Winter 1999-2000, p.19

Volunteer of the Month: Joshua Zalen

Age: 24
Neighborhood: Park Slope, Brooklyn
Occupation: Managerial Consultant, Andersen Consulting
T.A. Member Since: 1997, volunteering on and off for the past 3 months
How did you come to volunteer at T.A?: Two years ago I saw a reference to T.A. in the Metro Section of the NY Times. I called up and joined because I am interested in pedestrian and public transportation issues. NYC is so special because of its huge pedestrian and transit presence.
At work I have a lot of downtime between projects. Andersen encourages employees to spend downtime "usefully," either for further training or volunteering for a community organization. I started to volunteer because I wanted to help further the pedestrian and transit agenda.
Volunteer Activities: Rallies, volunteer nights, magazine mailing parties, constructing a database to organize T.A.'s library (and last minute expert Excel help as T.A. moves to a new membership database).
Impressions of T.A. so far? It's a well organized, together and comfortable office. I love the magazine, I wish it came out every month!
You are T.A. director for a day, what do you do?: I would make T.A. even more pedestrian focused, or recruit more active pedestrian volunteers to balance out all the bicycle-oriented volunteers. I'd put a pedestrian picture on the cover of the magazine and throw full support behind the 2nd Avenue Subway line, not the light rail proposal. And organize rallies on the weekends so more people can show up!
Thoughts on Volunteer Night? It's a lot of fun, good to meet people with similar perspectives. I liked the addition of chocolate covered pretzels to the snack list last time. The only semi-negative thing is the occasional inky fingers.
Other Activities: I run a tour of Brooklyn, called the "Brooklyn Cultural Tour." This day long tour incorporates walking, buses, the subway and even roller-coasters. [Find tour info at www.geocities.com/ussil870/btour.html or email yussil870@ yahoo.com.]
Why should members volunteer? T.A. is one of the few bicycle, pedestrian and transit advocacy organizations around in the City. If you can find the time, volunteering is an easy way to become more deeply involved in issues that affect you.
Brooklyn Wish List: A truly car-free Fulton Street Mall and a full-time car-free Prospect Park.