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Circulate San Diego Announces 2023 Momentum Award Winners

Post Date:12/07/2023 1:44 PM

Circulate San Diego, a local nonprofit organization, recently recognized outstanding individuals and public agencies at its annual Momentum Awards. The event at the San Diego National History Museum in Balboa Park brought together over 350 attendees. 

The Momentum Awards celebrate the accomplishments of leaders who have made significant contributions to enhancing public transit, improving street safety, and fostering sustainable growth throughout San Diego County. “Circulate San Diego was proud to recognize so many great projects and individuals in San Diego,” said Colin Parent, CEO and general counsel. The ceremony featured six community-nominated awards and the Walk-The-Walk Award.  

Safe Streets and Vision Zero Award 

Winner #1: Brian Pepin, Poway City Councilmember -- Pepin has been an advocate for increased walkability and bike-ability in the face of a vehicle-centric mindset prevalent in Poway. He has organized neighborhood leaders and garnered additional community support to encourage Vision Zero efforts, raise awareness of unsafe activities, and change behaviors to prioritize the safety and well-being of all road users. 

Winner #2: Safer Streets Together (City of Carlsbad) -- Carlsbad's “Safer Streets Together” initiative is a model of proactive road safety efforts. Carlsbad was faced with a 233% increase in bike and e-bike collisions from 2019 to 2022. But when tragedy struck with two fatalities in 10 days, the city declared an emergency, allocating $2 million for a plan focusing on education, engineering, and enforcement. In partnership with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition and Circulate San Diego, Carlsbad's achieved a remarkable 19% reduction in injury collisions. 

Public Transit Connectivity Award 

Winner #1: RideFACTNow - RideFACTNow significantly improves mobility and accessibility for individuals with disabilities in San Diego County. RideFACTNow is an affordable service that takes people from their homes directly to their destinations. It allows those who are often underserved due to the lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles access to reliable and sustainable transportation options.  

Winner #2: Marisa Mangan (San Diego Association of Governments) -- As a senior regional planner, Mangan embodies a passion for innovative solutions and a commitment to transforming San Diego County’s transportation landscape. Her work on pivotal projects demonstrates her exceptional creativity and thoughtfulness. Mangan’s contributions to progressive transportation planning at the San Diego Association of Governments, coupled with her collaborative spirit and commitment to sustainable commuting practices, make her a standout in the region.  

Sustainable Growth Award 

Winner: UC Pro Housing Campaign (Our Time to Act United) -- Our Time to Act United is a youth-driven organization dedicated to fostering an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. They believe in the power of youth engagement in decision-making. Their UC Pro Housing Campaign centers on empowering youth in areas traditionally dominated by adults. By campaigning for housing in the University Community Plan Update and addressing the housing and climate crises, they are showcasing an often-missing voice in land use policy-making. 

Innovation Award 

Winner: La Semilla (Casa Familiar) -- La Semilla, “The Seed,” is an environmental justice initiative that embodies sustainability and community empowerment. Nestled in San Ysidro, it serves as a groundbreaking climate resiliency research center and pilot project. San Ysidro residents experience a 30% higher incidence of asthma than surrounding areas due to border traffic. La Semilla’s design, shaped in collaboration with the community, showcases climate-resilient, affordable, and low-maintenance construction techniques and urban farming methods. 

Public Voice Award 

Winner: MacKenzie Elmer (Voice of San Diego) -- Elmer, an environment and energy reporter at the Voice of San Diego, excels in investigative journalism with expertise in climate science and policy. Her work delves into the intricate connections between environmental issues, energy policies, transportation, and their impact on San Diego. Her articles, such as “San Diegans Say, If the Bus Were Faster, I'd Ride It” and “MTS Is Losing Money Because of its Pronto Pay System,” illuminated the challenges faced by San Diegans in using public transit. 

Advocate Award 

Winner: Terrence Morrissey -- Morrissey’s vision for San Diego centers on creating vibrant, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods where everyone can navigate streets without fear. Over a year of relentless effort, Morrissey remained steadfast, ensuring the successful installation of traffic calming measures. Earlier this year, his hard work paid off -- speed humps were installed, a monumental achievement for a community that had waited for over 25 years for the transit fix. Morrissey’s exceptional leadership was instrumental in this success.  

Walk the Walk Awards 

Diane Takvorian -- Through her leadership as co-founder and executive director of the Environmental Health Coalition, Takvorian has long put her core values of environmental and social justice to work to make our bi-national region a better place to live, work, and move around. Takvorian has led efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, advocate for affordable public transit, and empower communities to make our built environment more equitable.  

Attorney General Rob Bonta and Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins also received awards. Read the entire press release here.  


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