Change at Oregon Walks

Dear friends and supporters,

I'm writing today to share that I will be stepping away from my position as Executive Director of Oregon Walks at the end of February. 

When I began this role in 2014, I had very specific goals for the organization and for my leadership here. I strove to expand our partnerships to serve adiverse constituency of pedestrians, grow our volunteer program to be more robust and inclusive, and link our advocacy and programs to create a cohesive movement toward safer streets. It felt very ambitious.

Over the last four years, we have accomplished so much together! Some highlights of our work include:
  • Collaborating closely with partner organizations, particularly those representing low income communities, communities of color, older adults, and youth, to understand and engage on the intersectional nature of walking and transportation justice.
  • Developing new programs, and public partnerships to deliver those programs, like Oregon Walkways and Healthy Travel Options to School. We re-branded our annual event series from Walktober, to Steptember, too!
School Walk at Scott Elementary 2017
Testifying in Salem with Families for Safe Streets
  • Championing Vision Zero into citywide policy in Portland. Starting with agrassroots petition signed by over 800 individuals, to digging into the details of a32 step action plan, we supported the creation of the city’s first Vision Zero policy to end traffic deaths by 2025, that also includes a goal of zero racial profiling in our work to get there - a first nationally.
  • Successfully advocating for a citywide policy change around sidewalk closures through our innovative #workzonewtf social media campaign that showcased how often pedestrian right-of-way was being obstructed.
  • Growing in financial stability to hire two additional full time staff, our fantastic Volunteer & Events Manager - Inna Levin, and Transportation Justice Advocate - Izzy Armenta. They bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and passion for this work that is unmatched. We are lucky to have them on our team.
2017 Weston Awards
  • Galvanizing support through our annual Weston Awards event. Last December, we raised over $32,000 with over 225 guests joining us to celebrate amazing award winners and fund our work.
  • Cultivating the leadership of a diverse and incredibly hard-working Board of Directors, who instituted a robust strategic plan for 2016-2018; which is the road map that has led to much of this success. Their leadership will ensure we sustain it for years to come.
Oregon Walks Board & Staff 2017
It has been a tremendous honor to serve this organization for the last four years and I am proud to say that we have gone above and beyond the goals that I set out for us back in 2014.

I’ll be taking some much needed personal time with my family and friends while figuring out my next steps professionally. This work is near and dear to my heart, so I won’t be going far from the movement for safer and more just communities. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you in this space.

I am so excited about the next phase of leadership here at Oregon Walks, which will bring about new goals, new ideas, and even more change on the streets for people who walk. Keep an eye out for a job description in the coming days.

Our Board President, Fiona Yau-Luu, is leading the ED hiring process with our Board of Directors and our programmatic and advocacy work will continue moving forward through Inna & Izzy’s work until our new leader is hired. Their contact information is provided below.

Thank you for your continued support of Oregon Walks,

Noel Mickelberry
Executive Director