Our Vision: Movement Power

Imagine that all Californians can move in public spaces under their own power, with confidence, dignity, and security. Imagine that all Californians of any race, identity, age, or ability can walk, run, or roll on people-friendly pathways that are safe, healthy, and welcoming in all neighborhoods and communities.

Movement Power is for All Californians

We all need to get from here to there under our own power. Even if some of the time we drive a car, use public transportation, or catch a ride, we ultimately walk or roll to get where we need to go. And oftentimes we walk, run, or roll just for the joy of it. Walking is good for the health of our minds and bodies, our neighborhoods, and our planet.

Freedom to Move and Freedom to Be

But we cannot move freely when we feel vulnerable and unsafe while walking on our streets. And we cannot live freely when we feel threatened or unwelcome for simply being in public space. There are powerful forces that get in the way of moving and NOT moving in streets and public spaces. What gets in your way? Physical barriers? Fear for your safety? Harassment? Crumbling infrastructure? The challenges to just and inclusive public spaces run deep—from institutional racism, classism, and car culture, to the disinvestment in our neighborhoods and displacement of our most vulnerable neighbors. By working together as a movement, we can tackle these systemic injustices that have kept the right to be safe and feel welcome in public spaces out of reach for too many communities.

Celebrating Movement Power

To overcome these barriers to streets as inclusive public spaces, we must celebrate walking, running, and rolling as part of a healthy, joyful life. Think of all the times when moving under your own power is part of moments that bring you joy. A baby’s first steps. Marching for a cause. Unexpectedly running into a friend. Exploring your neighborhood. Meeting, moving, and being in public spaces promotes connection, community, and celebration.

Working as a Movement

To live in this future, we need streets that work for everyone. Streets as public spaces that are designed for safe, welcoming access for all people. Streets that make it easy to get to work, shop, school, play and, well, everywhere we want and need to be. We need streets and public spaces that put people first. The path to this vision is working together. We envision engagement between residents, agencies, industries, and movements to create whole communities. We envision communities that come together to address the adverse effects of climate change through sustainable and equitable development and a transition to a just and fair economy. We envision a network that actively shifts decision-making power to communities most affected by those decisions and requires that public spaces work for everyone.

This is our vision. Whether you walk, run, or roll, this is movement power. The power to shape the creation and use of safe streets and public spaces that work for everybody. The power to stop forces that displace, threaten, and harm people and poison our planet. The power to create a future where moving under your own power is safe, healthy, and welcoming for all Californians of any race, age, identity, or ability, and in all neighborhoods.

Our Core Values

Justice

California Walks works to identify structural barriers that prevent all people from living their lives free of oppression and actively works to stop current, prevent future, and repair and heal historic oppression of vulnerable communities—including but not limited to indigenous peoples, communities of color, women, low-income communities, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ communities. We believe that those who have been harmed by oppressive systems and those most impacted by planning and political decisions should direct the development and implementation of solutions, and we work to engage people in this way. We believe that we must also honor our indigenous communities on whose ancestral land we live through respectful and meaningful engagement that moves beyond ceremony and acknowledgement.

We strive to live this value in all areas of our work, including but not limited to: our vocal support for racial and economic justice; our solidarity with others pursuing justice in issue areas beyond transportation; actively seeking out and integrating the perspective of indigenous communities in our work; and in the composition of and our engagement with our staff, Board of Directors, and community partners.

Community Leadership

California Walks works to actively connect to and engage communities as leaders of change who drive decision-making processes in genuine ways that are based on their own expertise. We see and treat local communities as legitimate experts in their own lived experiences. We co-empower, co-create, and co-operate with communities.

The ways we strive to live this value in our work include, but are not limited to: listening before taking action; advocating for projects that are led and informed by local communities; incorporating and supporting voices from the local community level in all our efforts; ensuring that our state efforts are informed by local voices; and increasing funding and resources to support involvement at the local and state levels.

Partnership + Collaboration

California Walks works to cultivate a broad spectrum of authentic and deep relationships in order to maximize energy and results. We see ourselves as connectors and collaborators—recognizing that collective impact will achieve far more than any of us could do alone.

The ways we strive to live this value in our work include, but are not limited to: being a partner others can rely on; forming strategic collaborations; providing generous access to expertise; and sharing and disseminating knowledge and best practices as sources of inspiration for locally-rooted action.

Guiding Principles

Mindfulness, intentionality, and self-reflection.

We are thoughtful, we consider how our actions impact others, and we are committed to our own continuous learning. We actively consider other people’s points of view.

Empathy and compassion.

We strive for common understanding. We assume the best of people, organizations, and agencies, always looking for good intent. In adversarial situations, we practice compassion, wishing others well even as we stand up for ourselves, our communities, and our vision.

Accountability, honesty, and transparency.

We stay true to our mission and correct ourselves when we need to. We are open, clear, and courageous in our communication with others. We proactively share and disseminate information and lessons learned.

Creativity and adaptability.

We challenge ourselves and others to be unlimited, flexible, and innovative in our thinking. We facilitate conversations—courageous, fun, sometimes difficult—to tap into genius ideas and solutions.

celebration.

We commemorate, honor, and enjoy our shared experiences with our communities and partners. We celebrate the way we work together; we celebrate our accomplishments; and we celebrate walking and rolling.