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

Save SF Bike Logo

9/7 Save SF Bike Campaign Kick-off Event

Join Save SF Bike for a member celebration and board election kick-off event!

Formed last year to uphold SF Bicycle Coalition members’ right to vote for their Board of Directors, Save SF Bike remains committed to a democratic and representative SF Bicycle Coalition. Learn more about the Save SF Bike platform and connect with board candidates who support preserving member voting rights at this upcoming social hour! If you’re a prospective SFBC board member interested in being endorsed by Save SF Bike, learn about our platform and drop by!

Save SF Bike Campaign Kick-off Event
September 7 @ 6:30 – 8:30pm

RSVP Here!

 

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

7/7: Fair Elections Member Participation Party

How can we make our board elections even more open and fair? This is the question that long-time member and former board member Peggy da Silva set out to solve when she established her Member’s Committee for Fair SFBC Elections earlier this year.
 
Curious to learn what the committee learned so far? Join them and fellow members this Thursday at the Fair Elections Member Participation Party, a fun and educational event at the Bryant Street Sports Basement Grotto. There will be refreshments, a short video on how ranked choice voting (RCV) can make elections fairer and the chance to ask questions from experts about elections and running for the board.
 
Sports Basement Grotto
1590 Bryant Street
Thursday, July 7 6:30-8:30PM
 
This is your chance to mingle with fellow members who want a more powerful Bike Coalition that can drive positive change in our city for better biking. RSVPs requested. BYOB. Indoor bike parking. 
 
The work that began last year to make our SF Bicycle Coalition a more powerful and democratic organization continues. We hope to see you this Thursday!

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. Requesting your input
  2. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, June 28
  3. Fair Elections Member Participation Party on July 7
  4. Save the date: August 16 panel discussion
  5. Board hires new executive director
  6. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
  7. Share this newsletter

1. Requesting your input
The board is discussing the board vacancy and the upcoming board election, but has made no decisions. Please send your input to board@sfbike.org on the following recommendations from the member elections committee led by long-time member and former board member Peggy da Silva:

  1. Honor the member vote and appoint Jeremy Pollock, the next highest vote-getter from the 2015 election, to the vacancy on the board.
  2. Use multi-winner ranked choice voting for the board election for better representation of voters.
  3. Instead of a board-endorsed slate, create a matrix of skills, affiliations, and demographics and allow candidates to fill in the matrix; voters can then easily compare candidates.

2. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, June 28
The next board meeting is 6:30pm, Tuesday, June 28 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia. Members are invited to attend. Read the agenda here.

3. Fair Elections Member Participation Party on July 7
Party with Purpose! Connect with other SFBC members and show your support for more fair and transparent SFBC board elections by coming to the Fair Elections Member Participation Party!

Thursday, July 7 @ 6:30-8:30pm
Sports Basement – grotto (lower level), 1590 Bryant St
San Francisco

  • Animated video on ranked choice voting (RCV)
  • Q&A with an RCV expert
  • Vote in a mock election; see how RCV really works
  • Refreshments served, BYOB
  • Indoor bike parking
  • Free entry

RSVPs requested. And do share with fellow members! Hosted by the member elections committee led by Peggy da Silva.

4. Save the date: August 16 for panel discussion
The SFBC will host a panel discussion the evening of August 16 featuring Lateefah Simon (BART board candidate), Tamika Butler (executive director of the LA County Bicycle Coalition) and Renee Rivera (executive director of Bike East Bay). Details to come. Save the date!

5. Board hires new executive director
Please welcome Brian Wiedenmeier as the new executive director of the SFBC! Read more about Brian here.

6. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings remaining in 2016, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street:

Tuesday, June 28
Tuesday, July 26
Tuesday, August 30
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 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 is Tuesday, May 24
  2. Board vacancy
  3. Recommendations from member elections committee
  4. Next member elections committee is June 9
  5. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
  6. Share this newsletter

1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, May 24
The next board meeting is 6:30pm, Tuesday, May 24 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia. Members are invited to attend. The meeting agenda includes the following items of particular interest:

  • Member survey results presented by staff
  • Proposal for the 2016 board election process and timeline from the board development committee

2. Board vacancy
Board member Andy Toebben is moving to the east coast and will vacate his position on the board. See below for a recommendation for filling this vacancy.

