Shirley Johnson’s August Newsletter

 

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Strategic planning member forums – August 17 and August 27
  2. August SFBC board meeting canceled
  3. Interested in running for election to the SFBC board?
  4. Members for More Representative Elections meeting – September 14
  5. SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar
  6. Share this newsletter

Strategic planning member forums – August 17 and August 27
Come to a member forum to share your ideas on what the organization should focus on for the next five years. There will be a short presentation followed by small group discussions. I hope to see you there!

6 – 8pm, Thursday, August 17
Timbuk2 Factory Store, 587 Shotwell Street, San Francisco
Click here for the agenda and to RSVP.

1 – 3pm, Sunday, August 27
Zaccho, 1777 Yosemite Avenue, San Francisco
Click here for the agenda and to RSVP.

For more information on the strategic planning process and timeline, please visit the strategic planning web page.

August SFBC board meeting canceled
The SFBC board meeting scheduled for August 22 has been canceled. The next board meeting will be September 26.

Interested in running for election to the SFBC board?
Board elections will be happening before you know it. Board member terms are two years and about half the board is elected each year. This year, seven seats will be up for election.

Have you ever thought about running for the board? I’d be happy to chat with you about what it’s like to be on the board. Please reply to this email.

Members for More Representative Elections meeting – September 14
Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE) continues its work to strengthen the SFBC as a democratic, member-based, advocacy organization. MMRE supports ranked choice voting, board member term limits, and increasing the quorum requirement for specific membership referendums. Join them to learn more.

6:30 – 8:30pm, Thursday, September 14
Mission Police Station, 630 Valencia St, San Francisco

SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar

You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings in 2017, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street.
Tuesday, September 26
Tuesday, October 24
Tuesday, November 28
No December meeting

Share this newsletter

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC Board Member

Banner photo: Biking in Madagascar, Africa. I rented a bicycle and took a ride through the countryside.

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Your input needed – take the strategic planning survey by August 4
  2. Next SFBC board meeting – Tuesday, July 25
  3. A motion to amend the bylaws failed
  4. Members for More Representative Elections meeting – Wednesday, August 9
  5. SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar
  6. Share this newsletter

Your input needed – take the strategic planning survey by August 4
After an extensive data collection process, the Strategic Planning Committee has developed draft goals and objectives to help guide the SFBC’s work for the next five years. Please provide your input by completing the strategic planning survey by August 4.

Keep an eye out for member forums to be held on August 17 and August 27 for more opportunities for you to provide input. For more information on the strategic planning process and timeline, please visit the strategic planning web page.

Next SFBC board meeting – Tuesday, July 25
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30 – 8:30pm, Tuesday, July 25 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend. No RSVP necessary. Read the agenda here.

A motion to amend the bylaws failed

At the June board meeting, the SFBC board voted on a motion to amend the bylaws to:

  1. Implement ranked-choice voting;
  2. Move the election from the end of the calendar year to the beginning of the calendar year; and
  3. Set terms of elected board members to start and end at a board meeting instead of a calendar date.

The vote was seven in favor and six opposed, but the motion failed due to the bylaws requiring a majority of board members then in office to approve a bylaws amendment. With 15 board members, eight votes are required to amend the bylaws (two board members were absent in June). I voted in favor of the motion and am disappointed that it failed. The board will need to continue discussion to determine the path forward from here.

Members for More Representative Elections meeting – Wednesday, August 9
Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE) continues its work to strengthen the SFBC as a democratic, member-based, advocacy organization. MMRE supports ranked choice voting, board member term limits, and increasing the quorum requirement for specific membership referendums. Join them to learn more.

MMRE Meeting
When: 6:30 – 8:30pm, Wednesday, August 9
Where: Richmond Public Library, 351 9th Ave, San Francisco

SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar

You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings in 2017, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street.
Tuesday, July 25
Tuesday, August 22
Tuesday, September 26
Tuesday, October 24
Tuesday, November 28
No December meeting

Share this newsletter

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC Board Member

Banner photo: Posing in Fort Baker in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, almost home after a 4500-mile solo bike tour from Anchorage, Alaska to San Francisco.

