 million to make transit in Seattle faster and more reliable. 95% of all Seattle residents and 96% of all the jobs in the city are within an easy walk or bike ride to the high priority transit corridors that Prop. 1 will invest in. Transit riders across the whole city will see benefits.
The transit investments Prop. 1 makes will last. They are capital, permanent, long-term improvements that will last for years. Bus lanes, transit signal priority, bus bulbs so buses don’t get stuck behind traffic when loading/unloading passengers. These are common sense things that will make our buses faster and more reliable.
Prop. 1 doubles the annual investment in new sidewalks Seattle makes today.
Prop. 1 nearly doubles the number of local, neighborhood re-paving projects Seattle can do per year.
Prop. 1 dramatically expands family-friendly bicycle infrastructure.
Prop. 1 is balanced. It makes transit faster, fixes our roads, and makes our transportation system safer for all users in Seattle. It helps the whole system across the city.
We stand behind our endorsement of Proposition 1, and we urge voters to join us in voting YES on the November ballot.