We are excited to introduce our newest addition to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition staff. Rahul Young joins the team as Deputy Director, with a background in environmental conservation, affordable housing development and operations. He has biked in SF for decades and is a longstanding SF Bicycle Coalition member who believes in the power of biking to alleviate climate change, promote healthier communities and move our city to a more equitable future.
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition: What made you desire to work with the SF Bicycle Coalition?
Rahul: I have devoted my entire career to fight for climate change mitigation and social equity. Now that I have two daughters, I feel even more invested in channeling this passion to help tangibly make San Francisco a more livable and equitable city for everyone, including families. I want to help San Francisco to grow and evolve, while promoting the diversity, joy and weirdness that first brought me here 20 years ago.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
As the leader of the Operations team, I’m passionate about finding ways to help our organization run as efficiently as possible so that we use the time and resources of our members, volunteers, staff, donors and stakeholders effectively. I’m also really excited to build on the great culture of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, specifically helping to encourage additional staff empowerment, professional development, and diversity, equity and inclusion.
What sparked your initial interest in bicycle advocacy?
I first started biking the streets of San Francisco when I moved here after college in 1998. There were times in those years when I felt like I was the only person around on a bike, constantly searching for streets that were safe to get myself across the city. Seeing how much incredible progress the SF Bicycle Coalition and its stakeholders have made over the past 20 years has inspired me to do my part to contribute the next wave of infrastructure, training and advocacy that SF needs.
What inspired you to work with nonprofit organizations to promote social change?
I grew up as the son of an Indian mother and a Unitarian minister father, so social change and racial equity have been part of my DNA from birth. I grew up advocating with my church for affordable housing and to end homelessness, and I believe that promoting a bike-friendly San Francisco is a necessary part of making our community more affordable and livable.
Is there anything you would like to see improved on the streets where you most often ride?
I live in the Mission, so I’d love to see protected bike lanes on Valencia and Folsom streets. My seven-year-old daughter rides her own bike nowadays to go to dance class and the climbing gym, but virtually every day she has to dodge cars double-parked in the bike lane. Better infrastructure would make her rides significantly safer and would encourage more families to bike in the city.
Is there anything that you would like us to know about you?
My family has a deep love for karaoke, so if you see a cargo bike roll by with people singing off-key Taylor Swift songs, that’s probably us. Say hello anytime, let me know what the SF Bicycle Coalition can do better and feel free to sing along!