If you like to know who’s minding the store — in this case bicycle advocacy in the state of Washington — then you’ll want to know there’s been a change.
The decision to merge was approved by both group’s boards of directors on Tuesday. They’d been discussing the alliance since August (“Washington state bicycle advocates joining forces?”)
The merger will create the nation’s largest statewide bicycle advocacy nonprofit. According to information relayed by both groups, here’s the breakdown of the new structure:
The Cascade Bicycle Club will focus on education, diversity and inclusion programs, most of the signature cycling events and advocacy work. It will be the 501(c)(3) tax-deductible wing of the nonprofit, as its business is largely educational.
Washington Bikes is described as the 501(c)(4) arm of the organization, meaning it can address statewide policy and outreach and make candidate endorsements. It will also organize statewide events and activities.
According to the Washington Bikes press release:
The merger will unify bicycle education curriculum and resources across the state and in the Puget Sound region. Advocacy work will also be strengthened. The merger will result in saved overhead costs and more money directly funding current work and new programs, like Cascade’s Major Taylor Project and Washington Bikes’ state bike tourism initiative. Washington Bikes’ grassroots successes across the state will also be a great partner for Cascade’s statewide tours, events and rides.
It will be interesting to see how all the details work out as the new organization jells and finds its way. We definitely want this to succeed as its work will affect bicycling for everyone in the state.