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.

Shirley Johnson’s September 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, September 27
  2. Clarification of board candidate nomination procedure
  3. Resolution approved for ranked choice voting in 2017
  4. Come to ‘Party with a Purpose 2’ on October 20
  5. Save SF Bike endorses Jeremy Pollock and Jiro Yamamoto for SFBC board
  6. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
  7. Share this newsletter

1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, September 27
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30pm, Tuesday, September 27 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend, no RSVP needed. Read the agenda here. Of particular interest: (1) the board will vote to change the bylaws so that board candidates no longer need a majority of votes to get elected, and (2) the board will vote whether to approve a process for board endorsement of board candidates.

2. Clarification of board candidate nomination procedure
As per the bylaws, any member may nominate himself or herself or any other member to run for the board. The nomination deadline is November 4. Voting will take place November 17 through December 4. Communications about the nomination procedure originally stated that all board candidates must complete a questionnaire and submit a resume by September 6, but communications have since clarified that the questionnaire and resume are optional.

3. Resolution approved for ranked choice voting in 2017
At the August board meeting, board member Mary Kay Chin proposed the following resolution to implement ranked choice voting in 2017:
The Board instructs staff to incorporate multi-winner Rank Choice Voting (RCV) as the voting method to be used for the 2017 Board of Directors’ election. Staff’s annual work plan for 2017 will include RCV implementation, barring any unforeseen reductions in staff capacity or organizational finances.

The resolution was revised by another board member as follows:
The Board Development Committee will take input received from this year’s board election process, input from the strategic planning process, and a review of staff budget and bylaw implications as they move toward refining the voting process with an eye toward implementing ranked choice voting for board elections in 2017.

The board unanimously approved the revised resolution. While the revised resolution is much weaker, I voted for this resolution as a baby step in the right direction. RCV results in better representation of voters than SFBC’s current voting method and RCV avoids the problem of last year’s board election in which three candidates did not receive the required majority of votes to be duly elected according to the bylaws.

4. Come to ‘Party with a Purpose 2’ on October 20
Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE), led by long-time member and former board member Peggy da Silva, is hosting ‘Party with a Purpose 2’ at 6:00-8:30pm on Thursday, October 20 at Sports Basement in the Grotto, 1590 Bryant Street, San Francisco.

MMRE has been working all year to make changes in the way the SFBC engages members and elects the Board of Directors. It’s election season and MMRE is having a party! All SFBC board candidates are invited as featured guests. There will be a game show to learn which candidates are really on the side of more representative elections. Ask questions! Plan your ballot for the SFBC board! Great snacks and beverages will be shared. You can RSVP here. For more information, contact Peggy da Silva at silvap@sonic.net.

5. Save SF Bike endorses Jeremy Pollock and Jiro Yamamoto 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. In response to the board’s plan to endorse its preferred candidates, Save SF Bike is also endorsing candidates. To date, Save SF Bike has endorsed Jeremy Pollock and Jiro Yamamoto for the SFBC board. 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.

6. 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, September 27
Tuesday, October 25
Tuesday, November 29
No December meeting

7. 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

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. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, August 30
  2. Unfortunately no ranked choice voting for 2016 board election
  3. Applications for SFBC board candidates due September 6
  4. Save SF Bike campaign kick-off event September 7
  5. Board candidates: apply for endorsement by Save SF Bike
  6. Members for More Representative Elections meeting September 9
  7. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
  8. Share this newsletter

1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, August 30
The next SFBC board meeting is 6:30pm, Tuesday, August 30 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street. Members are invited to attend, no RSVP needed. Read the agenda here. Of particular interest:
(1) the Board Development Committee will be describing the upcoming board election process, and
(2) the board will be voting on implementing ranked choice voting for the 2017 board election.

2. Unfortunately no ranked choice voting for 2016 board election
Ranked choice voting (RCV) results in better representative of voters than SFBC’s current voting method and RCV avoids the problem of last year’s board election in which three candidates did not receive the required majority of votes to be duly elected. The board received approximately 20 emails requesting RCV for the 2016 election and six members made comment at the July 26 board meeting in support of RCV.

At the board meeting on July 26, the Board Development Committee recommended against RCV for the 2016 board election. Immediately after the member comment period, members were told to leave the room so the board could go into closed session. Further discussion about RCV, while not on the agenda, occurred in closed session. Without voting on the matter, the board decided not to implement RCV this year. I am disappointed that there was no vote on such an important issue and I am also uncomfortable that the RCV discussion was in closed session. I will continue to encourage non-confidential items to be in open session for better transparency.

3. Applications for SFBC board candidates due September 6
If you are running for the SFBC board, your application is due by 5pm on September 6. Important information for candidates can be found here. I’d be happy to talk with you about board service. Please reply to this email.

4. Save SF Bike campaign kick-off event September 7
Join Save SF Bike for a member celebration and board election kick-off event from 6:30 to 8:30pm on Wednesday, September 7 at Zeitgeist, 199 Valencia Street! Formed in 2015 to uphold SFBC members’ right to vote for their Board of Directors, Save SF Bike remains committed to a democratic and representative SFBC. Learn more about the Save SF Bike platform and connect with board candidates who support preserving member voting rights at this upcoming social hour! For more information, please visit savesfbike.org.

5. Board candidates: apply for endorsement by Save SF Bike
The SFBC board plans to endorse or recommend some board candidates, despite this potentially leading to an unfair advantage. As a response to board endorsement, Save SF Bike has decided to endorse candidates to try to level the playing field. Endorsements may improve your chance to get elected, so I’d encourage you to apply for endorsement by Save SF Bike by completing the short application form here.

