The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition welcomes Darren Newell as our new Campaign Coordinator!
Tell us about your role at the SF Bicycle Coalition.
I will be focusing on the SF Bicycle Coalition’s campaign to improving Market Street. My goal is to be the resident expert at SF Bicycle Coalition on this project, which will re-design Market Street with fully protected bike lanes from the Embarcadero to Octavia. I will be reaching out to our members, volunteers and community allies to participate in meetings, rallies, and legislative hearings to make sure Market street becomes a safe, inviting bike route for everyone, regardless of age or ability.
What organizing experience do you bring to this role?
I’ve been a community organizer since I was 18, when I joined a full-time grassroots organizing drive for service and domestic workers in Sacramento. I helped families ensure their lights stayed on, were able to fight evictions, and coordinated in food distributions for those in need, I truly felt the power of organizing the most when I fought to change city and state policies on behalf of families who were faced with impossible financial obstacles made worse through systematic punishment.
I moved to Redding from 2013 – 2017 to help an effort there with municipal utility reform and advocate for domestic worker’s rights to overtime pay. I then came to Oakland in 2017 to help low-income families gain access to medical care and the things one needs to stay healthy. I had the opportunity to work with doctors, dentists, nurses, and optometrists to provide pro-bono care and take part in community health education.
Throughout the work I’ve done, my biggest takeaway has been that those who are the most marginalized need to be involved in and lead in the solution-making process. That philosophy drives the way in which I engage with stakeholders in the advocacy work I continue to take part in.
What is most exciting to you about working on bike issues in San Francisco?
I’m excited to see bicycling recognized as one of the most viable methods for transportation in urban environments. I think the affordability and the community/individual health benefits stand out as factors that draw me to advocate for the bike as a mode of everyday transportation. San Francisco aims to be forward-thinking in environmental sustainability, so it makes sense that there is an emphasis on pro-biking reforms.
Favorite bike ride? One you’re hoping to do in the near future?
My favorite bike ride was a ride I did as a teenager with my family. We started at the ferry station on Pier 43, rode along the waterfront to the Golden Gate, crossed into Sausalito, and rode into Tiburon to catch the Ferry back to Pier 43. It was the most picturesque ride I’ve ever done! I’d like to do an extensive ride on the Bay Trail, just to see where it takes me and ultimately ride as far as I can go before I’m too exhausted to pedal.
Work with Darren and apply to be our Advocacy Intern today!