Shirley Johnson’s June Newsletter

 


Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Board wants your input on possible board election changes by June 27
  2. Next SFBC board meeting – Tuesday, June 27
  3. Update on strategic planning
  4. Members for More Representative Elections meeting – Thursday, July 13
  5. SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar
  6. Share this newsletter

Board wants your input on possible board election changes by June 27

The SFBC board is considering three potential changes to the board election process:

  1. Implementing ranked-choice voting (RCV);
  2. Moving the election from the end of the calendar year to the beginning of the calendar year; and
  3. Setting terms of elected board members to start and end at a board meeting instead of a calendar date.

Adjusting election timing and terms are straightforward, while RCV inexplicably has been a controversial topic at the last two board meetings. I wholeheartedly support RCV, which permits voters to rank candidates in order of preference. RCV results in better representation of voters and your vote is never wasted. For example, if your first-choice candidate does not win, that vote gets transferred to your second-choice candidate, and so on. San Francisco uses RCV in city elections, having recognized its inherent benefits. It’s time for the SFBC to catch up and implement RCV!

Your input is needed to help the board make the right decision. Please share your thoughts by writing to board@sfbike.org by June 27, when the board will vote on the proposed changes. You are also invited to attend the board meeting on June 27 (details below) and speak up during public comment.

Recommendation for RCV originates from the membership
The proposal to use RCV originates from a groundswell of member support, spearheaded by Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE). MMRE formed after the 2015 board election to protect members’ voting rights and find ways to make board elections more fair and engaging. MMRE has requested the board to implement RCV directly, without a member referendum.

A board vote is preferred to a member referendum
Some board members think that RCV should be put to a vote of the full membership, but I consider a member referendum to be an inappropriate use of the organization’s time and money and energy, when a board vote would suffice. I’d prefer to see staff focus on bike advocacy instead of administering an unnecessary referendum.

A board vote is legal and efficient
The SFBC bylaws require a member referendum when bylaws amendments materially and adversely affect the rights of members to vote. RCV implementation does not require a member referendum, because RCV maintains your right to vote and is generally considered a superior election method (the city of San Francisco certainly thinks so!). The board has recently received a formal legal opinion from outside counsel that RCV can be implemented by the board without a member referendum. This opinion is in agreement with the legal opinion of the attorney who serves on the SFBC board. A board vote would settle the matter at the next board meeting, whereas going through a member referendum would drag on for months with planning, communication, administration, notification, vote solicitation, vote counting, and results reporting. Whew!

What do you think? Please email board@sfbike.org.

More information:

Next SFBC board meeting – Tuesday, June 27
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30 – 8:30pm, Tuesday, June 27 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend. No RSVP necessary. Read the agenda here. As described above, the board will be voting on a proposal to make changes to the board election process.

Update on strategic planning
Strategic planning is in full swing! Over the past two months, the strategic planning committee and board have conducted over 40 stakeholder interviews and community listening sessions to gather broad input. The next step is to synthesize the data into goals and objectives to draft our next five-year strategic plan. Watch for a member survey and member forums coming soon, where you’ll be asked for input on draft goals for our strategic plan.

Members for More Representative Elections meeting – Thursday, July 13
Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE) holds regular meetings the second Thursday of each month. MMRE is an action-oriented group of members focused on strengthening the SFBC as a democratic, member-based, advocacy organization. Join them to learn more.

MMRE Meeting
When: 6:30 – 8:30pm, Thursday, July 13
Where: Mission Police Station Community Room, 630 Valencia Street, San Francisco

SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar

You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings in 2017, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street.
Tuesday, June 27
Tuesday, July 25
Tuesday, August 22
Tuesday, September 26
Tuesday, October 24
Tuesday, November 28
No December meeting

Share this newsletter

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC Board Member

Banner photo: Taking a break while biking through Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. I rode solo through seven western states visiting national parks along the way.


 

Shirley Johnson’s May Newsletter

 

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Next SFBC board meeting – Tuesday, May 24
  2. Golden Wheel Awardees Tell Their Stories – Tuesday, June 6
  3. Members for More Representative Elections meeting – Thursday, June 8
  4. SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar
  5. Share this newsletter

Next SFBC board meeting – Tuesday, May 24
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30 – 8:30pm, Tuesday, May 24 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend. No RSVP necessary. Read the agenda here. Of particular interest, the board will continue discussion from last board meeting about possible implementation of ranked choice voting (RCV) for board elections, as well as vote on a possible blog post to solicit member input on RCV. I fully support RCV.

