City of Lights

March 16, 2011


In 2008, two LACBC volunteers had a conversation about the need for the cycling community to reach out to the large existing population of Latino immigrant cyclists that ride the streets of Los Angeles. Inspired by this talk, they searched the web for a program that they could borrow and tailor to Los Angeles. They were stunned to find out there were no such programs. Thus, City of Lights was born.

Equity, bikes, and income have always been correlated: Many of the workers City of Lights collaborates with use bikes during hard times, not having legal access to drivers' licenses, and/or to stay healthy. Many rode and fixed bikes back home in Latin America, and City of Lights celebrated that.

In the Spring of 2012, the City of Lights program spun off to become its own organization called Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM) and has created a model for nationwide groups seeking to engage people of color in transportation issues.

Bikes are a part of the Environmental Justice movement.

Since 2009, City of Lights has grown from initial conversations with Latino immigrant cyclists and the distribution of lights at the CARECEN day laborer center to become a diverse, volunteer-driven collective.

Past projects and campaigns include:

BiciDigna/ Bici Libre: A bike repair co-op at the IDEPSCA Downtown Community Job Centerwas started in conjunction with the Bicycle Kitchen. It has since merged with Bici Libre.

Education: Through bilingual bike safety and legal rights workshops, and the nation's first comprehensive, illustrated, and culturally-relevant Spanish bike resource guide was created.

Community building: Through rides and activities, offering of resources to other groups wanting to start similar projects.

Advocacy: For bike infrastructure and policy that targets low-income neighborhoods through outreach for the City of Los Angeles' Bicycle Master Plan in Central and South LA, equity policies in the Plan, and our 2009 bike parking campaign in Westlake/Macarthur Park. 


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