Big things are happening all across Texas, and that’s true here at Farm&City as well where we’ve just welcomed aboard our new Deputy Director, Scott White.
Scott joins us after serving several years as the Policy Director for Velo Paso Bicycle-Pedestrian Coalition in El Paso. During his time there, he’s led a successful effort to fix TxDOT’s plan to defund a proposed Bike Share program, and worked to ensure the City of El Paso not only continued to fund promised bicycle infrastructure, but was the first member named to the City’s new Bicycle Advisory Committee, and helped the City craft it’s first new Bicycle Master Plan in decades.
Scott earned both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso, is a League of American Bicyclists certified instructor, and has been accredited by the Congress of New Urbanism. Scott will focus on grant writing and fundraising, statewide advocacy, outreach and education, and building our capacity.
Scott didn’t come to us via the usual planning or engineering route, his BA is in history, and his MA is in History of Ideas. He’s worked in alumni and university relations, fundraising roles, and when he wasn’t building relations or raising money, he could be found behind the scenes working in the theatre as a card carrying, union stagehand.
Scott’s take on the need for a more balanced and equitable approach to transportation developed long ago, when he would ride his bike to soccer practice, or to deliver papers, or even his job as a lifeguard. He saw he could get some places, but there were just too few safe routes for people. So about eight years ago, Scott finally decided to do something about that, and helped launch what would become Velo Paso. Since then he’s turned himself into not just an advocate, but a self trained urbanist, attending a range of conferences where most participants were planners and engineers, to reading all the urbanist books he could get his hands on, and even becoming Accredited by the Congress of New Urbanism.
Scott was born in Austin, but grew up in El Paso, and hasn’t quite found a way to escape the border city he calls home (and we’re not sure he really wants to). So, he will continue to call El Paso home as Farm&City is excited to embrace a truly statewide nonprofit management model, with Scott working from El Paso – helping to spread our reach and impact across far west Texas – with Jay holding down the fort in Austin, along with most of our interns who are attending college and graduate school in Austin.
By keeping Scott in El Paso, he can not only help Farm&City reach new goals, and new audiences, he can also continue his service to the community as a board member of Velo Paso, and as a part of local Safe Routes to School and Complete Streets Coalitions.
The Pandemic has been difficult for us all in so many ways, but it also helped to create this opportunity, as we realized we can take advantage of online services and new approaches to networking and outreach to engage even more people than before. It doesn’t matter where you live in Texas, you too can be a part of our team, as an employee, and intern, and especially as a volunteer.