Looking Back, Looking Ahead – Our 2022 Impact Report

Multiracial passengers waiting at a bus stop and talking cheerfully. Focus on an african american woman entering the bus. Diverse tourists in new town. Best friends traveling together in a city.

For transparency, every year non-profit organizations like ours publish an annual report to share our financial position after auditors have completed their review. Our 2022 Impact Report is now here, and it tells a great story about our progress, our strengthening financial position, and the inspired work of walkability advocates.

When I joined in 2020, America Walks had a strong foundation and record of achievement. With our board and staff, we began work on a new strategic plan to amplify the growing public demand for walkability. That plan calls for us to dedicate more of our time and energy into supporting grassroots organizing and help channel that energy into meaningful victories with national impact. All of that informed by our values around community, inclusion, and racial equity.

When I look back at 2022 (our first full year under the new strategic plan), I can see the clear connection to our efforts in 2023. Let me explain: 

In 2022 we highlighted the Week Without Driving campaign in Washington state. In 2023 we partnered with Disability Rights Washington to take it national. Over 300 elected and agency officials pledged to experience the challenges faced by their constituents without cars. 142 state and local organizations participated, making the first ever National Week Without Driving succeed beyond our expectations. 

In 2022 we became co-hosts of the Freeway Fighters Network. In 2023 we hosted the first ever national convening of grassroots freeway fighters, helping build a national movement to reverse the damage caused by highways through our communities. We have also partnered with Transportation for  America to help deliver technical assistance to local coalitions working on obtaining Reconnecting Communities grants from USDOT, or other funding for their projects…

In 2022 we partnered with the League of American Bicyclists and Safe Routes Partnership to pool our resources to support local efforts on active transportation, which led to the Intersections Initiative, a joint project in 2023 providing technical assistance on how to win federal grants.

In 2022 we pushed USDOT to implement new rules for safer vehicles. USDOT responded and this year we rallied thousands to comment on proposed new vehicle safety standards.

All of this while continuing to expand our training of local advocates through our national and state walking colleges, continuing our successful webinar series, and incorporating Walk2Connect as a program of America Walks. 

Taken together this makes up our theory of change. We work with local advocates on their most pressing issues and we train more advocates to take up the cause. Together we are building a movement that can have an impact at every level of policymaking, whether local, state and federal. This approach has allowed us to grow our staff, our relationships with partners and local advocates, and our impact.

It is with tremendous gratitude that we share our 2022 Impact Report with you, and plan for the future of our movement. Our greatest asset as an organization is the passion and commitment of people, across our country, willing to get out into their community to work for a better future. We look forward to working with you on safer, healthier, and more equitable communities.