February 3, 1995
Dear Interested Communities:
Thank you for taking an active interest in the free community bicycling program initiated here in Portland by Joe Keating and Tom O’Keefe of the United Community Action Network (UCAN).
As Mayor of Portland, I am proud of what UCAN has accomplished. On the surface. this may appear to be a project that enhances the convenience of free outdoor transportation by weaving together the common threads of sharing and trust. However, it also produces many more community-wide benefits.
A local community bicycle shop is employing area youth to repair and maintain all of the bicycles; thereby giving these kids job skills, knowledge and ultimately self-esteem. It also teaches them the value of personal responsibility, and how assuming that responsibility can be a rewarding experience. Examples such as this are proof that the program is much more than free use of alternative modes of transportation.
Greatest of all, UCAN has proven that government does not have to be the only agent for constructive change. Strong communities and healthy cities are created by a courageous citizenship.
I encourage you take a close look at the model that UCAN has built. This program does not have to be unique to Portland. It can work anywhere.
Again thank you for your interest.
With warm regards,
Office of the Mayor
1220 S.W. 5th Avenue, Room 303, Portland, Oregon 97204-1995
(503) 823-4120, FAX (503) 823-3588, TDD (503) 823-6868