We’re excited that 6 of the 8 candidates endorsed by Save SF Bike were elected to the Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors!
Congratulations to Nicolas Jay Aulston, Lindy Kae Patterson, Adam Keats, Jeremy Pollock, Chema Hernández Gil, and Jiro Yamamoto!
We also congratulate the two incumbents who were re-elected, Amandeep Jawa and Rocky Beach, and we look forward to working with them and the rest of the board in the new year.
Like last year, the results were very close. We’re sorry that our other two candidates, Mars Regen and Lauren Sailor, weren’t elected, but we’re glad that they plan to stay actively involved in the Coalition. We hope that all of the other excellent candidates do as well. We also hope that any members with questions or concerns about the Save SF Bike platform will reach out and talk with one of us. We welcome every opportunity to hear alternative perspectives and share our own.
At the annual member meeting, our Executive Director Brian Wiedenmeier laid out a vision for a more inclusive and progressive SFBC that will be ready to respond to the fallout from the Trump presidency. We fully support this and we look forward to participating in the Strategic Planning process to put that vision into action. If you weren’t at the member meeting, we encourage you to watch the video of Brian’s comments.
And lastly, we encourage you all to join us in supporting the coalition! You can make a tax-deductible, year-end donation, or you can click here to join or renew your membership.
Spread the word: If you support maintaining our voting rights at Bicycle Coalition members, please add your name to our list of supporters using the form below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Share our website and social media with your friends, fellow SFBC members, staff and board.
This Tuesday, March 22nd is the monthly meeting of the SF Bike Coalition Board of Directors.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
6:30 – 8:30 pm
SFBC HQ, 1720 Market Street at Valencia
The Agenda is posted here.
In particular, we are interested in two items on the agenda:
If you’re free Tuesday evening, please join us to speak about these issues, or you can email your comments to the board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Discussion on the Member Survey questions on privacy
Thanks to all of you who contacted the board to express your concerns about the Member Survey. It looks like we got their attention! The board will be discussing the two questions that we are concerned could be used to support efforts to rerun the bylaw vote to eliminate member elections of the Board of Directors. We have heard from several board members that they were not aware of these questions before the survey went out, and that the survey questions were all written by staff.
Since our last email, the Board has posted a blog post that says they will not call for a vote on member voting rights in 2016!
We will be attending the Board meeting to say the following:
2. Vote on disclosing board votes in meeting minutes
Board member Shirley Johnson has proposed that the meeting minutes indicate which board members voted for and against items when there are split votes. We’re surprised to learn that this isn’t already the case, and it seems strange that this even needs to be debated! But hopefully this will be another step forward in enacting Save SF Bike’s platform of improving transparency and rebuilding trust in the SFBC board.
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.
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 email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com and ask for a link.
Tuesday night is the first SFBC Board meeting of the year:
Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 6:30–8:30pm
SFBC Headquarters, 1720 Market Street at Valencia
The first item on the agenda is a Board election results recap:
***Let the Board Know What You Think***
Can you attend Tuesday’s board meeting? This is your chance to let the Board know we want them to do more to promote transparency and member involvement. If you can’t make it, you can email the board at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Please consider addressing these three points:
In case you missed it, the January 12th Biker Bulletin included an announcement that the SFBC Board had appointed Vanessa Christie to fill the vacancy created when Jean Fraser resigned. The announcement did not provide details on the appointment process, and no information has been posted on sfbike.org/news. However in a subsequent discussion on the sfbike riseup.net email list, Board Secretary Deep Jawa said the appointment was made at the December board meeting, in the middle of the recent board election, but it was not announced until January!
Vanessa clearly seems to be a passionate member of the bike community, but we are disappointed by the lack of any opportunity for member input on this appointment. Despite being able to appoint a candidate voted for by the members in the recent Board election, the Board chose to ignore member input. There was no opportunity for members to give input on the appointment or apply for the position. Save SF Bike once again calls for the Board to provide more transparency on their actions and more opportunities for members to give meaningful input on the future of this organization we all love so much.
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.
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.
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.
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.