The Carbon Crushers are back. They’re joining Climate Ride California to memorialize two friends, Rachel Davidman and Deb Hubsmith. Both were dancers and heroes of the Safe Routes to School movement. Rachel was TransForm’s Safe Routes to School Education Director and the 2013 Carbon Crushers’ Climate Ride Team Captain. Deb Hubsmith co-founded the National Safe Routes to Schools Partnership. Team members are also riding as allies in support of their beneficiary TransForm’s efforts to make communities healthier and more affordable places to live, work, and get around.
Carbon Crushers team members occupy many roles in their day-to-day lives. They are parents, long-time voices for addressing climate change, cyclists, and nonprofit executive directors. They work on policy and are mental health advocates. They are also Deb and Rachel’s family members, friends, and professional colleagues. All of them are unified in their commitment to address social inequity. They represent the Bay Area from Marin to Oakland to San Francisco to Palo Alto.
The San Francisco Skyline Before and During the Climate Fires.
As the fall 2018 Climate fires swept California, smoke hung heavy in the air. Word of Rachel Davidman’s death hit the TransForm and Safe Routes to Schools communities just days after the fires started. Especially for 2019 Team Captain Rosie Mesterhazy, losing Rachel during this difficult time felt like a call to recommit to the work Rachel cared about. In Rachel’s words, “Climate Change, yes it’s real, so is the need for change in our climate, our policing and our policies.”
“We are friends of Rachel & Deb. We are longtime environmentalists. We are sustainability people.” –Team TransForm
Rachel worked daily to address global warming by improving public transit, making sustainable routes to schools safer, advocating for more bike lanes, and so much more. She cared about educating, encouraging, and inspiring children and families to travel to and from school via active transportation. So Rachel’s Carbon Crushers are honoring her memory by raising awareness about the challenges to the survival of our ecosystem. Climate Riding through some of the most beautiful scenery in California sets the perfect backdrop to build a brighter, more breathable future.
Deb Hubsmith was instrumental in establishing Safe Routes to Schools as a household name across the country. In 1999 Deb co-founded the Marin Safe Routes to Schools program with her friend Wendi Kallins who will be joining the Carbon Crushers in 2019. “Deb and I conceived of Safe Routes to Schools on the back of a napkin,” Wendi remembers. “While I had already accumulated state and local funding, Deb brought in the national funding, making Marin the national model program.” Deb then lobbied Congress which provided a $1.1 billion national program that funded Safe Routes to School across the country. Deb founded the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership while simultaneously running the Marin County Bicycle Coalition as executive director. “She was a force of nature,” said Wendi. “People called her the Energizer Bunny.”
Deb fought for her life with the same tenacity as she battled Leukemia. She vowed that her next big project would be to fight climate change and foster sustainable communities. Sadly, she never got to jump into that next battle. But Wendi took up the mantle and as president of Sustainable Marin will be riding in her honor while raising money for TransForm and for Sustainable Marin.
Climate Ride + TransForm = Climate Justice.
For more than twenty years, TransForm has advanced social equity and climate justice through transportation and land use solutions. With diverse partners in the Bay Area and across California, they engage communities in planning, run innovative programs, and win groundbreaking policy change at the local, regional, and state levels. TransForm has been a leader in the Safe Routes to Schools movement, helping institutionalize the program in all 9 Bay Area Counties. TransForm’s initiatives are focused on creating more homes with less driving, pushing new mobility technology to disrupt inequity, and investing in transportation that works better for people and the planet. You can help the Carbon Crushers raise awareness about the need to address climate change and lift up Rachel’s and Deb’s memories through movement, for the movement here!