Golden Wheel Awardees Tell Their Stories – Tuesday, June 6

It would be great to see you at a panel discussion/fundraiser for the SFBC coming up June 6. I’m on the panel along with two other past Golden Wheel awardees.

Come mix and mingle and hear Golden Wheel awardees describe their triumphs and challenges of bringing biking to more people in San Francisco. The Golden Wheel is the SF Bicycle Coalition’s annual award for excellence in advocacy. Find out about our panelists: what motivates them, how do they make progress, what role does the coalition play in their work?

Featured Panelists:
Mary Kay Chin, Yellow Bike, 2015 Golden Wheel awardee
Peter Colijn, SF2G, 2015 Golden Wheel awardee
Shirley Johnson, BIKES ONboard, 2014 Golden Wheel awardee

This showcase of member activism will include information stations for:

  • San Francisco Municipal Transformation Agency (SFMTrA)
  • People Chain Protected Bike Lanes
  • Members for More Representative Elections
  • Save SF Bike

Come to learn more about these grassroots movers and shakers!

Time: 7-9pm, Tuesday, June 6
Place: Chez Poulet, 3359 Cesar Chavez Street, San Francisco

Complimentary refreshments available with admission.
RSVP today: $10 advance admission ticket, $15 at the door.
Free valet bicycle parking at the event. Consider also BART or bus.

About the Location:
Chez Poulet is odd and unlikely – a funky, eclectic art space. It’s the last small converted art warehouse in San Francisco. In the past, every artist had one of these. Now it’s the last of its kind. A must see!

About the Event:
This San Francisco Bicycle Coalition fundraiser is hosted by board members Chema Hernández Gil, Jeremy Pollock, and Jiro Yamamoto. Join us and help support a strong San Francisco Bicycle Coalition!

Members for More Representative Elections meeting – Thursday, June 8
Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE) is looking to increase member involvement, improve voter turnout, and improve the election process with San Francisco Bicycle Coalition board elections.

MMRE Meeting
When: 6:30 – 8:30pm, Thursday, June 8
Where: Park Police Station Community Room, 1899 Waller Street, San Francisco

SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar

You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings in 2017, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street.
Tuesday, May 23
Tuesday, June 27
Tuesday, July 25
Tuesday, August 22
Tuesday, September 26
Tuesday, October 24
Tuesday, November 28
No December meeting

Share this newsletter

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC Board Member

Banner photo: Biking on the Copper River Delta outside Cordova, Alaska. At the end of this 50-mile dirt road, I watched Child’s Glacier repeatedly calve into the Copper River. Impressive! This was a side trip on my 5000-mile ride from Anchorage to San Francisco.


 

Shirley Johnson’s March Newsletter

 

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, March 28
  2. Strategic planning open house April 19 – save the date!
  3. Minutes from board meeting of January 31
  4. SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar
  5. Share this newsletter

Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, March 28
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30 – 8:30pm, Tuesday, March 28 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend. No RSVP necessary. Read the agenda here. The board will be voting on the annual budget for the next fiscal year (April ’17 through March ’18).

Strategic planning open house April 19 – save the date!
The SFBC will hold an open house the evening of Wednesday, April 19 for you to share your ideas about strategic direction, as we update our five-year strategic plan. We really want your input – please plan to attend! Keep an eye out for an announcement in the Biker Bulletin and Chain of Events for details.

Please visit the strategic planning webpage for general information about the strategic planning process and timeline.

Minutes from board meeting of January 31
The minutes from the January 31 board meeting are posted. I’d encourage you to have a look. Hats off to Mary Kay Chin, our new board secretary, for writing such great minutes!

SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar

You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings in 2017, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street.
Tuesday, March 28
Tuesday, April 25
Tuesday, May 23
Tuesday, June 27
Tuesday, July 25
Tuesday, August 22
Tuesday, September 26
Tuesday, October 24
Tuesday, November 28
No December meeting

Share this newsletter

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC Board Member

Banner photo: Near Hyder, Alaska. On the first of my two solo rides from Anchorage to San Francisco, I took a side trip to Hyder. On my ‘rest day,’ I rode a gravel road with 3000 feet elevation gain for this amazing vantage point above Salmon Glacier.

