Accelerate Your Advocacy Efforts

Advocate Academy 2021 Logo

Accelerate your advocacy efforts with Norte’s fourth annual Advocate Academy

The partnership of Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities’ T.C. Mobility Lab, and Norte is again offering immersive training for Northern Michigan citizens interested in learning more about how local government works and how to influence it. Centered around a shared goal of improving walking and biking conditions, the 2021 Advocate Academy offers a curriculum over six 90–minute sessions beginning February 4.

The program is designed to help participants become more knowledgeable, confident, and effective advocates for walking, biking, transit use, and other forms of active transportation. The skills learned are also adaptable to other areas of public decision making.

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“So many people have ideas for how to make their block or commute a little better for themselves and their neighbors,” said James Bruckbauer, Deputy Director at Groundwork. “They don’t always know where to start or who they need to contact to make improvements. We’re excited to help local residents understand how to make a positive change.”

The six-week course will help participants:

  • Understand the benefits of walking, biking, transit, and other public transportation;
  • Evaluate how the built environment and its conditions help or hinder our ability to get around;
  • Grasp and interpret local transportation policy issues such as Complete Streets;
  • Communicate policy ideas effectively to build trust and engage with decision-makers;
  • And foster a local advocacy movement with diverse stakeholders.

“Last year, our last session was on the eve of the public health crisis. As we remain in the middle of the pandemic, this year’s academy will be online,” said Gary Howe, Norte‘s Advocacy Director. “We’ll miss greeting everyone with a handshake, but we will still deliver an engaging and collaborative academy.”

The Advocate Academy is open to anyone interested in learning about local Pro Walk/Pro Bike issues. Registration is available now, and space is limited to the first 20 registrants. The registration fee is $35, with scholarships available upon request. Each Thursday session runs from 5:30–7 pm, beginning February 4.

To learn more and register, visit Advocate Academy.

Potential participants can email either program facilitator with questions. Jim can be reached at and Gary at

In addition to the partnership with Groundwork’s T.C. Mobility Lab, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation is the title sponsor. This support ensures the program is available for anyone wishing to attend.



Happy. Healthy. Strong.