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Jessie Holzer
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APBP Board of Directors Candidate Statement

Jessie Holzer
Mobility Deputy - Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin

Please briefly describe your current position and how your work relates to the bicycle/pedestrian field:  

For the past two and a half years I have worked as Mobility Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin. My work for our Council District includes identifying and pursuing opportunities for active transportation and transit improvements to build a more walkable, bikeable, and mobile Los Angeles. Key projects I have worked on include the expansion of LA County's bike share system (Metro Bike Share) to Venice Beach, development of the City's pavement mural pilot program, and implementation of the Venice Blvd Great Streets project including protected and buffered bike lanes, new pedestrian signals, pop-up parklets, and new bus stop amenities. 


A large focus of my work is to build public support for controversial mobility projects, such as roadway reconfiguration projects that reallocate space historically reserved for motor vehicles to bicyclists and pedestrians. I spend a lot of time at community meetings discussing the benefits of active transportation with neighborhood stakeholders, as well as finding, educating, and supporting community partners that can help sell these projects to their networks. 

By working for an elected official I have the unique opportunity to directly influence the transportation landscape in Los Angeles by providing active transportation policy recommendations to Councilmember Bonin - who serves as Chair of the Los Angeles City Council's Transportation Committee and is a Board Member of LA Metro - and advising him on local and regional infrastructure projects and programs that enhance walking and biking. 

 Why do you want to be a Board member? What do you hope to gain over the term of your Board membership? 

As an APBP Board Member I hope to have an influence on the active transportation field beyond my current position with the City of Los Angeles. I would like to help create sustainable and healthy communities throughout North America by ensuring APBP remains at the forefront of active transportation policy, research, and best practices, and by providing our members with the resources and information they need to be leaders in transforming their respective communities. On a more personal note, I want to help grow the organization so that it may continue to support professionals the way it has helped me in my career. As a three-year volunteer on the APBP Membership Committee and a co-founder of the Mentorship Program, I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from some of the most intelligent and talented transportation professionals in this field. Through these projects I have gained stronger communication skills, confidence in my ideas, and irreplaceable contacts that I can go to for professional (and personal) advice. I am grateful to APBP for equipping me with tools to become a leader in my office and in my field, and hope to help provide this experience to other professionals, as well. 

Please describe your goals for APBP and how your leadership on the Board will benefit the association. 

My main goals for APBP are (1) to provide quality services to advance professionals in the field and (2) to retain existing and attract future members. In doing so, I would like to focus efforts on improving the association's existing programs and professional development resources. Refining and enhancing our core services, for example providing support for chapter growth and development, will help APBP add value to member services.  

Hand in hand with enhancing services, I would like to improve upon how APBP markets itself and its programs. I have heard from some contacts who are members of other associations that they are familiar with APBP but have chosen to join different groups; I would like to help APBP understand how we can clearly communicate the benefits of programs provided, how this association is unique, and the value in becoming a member so APBP stands out among professional organizations.  

To maintain and grow membership I would like to work closely with the chapters as they present the largest opportunity to attract members through local connections. I would like to have frequent communication with chapter leaders to discuss successful methods of moving people from interested in the organization to registered, as well as determine how the Board could be a better resource for chapters. For example, when I was on the steering committee for the Los Angeles Chapter I found that we lacked materials to communicate the benefits of APBP to people who came to our events. As a Board Member I would like to help develop those materials and other resources that would be instrumental in distributing this information.  

My leadership would be beneficial to the APBP Board because I bring a unique perspective to the association as one of the few people in APBP who has worked directly for an elected official to implement active transportation projects. My background in politics would be valuable to the Board as APBP is trying to diversify its membership; having leadership that represents the many different types of professionals in our field will make the organization more attractive to new members by demonstrating that it reflects the diverse nature of this field. In addition, as political support can be one of the biggest barriers to project implementation, I could use my knowledge in this area to help our members work with elected officials in their regions to push for smart and progressive projects to create healthier and more active communities.  

My organizational skills would also benefit the Board as I am uniquely qualified to assist the association with accomplishing its strategic goals. I have an exceptional ability to see a deliverable and work my way backwards to determine the steps, timeline, and resources to make it happen. As APBP Board Members lead the implementation of the various programs and services offered, my strong management skills would help the Board deliver efficient and effective services to APBP members. 

Past volunteer/leadership positions with APBP: 

Membership Committee Member, 2014-2017 
Young Professional of the Year, 2015 
Co-founder of the Los Angeles Chapter, 2015 
Los Angeles Chapter Steering Committee, 2015-2017 
APBP PDS Speaker, 2017 

Past volunteer/leadership positions with other organizations: 

APA-LA National Conference Planning Committee, 2012
APA-LA State Conference Planning Committee, 2016