 

Shirley Johnson’s February Newsletter

 

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Andy Thornley elected to board president
  2. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, February 28
  3. Strategic planning shifting into high gear
  4. SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar
  5. Share this newsletter

Andy Thornley elected to board president
At the SFBC board meeting on January 31, the board elected Andy Thornley to board president by a secret vote of eight (for Andy) to six (for me) and one (for Lindy Kae Patterson). There was significant discussion before the vote, with several board members favoring a compromise of president/vice-president or co-presidents to create leadership more representative of the differing perspectives on the board. Some board members spoke out against the idea, and it was eventually dropped. Jeremy Pollock motioned (seconded by Adam Keats) to make the vote public. I voted for this motion for greater transparency, but the motion failed (6 in favor, 7 against, and 2 abstentions), resulting in a vote by secret ballot.

As a reminder, Mary Kay Chin and Lawrence Li were elected secretary and treasurer, respectively, at a special board meeting on January 7. Congratulations to all our 2017 board officers!

Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, February 28
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30 – 8:30pm, Tuesday, February 28 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend. No RSVP necessary. Read the agenda here. A very welcome change this time is public comment near the beginning of the meeting instead of at the very end.

Strategic planning shifting into high gear
The SFBC’s strategic plan will be updated this year to guide the organization for the next five years. Your input is very important to make the next strategic plan the best it can be!

Please visit the new strategic planning webpage, which shows opportunities for you to provide input. The first opportunity is right now – please complete the form on the webpage.

The Strategic Planning Committee has re-formed for 2017 to include both staff and board. The committee unanimously elected me as the committee chair. Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier and I are co-leading the strategic planning process.

SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar

You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings in 2017, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street.
Tuesday, February 28
Tuesday, March 28
Tuesday, April 25
Tuesday, May 23
Tuesday, June 27
Tuesday, July 25
Tuesday, August 22
Tuesday, September 26
Tuesday, October 24
Tuesday, November 28
No December meeting

Share this newsletter

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC Board Member

Banner photo: Climbing the Beartooth Highway in Montana on my way to Yellowstone National Park, during a solo bicycle tour of seven western states. The Beartooth Highway has sharp switchbacks up to Beartooth Pass at 10,947 feet on the Wyoming border.

 

Shirley Johnson’s January Newsletter

 

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Board secretary, treasurer, and interim president elected at special board meeting on Saturday, January 7
  2. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, January 31
  3. SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar
  4. Share this newsletter

Board secretary, treasurer, and interim president elected at special board meeting on Saturday, January 7
At the request of the executive director, the board held a special board meeting on Saturday, January 7 for the sole purpose of electing officers. The board approved Mary Kay Chin as secretary, Lawrence Li as treasurer, and Jenn Fox as interim president.

Secretary and treasurer were uncontested, but both Andy Thornley and I volunteered for president. The board discussed the election of officers at length and some board members expressed concern about rushing the election at a special meeting. In addition, an email from Members for More Representative Elections urged that officers be elected at the regularly scheduled board meeting on January 31. Jenn Fox made a motion (seconded by Amandeep Jawa) to elect Mary Kay Chin as secretary, Lawrence Li as treasurer, and Jenn Fox as interim president. Adam Keats made a substitute motion (seconded by Jeremy Pollock) to elect all officers as interim. The board chose to vote on the original motion, which passed 11 to 4. The non-interim president will be elected at the January 31 board meeting.

Last year, board officers were elected at the first regular board meeting in January. To understand why Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier requested electing officers in early January this year, see his online post here.

Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, January 31
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30 – 8:30pm, Tuesday, January 31 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend. No RSVP necessary. Read the agenda here. The last two agenda items in open session are member general comments and board president election.

SFBC board contact information and 2017 meeting calendar

You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings in 2017, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street.
Tuesday, January 31
Tuesday, February 28
Tuesday, March 28
Tuesday, April 25
Tuesday, May 23
Tuesday, June 27
Tuesday, July 25
Tuesday, August 22
Tuesday, September 26
Tuesday, October 24
Tuesday, November 28
No December meeting

Share this newsletter

Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC Board Member

Banner photo: My professional headshot. My future newsletters will include photos from my bicycle tours.


