Our first award of the day was also the first time that this award had been given out. ACT recognized Veronica Jarvis with the TDM Excellence award for Advocacy. Veronica officially joined the TDM world just over two years ago – during the peak of the pandemic but has been an alternative transportation advocate for many years.
Prior to her role as a Transportation Demand/Commute Trip Reduction Planner at Thurston Regional Planning Council in Olympia, Washington. Veronica served two Washington state Governors, one as Budget Assistant for Transportation in the Office of Financial Management and one doing community outreach and events. It was perhaps these stints in public service that sparked Veronica’s interest in enthusiasm for policy and ACT has been the lucky beneficiary. Jumping all into her membership, Veronica quickly found a home on the Public Policy Committee and has served as its Vice Chair for the past two years.
During this time, Veronica has played an integral role in ACT’s federal advocacy activities, where she has worked closely with ACT’s government affairs team in DC to advance the codification of ACT’s TDM definition, not letting Congress’s procedural moves get in the way of our goals. These efforts earned Veronica the ACT President’s Award for Emerging Leader at the 2021 International Conference.
She has held meetings with more than 10 congressional offices (some of them multiple times) to educate their staff and leaders on the TDM definition. She has led ACT virtual and in-person training and informational sessions to help ACT members be better advocates for their programs and the industry. Veronica is always willing, with a bright smile and strong conviction, to meet with local officials, elected leaders, and other interested stakeholders to talk about the benefits of TDM to their communities.
I think Veronica summed it up best when she said: “I think it is essential to reach out to our elected officials and tell them about all the great TDM work that is happening in their communities. Working for elected leaders has taught me they are very busy! But they always want to know about the good work happening in their region, or the issues that arise. They just need someone to tell them!”
Spreading the good word of TDM and encouraging better accessibility for alternative modes is more than a job for Veronica, it is a passion. She practices what she advocates for as she enjoys getting around by bike, bus, and foot with her kids, rain or shine in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.