Local Motion is a grassroots advocacy organization focused on transportation equity.

Our Mission

The mission of Local Motion is to provide walking, biking, and transit solutions to meet people’s everyday transportation needs.

Our Vision

The vision of Local Motion is towns built for people, where it’s easy to walk, bike, and ride transit, and everyone can get where they want to go.

Our History

Local Motion was founded in Columbia, Missouri in 2000 as a grassroots, membership-based transportation advocacy organization. Local Motion has a strong track record of successful policy and infrastructure campaigns for walking, biking, and transit. We have achieved local advocacy wins for sidewalks, bike lanes, intersection improvements, bike boulevards, and public transit, and significantly influenced the development of Columbia’s trail network.

Local Motion at the Columbia Earth Day event in Peace Park in the spring of 2000.

Local Motion pushed Columbia to adopt a Complete Streets policy (2004) that ensures that new streets and street renovations are designed for all forms of transportation, and a Vision Zero policy (2016) that sets a goal and strategy to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries by 2030. Both policies were the first such policies in Missouri and among the first in the US. Local Motion has provided transportation advocacy and community organizing consulting services to dozens of other communities and states.

In 2015, Local Motion began strengthening its focus on the systemic barriers in the transportation system that limit people’s access to basic needs (e.g., food, healthcare, jobs) and their participation in democracy. Local Motion began partnering more extensively at the grassroots level with people whom the auto-centric transportation system places at high risk of health and social justice harms, and who are often excluded from local decision-making processes. Equity is now the foundation of our advocacy approach.

In 2018, Local Motion was one of four regional organizations that founded Missourians for Responsible Transportation (MRT). MRT brings together communities and grassroots organizations from urban and rural areas to advocate with one voice at the state level for a fiscally responsible, safe, and equitable transportation system. MRT works with more than 30 rural Missouri towns and represents over 35,000 members across the state. Local Motion houses and is the fiscal agent for MRT.

In 2021, Local Motion rebranded from our original name: PedNet Coalition. Read our story of why we changed our name.

Our Core Values

Our Core Values describe how we do business. They are the code of ethics we use to help us make decisions about how to carry out our mission.

Advocacy is well-informed, strategic, and long-term. As transportation professionals, we take the long view on how to bring about policy and infrastructure change.

We assemble data-driven, research-based policy positions, and rally community support to influence decision makers.

We live the mission by getting around town by walking, biking, or riding the bus. Local Motion’s mission is a critical aspect of our personal identity; it’s not just a job.

How we get around town is crucial to our advocacy because it quietly but publicly shows how walking, biking, and transit are practical and feasible.

Transportation affects everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone in the same way.

We focus our efforts on raising the voices of people who may be overlooked in transportation decision-making, like lower-income people, people of color, people with disabilities, and people walking or biking.

Our ability to accomplish our mission is directly dependent on the people we have on our team. Our people are people first, not employees.

We value our physical health, mental health, and work-life balance. We have flexible schedules and provide the best salaries and benefits we can.

And we work to get the right people in the right seats. As we learn each other’s strengths, we move responsibilities around to best match our skills and interests.

We make no decision lightly. We research, analyze, discuss, debate, and finally come to a strategic conclusion.

And when we reach that conclusion, we have a united voice among our team of Local Motion staff and board members.

Our team is organized in a shared leadership model; we rely on each other’s expertise in different areas. We value having open, honest conversations, and respect each other’s viewpoints. We’ve built a culture of trust and confidentiality.

Our board is actively involved in working towards our mission, and builds strong relationships with our staff. When something big comes up, it’s all hands on deck and we come together as a team to get it done.

We focus on our mission in order to maintain a reputation of integrity. If we advocate outside the scope of our mission, we run the risk of losing our credibility and power.

Nonprofits exist to fill a gap, to serve a need that wouldn’t be addressed otherwise. We look upstream to find solutions to underlying problems, rather than putting a bandaid on a symptom.

In many cases the underlying problem can be addressed through policy change, so we spend most of our time and energy advocating for changes in policy and infrastructure.

We are reliable, follow through on what we say we’ll do, and produce quality work – whether by providing solid information to decision-makers, mobilizing people for a big vote, offering training workshops, or trying hard not to exaggerate how much bikes can change your life.

We are constantly evaluating how we’re doing and innovating our next steps. We look back on where we’ve been successful so we can build momentum. And we acknowledge where we’ve fallen short so we can either try a different approach or stop trying and do something else.

We are open-minded, ready to accept feedback, and eager to change based on new information.

Nonprofits are corporations. We’re just corporations in business for the greater good rather than to make our investors wealthy. But we have to pay attention to how we operate just like any other business. We diversify our income, keep clean financial records, and are transparent with our donors on the impact of their investments.

We provide good customer service, respond to questions and concerns, and provide resources. And we have an abundance mindset rather than a scarcity mindset, believing that we can always find more ways to do more good. 

Land Acknowledgment

Local Motion is located on the ancestral land of the Kiikapoi (Kickapoo), Peoria, Kaskaskia, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, and Osage peoples. 

Contact Us

For more information, contact Lawrence Simonson at Lawrence@LoMoCoMo.org


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Local Motion does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, or disability. 

For civil rights inquiries, contact the Local Motion CEO.
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