The results of the 2015 SF Bicycle Coalition board of directors election were announced on Friday, January 8. We are excited that two Save SF Bike candidates, Shirley Johnson and Mary Kay Chin, were in the top seven. The election was extremely close with only 183 votes separating the 1st place candidate from the 14th place candidate.
The results of this election are a victory for member rights. The level of voter turnout greatly exceeded any previous board election and exceeded the 1,400 responses to the last member survey in 2014. The voter turnout, coupled with the strong support for candidates who want to retain a member-elected board, shows that members are excited by the opportunity to remain directly involved in the governance of this organization through board elections.
In another first, candidates not endorsed by the sitting board were elected by the members. This sends a strong message that members want fresh perspectives on the board.
With the unprecedented publication of detailed vote results, the shift to a more transparent and accountable SF Bicycle Coalition has begun.
Verification of vote results recommended
Given the close election, we request the results be verified by three inspectors of election. One suggestion would be that the LoveSFBC slate, the Save SF Bike slate, and the independent candidate each select a member of their choice for this role.
Vote validity must be addressed
The current bylaws require that board candidates be approved by a majority of ballots cast (see Article IV, Section 11.A.v). The published results indicate only four candidates* received the required majority. This issue must be addressed so that the board has legal standing to direct the organization.
As it stands, there are now four vacancies on the board (three from this election and the vacancy created by Jean Fraser when she resigned from the board in November). According to the bylaws (Article V, Section 6), vacancies may be filled by the remaining directors or by the members, provided that the board may not fill more than three such vacancies in any calendar year. Therefore, it appears either a run-off election can be held to fill all four seats or the board can appoint three seats and leave one vacant. We suggest that the SF Bike Coalition solicit member input on how to proceed.
Thank you for your support!
We thank everyone who supported us and all of the members who participated in this historic election. The extremely close results show that there is a large number of SFBC members who support more progressive policies and want better representation of all San Francisco bike riders particularly people of color and low income residents.
We look forward to working with the new board to promote transparency, accountability to members, and support of member advocates to further the goals of the SF Bike Coalition for all bike riders.