Meet Your Neighbor: Helen Ho

August 13, 2018

Community organizing was a value instilled in me at a young age. When I was a teenager, I was a participant in almost all of Queens Community House's afterschool programs, including the first Access for Young Women cohort, a girls' leadership program. In hindsight, I realize these early experiences had a significant impact on my life.   I went to college for business but quickly realized the field wasn’t for me. The things I was learning didn’t have the human element. I didn’t want to make money for a business when I could use my energy and time to help other people. Since that revelation, I’ve gone on to work with NYPIRG, NYC Parks Dept., and now LaGuardia Community College.

 

In 2012, I founded The Biking Public Project. Women and people of color are often left out of bike infrastructure planning, and as a community organizer I felt compelled to do something about it. For the past three years, we’ve been working with food delivery workers, a large sub-section of NYC bike population that’s often ignored. Delivery workers can be hard to reach since they’re working most of the time. They definitely can’t go to a bike advocacy meeting at 6pm on a weeknight - that’s their peak work time. Many workers are undocumented and don’t speak English. Their concerns are not the same as white-collar cyclists. They’re concerned about police harassment and the legalization of e-bikes, which benefit the older delivery workers. For NYC to truly be a sanctuary city, we have to think of ways not to criminalize immigrant workers on the street everyday.

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