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Anna Zivarts with Barb Chamberlain and Tanisha Sepúlveda

Driving Change — Navigating Mobility for All

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Monday, May 13
7:30 pm PDT
$5 – $25 Sliding Scale
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The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long.

A livestream of this event will also be available. 

Book cover: White background with the main title "When Driving is Not an Option" at the top. The sketch beneath shows passengers with various mobility aids boarding the bus with a ramp at the door. Sub title at the bottom says "Steering Away from Car Dependency."
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When Driving Is Not an Option: Steering Away from Car Dependency

The Elliott Bay Book Company

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From left to right: Headshots of Anna Zivarts, Barb Chamberlain, and Tanisha Sepulveda

Traffic, parking, gas prices, miles per gallon- many casual concerns might enter your mind when you get into your car and go out into the world. But what happens when your concerns are not casual but constant, and they start with figuring out whether you can even access where you’re trying to go in the first place?

One-third of people living in the United States don’t have a driver’s license, yet live in a system that doesn’t prioritize people who don’t or can’t drive. In her book When Driving is Not an Option: Steering Away From Car Dependency, Anna Letitia Zivarts sets out to explain why factoring nondrivers into planning decisions and improvements across our transportation system will create a better quality of life for everyone.

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Drawing from interviews with involuntary nondrivers from around the United States and from her own lived experience, Zivarts explores the realities nondrivers face in a car-centric society. The majority of involuntary nondrivers nationwide are disabled, lower income, unhoused, undocumented, formerly incarcerated, very young, or elderly. These populations face significant financial and accessibility barriers attempting to navigate a transportation system that suffers from a major blind spot towards them- it’s a system designed and run by people who can drive.

When Driving is Not an Option evaluates the human health, environmental, and quality-of-life costs of our current systems and what changing them to be more equitable and accessible could look like for everyone- car user or not. In conversation with cycling policy leader Barb Chamberlain and fellow disability advocate Tanisha Sepúlveda, Zivarts touches on levels of change that could create expansive impacts- from accessible and affordable transit and housing to promoting diverse leadership, from sidewalk connectivity to creating more opportunities for biking, scooting, and wheeling. By acting on the needs of nondrivers who are frequently excluded from the conversation, Zivarts posits that more supportive structures and healthier, climate-conscious communities could be right around the corner.

Anna Zivarts is an author, organizer, disability advocate, and low-vision nondriver. She launched and currently serves as the Program Director of the Disability Mobility Initiative at Disability Rights Washington. She represents disabled nondrivers on the Washington State Active Transportation Council and previously served as the equity and accessibility expert on NHTSA’s Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety Program Assessment teams for Kentucky and Maryland.

Barb Chamberlain is the Director of the Active Transportation Division of the Washington State Department of Transportation. She is a long-time proponent of active transportation safety, equity, and accessibility, previously serving as the executive director of the nonprofit Washington Bikes. Her work has been recognized with regional, state, and national awards.

Tanisha Sepúlveda is a program coordinator for Empower Movement WA, a coalition of BIPOC and disabled mobility advocates supported by Disability Rights Washington and Front and Centered.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

Join us before the event for a tabling fair highlighting some of Seattle’s leaders in transportation, environmental, and disability advocacy. If you arrive by a mode other than a car, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win fun prizes!


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Rental Partner: Neighborhood House Washington presents

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