 

Shirley Johnson’s December Newsletter

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Election results for the board of directors
  2. No board meeting in December
  3. Strategic plan to be updated in 2017
  4. SFBC board contact information
  5. Share this newsletter

1. Election results for the board of directors
Congratulations to the eight candidates elected to the 2017 board of directors. I’m happy to be joined on the board by six new board members endorsed by Save SF Bike, indicated by [S] in the list of winners below:

Nicholas Jay Aulston [S]
Lindy Kay Patterson [S]
Adam Keats [S]
Jeremy Pollock [S]
Amandeep Jawa
Chema Hernández Gil [S]
Rocky Beach
Jiro Yamamoto [S]

This was an interesting election, with 16 candidates running for eight seats. For details about vote counts and the election process, see the SFBC’s blog post. Many thanks to Members for More Representative Elections for their educational outreach about election methodology and for surveying candidates and publicizing results. And thank you for voting!

If you’re as delighted as I am about these election results, please consider making a yearend tax-deductible donation to the SFBC.

2. No board meeting in December
There is no SFBC board meeting in December.

3. Strategic plan to be updated in 2017
A high priority for the board in 2017 will be updating the five-year strategic plan to cover 2018 through 2022. I am chair of the strategic planning committee, and I’ll keep you informed about ways you’ll be able to provide input to the new strategic plan. Stay tuned!

4. SFBC board contact information
You can contact the board at board@sfbike.org.

5. Share this newsletter
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Wishing you happy holidays and a wonderful new year!

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC board member

Shirley Johnson’s November Newsletter

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, November 29
  2. Vote for the Save SF Bike slate for the SFBC board of directors
  3. Learn more about board candidates: video and MMRE survey
  4. Come to Winterfest on December 4
  5. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
  6. Share this newsletter

1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, November 29
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30pm, Tuesday, November 29 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend; no RSVP needed. Read the agenda here.

2. Vote for the Save SF Bike slate for the SFBC board of directors
Eight seats on the 15-member board are up for election and voting is happening right now! My personal recommendation is to vote for all eight candidates on the Save SF Bike slate. Only because Save SF Bike saved your right to vote are you allowed to vote in this election. Save SF Bike candidates support a democratic, member-driven SFBC and bring broad experience, diversity, and new ideas to help make the SFBC more powerful and influential. Save SF Bike candidates have [S] after their names on the ballot. Click here to vote now. If you have already voted, thank you!

3. Learn more about board candidates: video and MMRE survey
If you missed the member meeting/candidate forum held November 17, don’t despair. You can watch the video online. Start at 55:00 to hear two-minute statements from each board candidate. Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE) handed out candidates’ responses to MMRE’s survey at the member meeting, providing more great insight into candidates’ positions on important issues.

4. Come to Winterfest on December 4
Winterfest is SFBC’s biggest party of the year, drawing over 1000 members in a fun, festive atmosphere. Winterfest coincides with the last day to vote for your SFBC board of directors, and candidates will be there mingling and sharing their vision for the SFBC. There will be online voting stations available. Hope to see you there!

Time: 6:00pm – 10:30pm, Sunday, December 4
Place: The Village, 969 Market St., San Francisco

5. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
You can contact the board at board@sfbike.org. There is no SFBC board meeting in December.

6. Share this newsletter
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC board member

Shirley Johnson’s October Newsletter

Dear SF Bicycle Coalition Member,

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I intend to keep you updated on San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) governance and other items of interest. Views in this communication are my own and do not represent the views of the SFBC.

In this newsletter:

  1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, October 25
  2. Change in board election voting dates
  3. Come to the member meeting/candidate forum on November 17
  4. Board approves change in bylaws
  5. Why I voted against board recommendations for board candidates
  6. Save SF Bike endorses Chema Hernández Gil for SFBC board
  7. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
  8. Share this newsletter

1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, October 25
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30pm, Tuesday, October 25 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend, no RSVP needed. Read the agenda here.

2. Change in board election voting dates
Due to a typo in the fall issue of the Tube Times in which the board election was announced, board voting will start November 14 (not November 17) and end December 4. The board approved the change via email between board meetings.

3. Come to the member meeting/board candidate forum on November 17
Save the date for the SFBC member meeting and candidate forum!

Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm, Thursday, November 17
Place: City College Mission Campus, 1125 Valencia St, San Francisco

Board candidates will make short speeches about their candidacy for the board of directors. A similar event was held last year and it was fun and informative. A voting station will be available, so you can vote right then and there, if you wish. Hope to see you there!

4. Board approves change in bylaws
The board unanimously approved a change in the bylaws regarding board elections. Original wording:

approval by ballot shall be valid if a majority of the returned ballots indicate approval of a nominated Director.

New approved wording:

candidates receiving the highest number of votes are elected.

The new wording will solve the problem of last board election when three candidates did not receive a majority of votes to be duly elected according to the bylaws.

5. Why I voted against board recommendations for board candidates
The board approved a process to recommend candidates for the upcoming board election. I was the sole dissenting vote against this process. I wrote a dissenting opinion to include in the board meeting minutes. I have reproduced my dissenting opinion at the bottom of this email as an addendum.

6. Save SF Bike endorses Chema Hernández Gil for SFBC board
Formed in 2015 to uphold SFBC members’ right to vote for the Board of Directors, Save SF Bike remains committed to a democratic and representative San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. Save SF Bike recently announced endorsement of Chema Hernández Gil for SFBC board. Save SF Bike previously announced endorsement of Jeremy Pollock and Jiro Yamamoto.

If you are considering running for the SFBC board and you support Save SF Bike’s platform, you may apply for Save SF Bike endorsement by completing the short application form here. The deadline is October 24.

7. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
You can contact the board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for the SFBC board meetings remaining in 2016, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street:
Tuesday, October 25
Tuesday, November 29
No December meeting

8. Share this newsletter
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to others. Anyone can join my email list. I am always happy to hear from members and I am interested in your input.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC board member

Addendum
Summary:

At the September 27 board meeting, the Board Development Committee proposed a process for the board to recommend candidates for the 2016 board election.

Relevant Bylaws Excerpt:
Article V, Section 4. B.
Nominations by Board of Directors. The Board of directors may adopt a procedure for a (sic) Board-approved nominations.

Board vote:
The board voted 11-1 to approve the proposed process for the board to recommend candidates for the 2016 board election.

Dissenting Opinion (Shirley Johnson):
The board recommending candidates is an attempt to officially influence how members vote. I believe the board, as a body, should remain neutral in the election process, just as staff remains neutral. Individual board members, not acting in their official capacity, would still be free to evaluate and recommend candidates.

There are two primary reasons that I voted against board-approved recommendations of board candidates:

  1. If the board recommends board candidates, we can limit diversity on the board. A diverse board is a strong board, because good decision-making requires looking at issues from many different perspectives. Subjectivity and unconscious bias can result in the board recommending candidates who are similar to us, particularly in terms of viewpoints and opinions. Diversity in opinion arises in part from diversity in age, race, background, and socioeconomic status, all characteristics prone to bias in a board-recommendation process. The process is further complicated by incumbents running for the board, because the board is obliged to recommend fellow board members. This limits opportunities for new people to be recommended and gives the appearance of a privatized club.
  2. In the past, the board-endorsement process has caused some qualified candidates to drop out of the race when they didn’t get endorsed. Even though we may have the best of intentions, the end result has discouraged member engagement. For example, a blog post from the 2014 election states:

    This year, a Board Slate was endorsed including eight individuals for the eight open slots on the board. Several other qualified individuals were not selected for the slate. (All but one of them chose not to run at this time.)

    I believe our goal as a board should be to encourage members to run for the board and to facilitate an open exchange of information about the candidates so that voters can make well-informed decisions to elect a representative board. Instead, the board-endorsement process historically has had the opposite effect. Skewing participation in board elections and limiting diversity on the board expands the gap between the board and the membership, reducing overall membership participation and effectiveness of the SF Bicycle Coalition.

Board members stated that they believe the board provides a service to the membership by recommending candidates. However, the board plans to determine the recommendations in closed session. This closed process does not provide insight to the voting membership, and the membership will not have an opportunity to learn what criteria are ultimately used to determine the recommendations. A closed and unaccountable recommendation process undermines credibility of the board.

Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE), a group of SFBC members who have been working all year to improve board elections, has done extensive analysis of democratic election processes. MMRE does not support board endorsements. I respect the research and analysis of MMRE and agree with the group’s assessment.

For an open and fair democracy, the board should not attempt to officially influence the board election outcome by recommending candidates.

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