Welcome to our newest staff member, Chris Cassidy! He joined the team as Communications Director in May, following over five years consulting with progressive nonprofits, campaigns and social ventures.
With experience advancing reproductive rights, increasing diversity in the tech industry and fighting for civil rights, Chris has been diving pedal first into sharing the SF Bicycle Coalition’s work with everyone who will lend an eye, ear or click.
Why are you inspired to work in Communications?
Communications is only fun when I’m 100 percent invested in the work I’m communicating, and I think that’s true for everyone. Having a common dream with others — and sharing that dream with even more people — gives that dream life. Spreading word about something I believe in so that that dream can become reality is truly inspiring.
I’ve been a huge fan of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s work since I moved to San Francisco 10 years ago. I biked down Market then, and I bike down Market now, and there’s no way I could overlook what a difference a decade of dedication can make. The change is incredible.
But there’s much more work to be done. And I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of the team that’s helping to manifest our dream of what San Francisco can look like for people biking another 10 years from now.
What part of working with the SF Bicycle Coalition are you most excited about?
Every day, we’re fighting for stretches of protected bike lanes here and there, which are created as policymakers see fit. What inspires me, though, is what it’s going to look like we connect every single neighborhood in San Francisco with protected bike lanes.
I want to see San Francisco connect every single neighborhood with protected bike lanes. And I’m thrilled for people to experience what it’s going to feel like when people of all ages from every corner of our city can bike across town safely, comfortably and easily.
I’m excited for kids in the Bayview and the Mission being provided bikes and the education to repair and ride them safely, and then hopping on those bikes to see their aunties and uncles in Lakeview and the Excelsior. I’m excited about the day when I get to bike with my son from the Bay to Ocean Beach without leaving protected bike lanes. I find it exciting that we have 20 people on staff and over 10,000 members, who are giving their time, energy and resources to make this happen.
Since I started this job in May, I’ve seen every single person on staff grinding every single day to complete San Francisco’s network of protected bike lanes. This isn’t just happening in our lifetimes. We’re going to make this vision a reality in the coming years. To me, that’s exciting.
From a Communications perspective, what’s the secret to winning campaigns and making positive change?
To do communications work right, you have to start by being honest and true to your values. A lot of people think that communications and public relations is about twisting the truth because a lot of people do it wrong.
I’m at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition thanks to the trust that my colleagues put in me to honestly and engagingly convey the values of our staff, our board and, most of all, our members. The only reason I can do that is because our members’ values are my values. In our social circles, we’re all “the bike person” and, as a result, I’ve never felt more at home on the job.
How do you spend your time outside of bicycle advocacy work?
When I’m not advocating for safer streets for everyone, I’m biking, hiking, camping, gardening and/or grilling, ideally with my wife and little boy. Speaking of which, if you’re grilling this weekend, let me know what to bring.
Say hi, or invite Chris and his family to grill: email@example.com