2004 Letter - Year in Review
December 2, 2004
As you've probably have seen in the news, bicycling has come under attack in New York City. At the same time, according to recent surveys, the city has experienced a 30% increase in cycling over the past 4 years. Through its leadership and promotion of group rides, which provide a confidence-building transition for new bike commuters, TIME'S UP! has played a key role in supporting the growing number of people who choose this fun, healthy and non-polluting form of transportation to get around the city. We need your financial support to continue this great work.
Two events in August illustrate both the achievements and the challenges faced by TIME'S UP! and the cycling community this year. On August 6, 140 cyclists and skaters joined us in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of our free Central Park Moonlight Ride. Three weeks later, over 250 people were arrested while riding peacefully in Critical Mass, a global-local event that TIME'S UP! has helped promote in NYC for years.
Unfortunately, continued arrests, bike seizures, and harassment of both group rides and individual cyclists demonstrate that the current administration doesn't share our vision of a bicycle-friendly city. Please support TIME'S UP! as we push for a greener city that supports non-polluting transportation and the simple right to ride a bicycle in NYC.
TIME'S UP! is run on a shoestring budget solely by volunteers, whose enormous efforts are responsible for all we've achieved. But we couldn't do it without your financial support. With the tremendous (and exciting) growth and popularity of our activities, we need your help more than ever. The following highlights of our work in 2004 will give you an idea of what we've accomplished, as well as the challenges ahead.
- Bike National Convention: Our success with Bike Summer 2003 inspired us to sponsor the Bike National Convention, held in August 2004. The wide variety of events, both indoors and outside, were designed to encourage cycling and promote the environment. We also used many of the rides to introduce out-of-towners visiting New York for the Republican National Convention (RNC) to all that the city has to offer. Scores of new members joined TIME'S UP! and became core volunteers during the BNC.
- Bike Lending Library: Leading up to the RNC, TIME'S UP! Bike Lending Library collected bicycles, and volunteer mechanics rebuilt them so visitors could get around the city during the protests. Through this extremely successful program, we loaned out over 200 bikes and helped thousands of riders, as skilled bike mechanics offered both group and individual repair workshops.
- Legal Support: In light of the City's recent targeting of bicycling, we have been providing consistent legal support to arrestees. Top activist lawyers, including the trailblazing civil rights lawyer Norman Siegel, and legal groups such as the People's Law Collective, the National Lawyers Guild, and the New York Civil Liberties Union have taken up the cause and have been working with TIME'S UP! on a pro bono basis, in an effort to help protect the future of bicycling in our city.
- TIME'S UP! Space: Thanks to a gracious sponsor, TIME'S UP! has had a temporary space in Manhattan since June. This space, with workshop and office space and room for public events, has allowed us to greatly expand both our programming and volunteer efforts. Open several days a week, we provide education and services to the community, including an info kiosk, screenings of progressive documentaries, and weekly workshops ranging from welding to silkscreening and printing. We hope to retain this space or one similar to it, so that we can continue to provide these services to the local community.
- Education and Outreach: TIME'S UP! continues to conduct ongoing educational activities, including ecological tours in the South Bronx, the Lower East Side, and New York City's waterfront. We also make educational presentations at schools and other public events, including eco-positive festivals and workshops. In 2004, we also expanded our work in Brooklyn, initiating auto-free moonlight rides and traffic-calming actions in Prospect Park. In addition, we have continued to work with community gardens across the city.
- Clearwater Revival: For the third year in a row, TIME'S UP! has made the famous Clearwater Revival Festival a bike-friendly event. This year, record numbers of attendees rode their bikes to the Festival, and used bicycle valet parking provided by TIME'S UP! volunteers.
Victories such as increasing bicycle ridership require long years of hard work. The efforts of local organizations such as TIME'S UP! are important in ensuring that these victories translate into lasting change for the city. This is particularly important in light of the increasing crackdown on our civil liberties and the erosion of environmental protection on the national and local level. On-the-ground grassroots organizing and education are what will, over the long-term, bring positive results.
Please support TIME'S UP! when you are making your year-end contributions. TIME'S UP! is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, and your donations are tax-deductible according to the law. Perhaps this year you invested in the elections; now it's time to support the important work of progressive, effective organizations such as TIME'S UP!
We hope you'll join us in 2005 for events, rides, campaigns, and other activities. Together, we can build a more peaceful, sustainable world, starting in our city. Thanks for your support!
Bill Di Paola
Executive Director, TIME'S UP!
P.O. Box 2030
New York, NY 10009