In the past year many exciting developments have occurred around Complete Streets in Michigan. A panel discussion at the 2010 Michigan Bicycle Summit will provide updates on these developments and provide suggestions on ways your community can go about adopting your own Complete Streets policy.
Jessica Yorko, Council Member
Jessica is a grassroots organizer and entrepreneur who specializes in fundraising, events, and marketing and communication. In 2004, Jessica started Sustainable Solutions, a company that provides grant research and writing, program development, and event planning services for Michigan environmental organizations. Driven by her passion and interest in urban revitalization and creating walkable destinations in Lansing, Jessica also took on the position of Program Manager for the NorthWest Initiative’s Westside Commercial Association in 2006. In that capacity, she works with business and property owners, residents, and other stakeholders to improve blighted areas and create walkable destinations along Saginaw Street on Lansing’s Westside. Jessica is also a founder, member and former Co-Chair of the Lansing Walking & Bicycling Task Force, a coalition of individuals and organizations working to make Lansing a walk and bike friendly city. In January 2010, Jessica was elected to the Lansing City Council, representing the Fourth Ward. Other boards and affiliations: Lansing Walking & Bicycling Task Force, Genesee Garden Cohousing, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, and Lansing PSD/Downtown Lansing, Inc. Between graduating from Kalamazoo College in 2000 with a BA in Economics and Environmental Studies and starting Sustainable Solutions in 2004, Jessica spent four years with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, first as a Financial Analyst and later as a Marketing and Partnership Coordinator.
Rory Neuner, State Network Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
Rory Neuner is the State Network Manager for the Safe Routes to School State Network Project. In this capacity, she oversees policy networks in 10 states, all of which are working to achieve policy change to increase physical activity among students, ensure that federal SRTS funds are spent, and to leverage additional state resources for SRTS initiatives.
Prior to joining the Partnership, Rory worked to promote sustainable transportation policy at the Michigan Environmental Council. Her work there was integral to the passage of the state’s first complete streets ordinance, and to the development of a broad coalition of organizations working to advance active transportation policy at the state level. She has several years of experience working at the intersection of transportation, land use, public health and sustainability issues. Rory has worked on land use issues at Chicago Metropolis 2020, handled communications at the online environmental magazine Grist, and developed policy as a graduate student fellow at the City of Chicago Mayor’s Office.
Rory earned a political science degree from Yale University, spent a year studying city planning at the University of Pennsylvania¹s School of Design, and holds a Master¹s Degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy. She sits on the Board of the League of Michigan Bicyclists, and was recently named a 2010 Michigan Political Leadership Fellow.
Karen Kafantaris, Associate State Director, AARP
Karen joined AARP in 2001 as the Supervisor of State Operations assuming the role of Associate State Director in 2005. Karen’s work is focused in the areas of Livable Communities and Community Service. Karen works throughout Michigan in the issue areas of Transportation and Housing and works across all three AARP social impact pillars to create, manage and evaluate opportunities to engage AARP members in Michigan in strategically aligned community service opportunities. Karen is also a co-chair of the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition.
John Lindenmayer, Associate Director, League of Michigan Bicyclists
John spearheads LMB’s advocacy efforts and is responsible for producing marketing materials for the League, including the LMB website, Ride Calendar, Michigan Bicyclist Magazine and promotions for their Shoreline Bicycle Tours. John has past experience working on numerous electoral, public health and environmental campaigns with organizations such as Clean Water Action, Michigan Consumer Federation and Texas Campaign for the Environment. In addition to co-chairing the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition, John co-chairs the Lansing Walking & Bicycling Task Force and serves on the board of the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council.