SFBC Member Survey continues misleading view of member rights

UPDATE, MARCH 16: Several SFBC board members have told us that they were not aware of these questions before the survey went out, and that the survey questions were all written by staff. We expect there will be a discussion of this issue at the upcoming board meeting on Tuesday, March 22nd. Please mark your calendars!

ORIGINAL POST: The SF Bike Coalition is conducting its 2016 Member Survey. The SFBC says it’s the “biggest way we get feedback on all of our efforts, including: member services, programs and advocacy efforts.” However, this year’s survey includes two questions about organizational governance:

21. How comfortable are you with having your contact information (home address and email) shared with another member to communicate with you about organizational business?
22. Please indicate your level of agreement with the following statement, “I would like to be contacted directly via email by other SF Bicycle Coalition members regarding organizational matters.”

We are disappointed that this represents a missed opportunity to gather meaningful input from members on how to address the important unresolved issues surrounding governance of the SFBC.

What’s missing?

  • The survey makes no mention of the fact that the only way to fully prevent members from communicating with fellow members is to eliminate our right to vote for the Board of Directors.
  • The survey doesn’t ask member’s opinion if the board of directors should be elected by members or appointed by the current board.
  • The survey doesn’t ask member’s opinion on creating a class of non-voting members for members who are concerned about their privacy
  • (We could go on, but we’ll spare you for now. We’ve collected a long list of questions about SFBC’s bylaws and governance since this saga started last July!)

Essentially, they ask the same question twice with slightly different wording! We’ve heard concerns from a number of members that this appears to be a rehashing last year’s deceptive bylaws vote to eliminate member voting rights. We’re concerned that the results from these one-sided questions could be used to support efforts to rerun the bylaw vote to eliminate member elections of the Board of Directors.

For the last nine months we have been saying that member voting rights are important to us, and before we make any changes to that, we need to have an open and honest conversation about governance of the Bike Coalition. These one-sided questions are a missed opportunity for beginning that conversation and once again make us suspicious of the SFBC’s intentions.

What can you do?

If you agree with us, please write a quick email to membership@sfbike.org and board@sfbike.org to ask that these two questions on member privacy be removed from the Member Survey.

More information on the Member Survey is posted on the SFBC’s blog. You should have received a personalized link to the survey in the Biker Bulletin. If you didn’t receive it, you can email membership@sfbike.org and ask for a link.