Patricia (Pattie) Baker blogs at Traveling at the Speed of Bike and at Food For My Daughters (both of which serve as companions to books of the same names, all proceeds from which benefit those in need). She is a frequently-published journalist with global publications and sites, and former corporate communications professional.
Originally from New York, she founded the City of Dunwoody’s Sustainability Commission when where she lives in Metro Atlanta became the newest city in the USA and was recently named the 2020 Sustainability Hero due to twelve years of advocacy work. See other media coverage of her work (including in O: The Oprah Magazine) here.
As a League of American Bicyclists Cycling Instructor (#5382), she offers free bike classes to those underrepresented in public space in four different ways, including the first basic bike skills classes in the world delivered via text and TikTok. She also serves as a People for Bikes Ambassador, for which she creates free bike tours that are welcoming to all, as well as the Metro Atlanta Bicycle Mayor as part of a global consortium of bicycle mayors with the Amsterdam-based social enterprise BYCS. She is a member of Mensa, the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, the League of American Bicyclists, and Georgia Bikes.
Connect with Patricia Baker here.
Your voice matters in your city as people elected to represent you make decisions about its future. Here are some ways to be sure you are heard:
- Find out who your city councilor or representative is. One way to do this is to check your city’s website. Or, if you are lucky enough to have a mail carrier like Mr. Pickles or a grandmother like Grans, they may be able to tell you!
- See what issues are being discussed at your city hall. You may find out what’s going on locally from a newspaper near you like The Hooch Happenings, or your city councilor may have an online newsletter or other way to share information about decisions that could affect you. You may discover a problem you care about — such as ducks in danger or roads that are not safe for people walking and riding bikes, as in Slow Duck Crossing — is not being discussed or solved!
- Send an email to your city councilor explaining your concerns and possible suggestions. You can also send it to the entire city council and mayor as well. Republish and amplify it on social media so even if you get ghosted, you are still getting your message out. You can change minds. Just look what happened to Councilor Ron Swell! And it never hurts to have a mayor like Mayor Jenny Ness in your corner!
- See if your city already has a Youth Commission. Many cities all across the USA do. If not, why not start one? Young people like you may also be already serving on other committees such as the Sustainability, Transportation, or Parks and Recreation Committees. Find out how to apply, and consider doing so!
- Show up at City Council meetings, just like Moxie did, and make a statement during the Public Comment period, usually near the beginning of the meeting. Your voice matters. You matter. And of course those baby ducks (or whatever you’ve noticed as things that can be better where you live) matter!
You have the power to make a difference. And I believe in you. But what do I know? I’m just a mailbox.