Our Staff Spotlight feature is back! This month, we're featuring one of our newer Active team members, Marlene! With a passion for hiking and biking and a background in education, Marlene started to look for opportunities that would allow her to advocate for safer streets and environmental justice. It was long before she crossed paths with Active SGV, and well, the rest is history! Check out her feature below.
1. How did you get started working at Active SGV?
It started with a decision back in December 2018 that I would look for opportunities that resonated with my values and interest—being outdoors and riding my bike. At the time I did not know about ActiveSGV, or that an organization like this existed. All I knew is that I needed to be proactive in the fight for environmental justice, advocating for safer streets for cyclist and pedestrians, and healthy communities. Like many people I started searching for opportunities to get involved specifically around these issues. I briefly volunteered at organization in Downtown Los Angeles before joining the Vision Zero street team to do community outreach. I found these experiences fulfilling. A few friends shared the opportunity at ActiveSGV and thought that it would be a good fit. As I read and learned about ActiveSGV work on environmental justice, equity, and sustainability I knew that I wanted to help and be a part of this community. I was very fortunate to be invited to join.
2. What do you like most about Active SGV?
I love the passion and dedication of all my colleagues from the OG’s to the young interns. I feel inspired and energized by their leadership. It motivates me to step up my game, to grow, and to look for ways to be a better person, colleague, and advocate. Before shelter place, it was also really cool to ride bikes to events with my colleagues—some of the coolest people I know.
3. Most memorable Active SGV experience?
My favorite/memorable experience at ActiveSGV happened in February when we hosted the Emerald Necklace bike train. It was my first time doing the ride so I was really excited. I wasn’t the only one excited-- 60 people came out for the ride! The bike trains had not been done in a while, so it was nice to see a large group of people come out on a Sunday morning. After the ride a few of us went to Sweet Veggie, shout out Andrew and Amy for introducing me to this vegan/vegeterian spot! The day didn’t end there, after lunch Ed gave us a tour of his amazing backyard filled with fruit trees and let us to pick fruit to take home. It one of my favorite days so far!
4. If a friend came from out of town, where would you take them in SGV and why?
I would invite my friend for a hike on the Gabrielino Trail followed by food either at ThienTam vegetarian restaurant or Plant Love Food both offer delicious vegan/vegetarian food! I would probably also show them Jeff Seymour Family Center, it’s such a wonderful example of how to reimagine spaces to be sustainable and welcoming.
5. What are you listening to, reading, doing, digging right now?
Since shelter in place I started listening to podcast. I like stand up so a lot of the podcast I listen to are by comedians, not all but most. Here are a few of my favorite that I recommend:
1. Small Doses with Amanda Seales
2. Whitney Cummings Good For You
Want to learn more? Check out ActiveSGV's new podcast, ActiveLab