6. Members for More Representative Elections meeting September 9
Members for More Representative Elections (MMRE), led by long-term member and former board member Peggy da Silva, will meet at 6pm on Friday, September 9 at the Park Police Station, 1899 Waller Street. MMRE is dedicated to improving SFBC elections to make them more representative. Recommendations from MMRE, none of which have been adopted but all of which I support, include:
(1) Implement ranked choice voting for SFBC board elections
(2) Eliminate board endorsement of board candidates
(3) Fill board vacancies with the next highest vote-getter from the previous board election
All are invited to join MMRE for its next meeting. Agenda items include member outreach activities and a board candidates/election party on October 20. Contact Peggy at silvap@sonic.net for more information.

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, August 30
Tuesday, September 27
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

Shirley Johnson’s July 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. Meet-and-greet before the next SFBC board meeting on Tuesday, July 26
  2. Fair Elections Party on July 7 showed how well ranked choice voting works
  3. Mid-year update on my campaign promises
  4. Bike Talks: ‘Growing our Movement’ on August 16
  5. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
  6. Share this newsletter

1. Meet-and-greet before the next SFBC board meeting on Tuesday, July 26
If you’re thinking about running for the SFBC board, this is your chance to meet board members and ask questions, then stay to observe the board meeting that immediately follows.

All members are invited to attend the board meeting. Read the agenda here. Of particular interest is a discussion of ranked choice voting and the upcoming board election process.

Date: Tuesday, July 26
Meet-and-greet: 5:30 – 6:30pm
Board meeting: 6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia

If you are considering running for the board, please read about board service here. August 22 is the deadline to declare interest as a candidate for this year’s board election. I’d be happy to talk with you about being on the board. Please reply to this email.

2. Fair Elections Party on July 7 showed how well ranked choice voting works
On July 7, the Members’ Election Committee, led by long-term member and former board member Peggy da Silva, held a fun and educational event about ranked choice voting (RCV). There was a mock election that showed how well RCV could work for SFBC board elections. Watch an animated video about RCV (also called single transferable vote) to learn how RCV keeps voters happy.

To make the SFBC board election more fair, the Members’ Election Committee is recommending RCV and no board-endorsed slate. I fully support both of these recommendations. Please take a moment to let the board know how you feel about the committee’s recommendations by emailing board@sfbike.org.

3. Mid-year update on my campaign promises
When I ran for the SFBC board last year, I ran on the Save SF Bike platform. Some of our campaign promises have been implemented, but we’re still working on others (only two Save SF Bike candidates are on the board). Kudos to all who supported the improvements. Here’s a mid-year update.

Preserve member voting rights – check!
There will be a board election this year! As you may recall, the board attempted to change the bylaws to abolish member voting rights in 2015, but the bylaw vote was rescinded due to non-compliance with California law. The board decided not to rerun the bylaw vote this year, so member rights are still intact.

Disclose results of member votes on board elections – check!
Staff did an outstanding job explaining how votes were tabulated in the 2015 board election.

Post board meeting minutes – check!
Board meeting minutes are now posted on the SFBC’s web site. In addition, board members with dissenting votes are permitted to write a summary of their opinions to attach to the minutes.

Encourage member input – check!
Members can provide input to the board at board@sfbike.org. Last year there was no posted address for the full board, only the board president.

Reinstate member-led initiatives – check!
The BIKES ONboard project (canceled by the SFBC in 2015) has been reinstated with expanded scope as the Caltrain Member Committee with a new member-leader, Cat Young. To join the conversation, sign up for the committee’s google group.

Some Areas for Further Improvement
(a) Avoid indiscriminate use of closed session at board meetings
I believe that closed session should be used only for discussing personnel issues or litigation. All other items should be conducted in open session with members in attendance. At the June board meeting, the Board Development Committee report was entirely in closed session, despite my request that non-confidential items (in particular the discussion of the upcoming board election process) be conducted in open session.

(b) Enable substantive member comment at board meetings
I have requested that member comment be moved to the beginning of the board meeting and members be allowed to comment on any actionable item on the agenda. Unfortunately, member comment remains at the end of the board meeting.

(c) Include board members’ names with votes in board meeting minutes
I believe that board members’ names should be included with their votes for transparency. The board discussed this at the board meeting in March, but the topic was tabled. Unfortunately, the meeting minutes typically still do not include names with votes.

(d) Follow the bylaws
SFBC has bylaws that must be followed for better operations and to abide by California law. Exploiting gray areas or pushing limits leads to confusion, member dissatisfaction, and puts the organization at legal risk. Two instances this year that reasonably could be considered inconsistent with the bylaws are (1) seating (not appointing) three candidates to vacancies in January, and (2) a board member announcing his resignation in April and his ‘un-resignation’ in June.

(e) Implement term limits
Proposed term limits are three two-year terms (six years total), then one year break, then the ability to serve another six years. The Internal Revenue Service favors term limits for nonprofits and 70% of nonprofits have term limits according to BoardSource Nonprofit Governance Index 2010. Currently the SFBC has no term limits and a couple board members have served over a decade.

4. Bike Talks: ‘Growing our Movement’ on August 16
Come to a Bike Talk and panel discussion to discuss the sustainability of the bicycle advocacy movement and how to expand beyond our current area of influence. Panel members include:

Lateefah Simon – Program Director of the Rosenberg Foundation and candidate for the BART board
Tamika Butler – Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Renee Rivera – Executive Director of Bike East Bay

Tuesday, August 16 @ 6:00 – 8:30pm
Sports Basement in the grotto
1590 Bryant Street, San Francisco
RSVP requested.

5. 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, July 26
Tuesday, August 30
Tuesday, September 27
Tuesday, October 25
Tuesday, November 29
No December meeting

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.

Happy pedaling,
Shirley Johnson
SFBC board member

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