In Spotlights

Anna_Profile_Sadie-height=150&width=200Anna Gore is the Membership Manager of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, a member-supported nonprofit organization working to promote the bicycle for everyday transportation in San Francisco. Last January Anna helped to launch Women Bike SF, a program of the SF Bicycle Coalition that aims to help and encourage more women, trans*, femme, and female-identifying people to ride bicycles. Prior to joining the SF Bicycle Coalition, Anna received her Masters in Environmental Planning and Design from the University of Georgia and served on the Board of Directors for her local and statewide bicycle advocacy organizations in Georgia.How did you become involved in your current career?
It’s hard to believe that just five years ago I was working in a completely different industry. Two things led to my involvement in my current career: a traveling job that took me through rural parts of Georgia, and volunteering at my local bicycle advocacy organization (BikeAthens). The traveling job sparked my interest in land-use planning and inspired me to return to Graduate School for Environmental Planning and Design, and my work at BikeAthens helped me understand the importance of advocacy in building both the public interest and the political will to transform public spaces. The SF Bicycle Coalition understands this relationship better than any organization I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and as Membership Manager I continue to learn a lot from the 10,000+ members who make our organization so effective.
What environmental issues are of most concern to you?
Climate change. It’s the biggest environmental concern of our time, and at the top of my mind as well. Change is needed in every sector to reduce the causes of Climate Change, but the transportation sector has been of particular interest to me. It’s responsible for nearly 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, and a large percentage of that is attributed to personal automobiles. Reducing dependency on greenhouse gas emitting vehicles is a tremendous challenge, but the solution has the potential to improve both the quality of life for people and environmental conditions on our planet. Communities that promote biking and walking tend to be healthier and more livable places all the way around.
What do you think are some challenges and opportunities facing women in the environmental movement today?
There’s a gender gap in leadership positions in most industries, and the environmental movement is no different. The transportation sector has historically been a male-dominated field, but with a growing population and an aging transportation system, I think women have an opportunity to work and lead in this sector now more than ever. This is an exciting time for women in the bicycling movement, too. Across the country, advocacy organizations like the League of American Bicyclists, Washington Area Bicycle Association, the SF Bicycle Coalition and others have launched women’s programs with the goal of helping more women to start bicycling and to encourage them to ride a bike more often. The network of women in the bicycling industry is growing rapidly, providing more and more opportunities for women to get involved.
What are your suggestions on how WEN members can become more involved in your sector and the environmental movement?
Women currently make up only 32% of the bicycle commuters in San Francisco, and nationally the number is even lower. There are lots of reasons why women don’t bike more, but peer-to-peer encouragement can go a long way to empowering more women to try bicycling. I encourage all WEN members who already enjoy bicycling to help a female friend get rolling this month. May is Bike Month in the Bay Area, and what I consider of the best bicycling months of the year: great weather, tons of biking events and Bike to Work Day on May 14. Help a friend get rolling this month and you just might inspire them to keep rolling throughout the year!