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David Hiller resigns from Cascade Bicycle Club – UPDATED

David Hiller is stepping down as Advocacy Director of Cascade Bicycle Club effective Friday, May 13.

UPDATE: Have no fear, Hiller fans, he will not be going far. Publicola reports that Hiller has taken a job with Mayor Mike McGinn’s office. He is scheduled to start Wednesday.

His resignation was announced on Cascade’s blog today:

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After eight years leading Cascade Bicycle Club’s advocacy work, advocacy director David Hiller announced he is leaving the organization to pursue new opportunities as of Friday, May 13. He shared his news with staff in April.

In 2003, David moved from his role as executive director of the Connecticut Bicycle Coalition to join the Cascade staff. Since then, he developed the organization’s relationship with elected officials, government staff and policy makers at every level of government and has worked tirelessly to advance Cascade’s mission through advocacy and policy work.

David has contributed to many of Cascade’s actions and successes over the years, most notably the Seattle Bicycle Master Plan, passage of the Vulnerable User and Complete Streets laws, publishing “Left by the Side of the Road, A Regional Bicycle Network Report,” adoption of Complete Streets ordinances in multiple Puget Sound cities, endorsement and election of many pro-bike candidates, passing the “Bridging the Gap” streets levy, defense of the Burke-Gilman Trail and initiating the T2040 / PSRC lawsuit.

The club is initiating a nationwide search to replace him.

With remarkable knowledge of the inner workings of the city, region and state governments, Hiller is an effective and confident voice that bicycle advocacy groups sometimes lack.

Hiller has been a controversial figure at times, but he fights hard. An outspoken advocate and lobbyist, Hiller has made statements that made the previous Cascade board of directors seek to oust him. After a tenuous, dramatic couple months and an outpouring of support from the bike community, that board has been replaced.

With a new board of directors and now a new advocacy director, 2011 is going to be quite the year of transition for Cascade. No matter how you feel about David Hiller’s style, those are going to be some big shoes to fill. The search to fill the position could be a chance for the club to figure out what image of biking they want to represent as they push bicycle use forward in the region.

Hiller’s most recent legislative victory is the Vulnerable User Bill, which he and other advocates have fought three years to get passed. The governor is set to sign that bill Monday.

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4 responses to “David Hiller resigns from Cascade Bicycle Club – UPDATED”

  1. Joseph Singer

    And you don’t mention that he’s going to work for Mayor Mike on Wednesday!

  2. ODB

    Putting out a fire with gasoline.

    Am I missing something here? I believe McGinn has been unfairly vilified in the local media, particularly in the Seattle Times, for pursuing an excessively pro-bicycle agenda. And doubtless all of us who ride locally owe Hiller a debt of gratitude for his years of work on our behalf.

    Still, I can’t help but see this appointment as a giant gift to McGinn’s anti-bicycle opponents. To hire for citywide “transportation outreach” a consultant whose bicycle advocacy was polarizing enough to precipitate a crisis within a bicycle club? Whose wife already works for McGinn? The Seattle Times editorial practically writes itself.

    I fear this will only strengthen the unfortunate “McSchwinn” narrative.

  3. […] lobbying than it did during the days David Hiller was Cascade’s aggressive Advocacy Director three years ago. But the story (well, the headline, really) gives the idea that less lobbying means less politics, […]

  4. […] was the third person to hold the job since David Hiller left to join Mayor Mike McGinn’s staff in 2011. John Mauro held the job for a short time before […]

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