Cascade Bicycle Club Shakeup: What’s up with David Hiller?

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That’s pretty much what our inquiries into longtime advocacy director David Hiller’s future at Seattle’s Cascade Bicycle Club have yielded.

David Hiller: Whither goeth?
Our question:

Does Chuck Ayers’ abruptly announced departure affect Hiller?

In press statements, Ayers made several pointed references to advocacy and grass-roots activism, hinting that the “new” Cascade would back off its roll-up-the-shirtsleeves approach to political organizing.

Club board members vehemently deny that’s the case. At the same time, they make it clear that the club will be taking a more professional, corporate approach to cycling issues in political, financial and civic circles.

Hiller did not respond to an email inquiry. A board member told us, “We just can’t get into that.”

When you ask a simple yes-or-no question and the room goes dark, you have to suspect something’s up.

Hiller’s departure, or even shift to a different position, would mark a giant change for Cascade. Moreso than Ayers, Hiller is the face of Cascade to the community at large.

A tireless lobbyist, Hiller has worked hard the past two years to get vulnerable-user (cyclist and pedestrian) legislation passed. Last year he was a key figure in the successful election campaign of now Mayor Mike McGinn.

Hiller has been in the forefront of Burke-Gilman Trail, bike lane and “road diet” campaigns. He’s the first person the press turns to for a quote on bike issues. And for good reason — we can’t recall him ever saying “no comment.” Till now, at least.

If Hiller were to leave Cascade, we doubt he would fade into the woodwork. It may be that David will join McGinn’s staff or find a lobbying position with a different bike organization. In any case, we suspect the name David Hiller will remain synonymous with bike advocacy for some time to come.


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7 thoughts on “Cascade Bicycle Club Shakeup: What’s up with David Hiller?”

  1. Thanks for trying to get to the bottom of this! Dave Hiller’s done great things and I hope he stays with the organization.

    Whatever is the meaning of the phrase: “Cascade would back off its roll-up-the-shirtsleeves approach to political organizing”?

  2. “If Hiller were to leave Cascade, we doubt he would fade into the woodwork.”

    However, the Cascade Bike Club WOULD fade into the woodwork, making it not interesting enough to support.

  3. Turns out that David Hiller’s scorched earth bullying may have just cost him his job. CBC will be better off without him.

  4. David Hiller and Chuck Ayers are Seattle heroes! These folks advocated for MY cycling community tirelessly and with tremendous results. I don’t want to be party to a polite minority group; I want to be part of a transportation and city planning renaissance! Furthermore, I love it that Dave is personally invested, emotional and passionate about the car v. bicycle deaths that we have gnashed over for years. I agree; A motorist should be scared to death to injure a cyclist. Behind you all the way Chuck & Dave.

  5. News goes from bad to worse… First Chuck then David. I’m personally casting my vote to oust the whole board then ending my ten years as a member with Cascade. I’ve always loved that Hiller’s been unyielding in his defense of what’s right for cyclist. I’ve spent enough time in Olympia to see all the pandering lobbyist and unless your wallet is huge you get no where that way. I want an advocacy director that advocates for us not buckles under at the slightest resistance. Say goodbye to all the progress we’ve seen over the last 7 years. Obviously our board wants to make it easier to drive in Seattle, who cares if bikers die as long as our name doesn’t appear in the paper too much.

    Chuck and David best of luck in all future endeavors! We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the great work you’ve done!!

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