3. Recommendations from the member elections committee
The member elections committee has made three recommendations, all of which I fully support:

  1. Appoint the next highest vote-getter from the 2015 election to the vacancy on the board, in alignment with the precedent the board has set for filling vacancies. In the 2015 election, only four candidates received the required majority of votes to be elected, leaving three vacancies on the board. The board filled the vacancies by seating the 5th through 7th place candidates, setting a precedent that vacancies are filled by the next highest vote-getters from the past election. The next highest vote-getter from the 2015 election is Jeremy Pollock, who was only 26 votes behind the 7th place candidate.
  2. Replace the bylaws requirement that board candidates must receive a majority of votes to be elected, because this requirement is inappopropriate for contested elections. Instead use multi-winner ranked choice voting, which will properly elect the correct number of candidates and will provide better representation of voters.
  3. Eliminate formal board endorsements and do not create a board slate for board elections. A board-endorsed slate sets up an unfair advantage to endorsed candidates, which can cause other candidates to form opposing slates, leading to a contentious election. Instead of a board-endorsed slate, the committee recommends producing a matrix to show the demographics and skills of the seven directors whose terms are not ending. This matrix will reveal board needs, which can be publicized to encourage interested members to run for the board.

4. Next member elections committee is June 9
The member elections committee, chaired by Peggy da Silva, a long-time SFBC member, is an action-oriented group working to improve SFBC board elections. You are invited to attend the next meeting of the member elections committee to be held at 7pm, Thursday, June 9. For meeting location and more information, please contact Peggy da Silva at silvap@sonic.net.

5. SFBC board contact information and 2016 meeting calendar
You can contact the full board at board@sfbike.org. Below are dates for SFBC board meetings remaining in 2016, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia Street:
Tuesday, May 24
Tuesday, June 28
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

Shirley Johnson’s April 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, April 26
  2. Brief summary of SFBC board meeting held March 22
  3. Next member elections committee is May 9
  4. Bikes On Board reinstated
  5. SFBC board meeting 2016 calendar
  6. Share this newsletter

1. Next SFBC board meeting is Tuesday, April 26
The next board meeting is 6:30pm, Tuesday, April 26 at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia. Members are invited to attend. The meeting agenda includes updates from three committees: fundraising, board development, and personnel. Of particular interest:

  • The board development committee will present a proposal for the 2016 board election process. If you are interested in running for the board, this would be a good meeting to attend.
  • There will be interview training in preparation for the board interviewing candidates for executive director. Our board president in a human resources professional, and she’ll lead the training. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to be an effective interviewer or get a refresher, here’s your opportunity.

2. Brief summary of board meeting held March 22
Concern about privacy questions in the member survey
The biennial member survey was conducted in March, and the board saw the survey for the first time when it was released to the membership. The board received 14 emails from members expressing concern about two privacy questions in the survey. Margaret McCarthy, interim executive director, said that staff’s intention with the privacy questions was to gather information on member communication preferences. While member communication is in staff’s purview, privacy was the stated reason for the bylaw vote last summer that would have removed member voting rights. The board advised caution in the future, because privacy and voting rights are tied together and discussion of one without the other can seem disingenuous.

Discussion of whether to include names with votes
At my request, the board discussed whether names should be included with votes in the meeting minutes. While there is no legal requirement, best practice is to include names with votes, something I fully support. Some directors said it is beneficial to associate names with votes, but others expressed concern that names attached with votes could cause directors to change their votes, or directors dissenting from the majority could be targeted for harassment. The topic was tabled. During the member comment period at the end of the meeting, four members requested that names be included with votes for transparency.

Communication improvements to be part of strategic planning
The SFBC’s five-year strategic plan will be updated the second half of 2016. One of the topics to be discussed is communication, including ways for members to communicate with each other. I’m hopeful that this can lead to better infrastructure to enable greater transparency and better communication among members, staff, and board.

3. Next member elections committee is May 9
The member elections committee, chaired by Peggy da Silva, a long-time SFBC member, is going strong. The committee has made a recommendation to use ranked choice voting for SFBC board elections and I’ll be bringing this recommendation to the SFBC governance committee for consideration. You are invited to attend the next meeting of the member elections committee to be held at 7pm, Monday, May 9 at Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia St at 16th St in the Mission. For more information, please contact Peggy da Silva at silvap@sonic.net.

4. Bikes On Board reinstated
I’m happy to report that the SFBC has reinstated the member-led Bikes On Board campaign. The kick-off meeting was April 11 and Cat Young is taking over as the new member-volunteer leader. Janice Li, advocacy director, will resume her role as staff liaison. Kudos to Janice for reinstating the Bikes On Board campaign! If you would like to get involved, you can sign up here.

5. SFBC board meeting 2016 calendar
Below are dates for SFBC board meetings remaining in 2016, all starting at 6:30pm at the SFBC office, 1720 Market Street at Valencia:
Tuesday, May 24
Tuesday, June 28
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

3/22 SFBC Board meeting: member survey and board transparency

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:

  1. Discussion on the Member Survey questions on privacy
  2. Vote on disclosing board votes in meeting minutes

If you’re free Tuesday evening, please join us to speak about these issues, or you can email your comments to the board at board@sfbike.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:

  • Thank them for their decision not to rerun bylaw vote this year,
  • Ask them to delete the two controversial questions from the member survey,
  • And ask them to conduct a separate process to review the many pending questions about SFBC’s governance and elections.

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.

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