Click on each bulleted item below for more information
Strengthen the Core Work of the SFBC
- Increase pressure on the City to make our streets saferThe San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has done great work advancing the goal of safer streets and we will support this process to ensure that our streets are no longer dangerous for the most vulnerable users, particularly bike riders and pedestrians. Rapid implementation of data-driven safety designs in the most dangerous corridors is especially important.We commend the Bicycle Coalition for its work in pressuring Mayor Lee to issue an executive directive on Vision Zero with the goal of eliminating all deaths and serious injuries from traffic collisions by 2024. Based on the City’s history of slow progress on safety reforms, however, we will need to keep the pressure on and hold the city accountable to ensure safety improvements on our streets.
- Work for policy changes that make our city truly bicycle-friendlyWe need to push beyond slogans and “safe” initiatives to challenge the dominance of cars in our city and claim space and rights for bicyclists. The goal of city policy should be to make it easier to get to one’s destination by bicycle than by car. This goal would dramatically affect street design resulting in a network of bike routes to enable anyone, particularly youth, seniors and new bike riders, to crisscross our city comfortably and safely. Protected bike lanes and other infrastructure improvements would encourage more people to bike as their primary mode of transportation.
- Support police reform to promote respect for bicycle ridersWe can improve communication between bicycle riders and the police force to increase understanding and promote positive interactions. Open communication would help officers better understand the experience of people biking in our city. We need the police to respect and protect our rights to use the streets. Enforcement should be proportionate to the behaviors and their impacts on people in our city.
Build the SFBC’s Political Power by Expanding and Diversifying
- Rebuild membership, which has declined 18% since 2011Since 2011, biking in San Francisco has increased over 50% (according to the SF Municipal Transportation Agency citywide bike counts), while the Bicycle Coalition’s membership has declined 18%. If membership had increased at the same rate as bicycling in San Francisco, the Bicycle Coalition would have 18,000 members today instead of 10,000. The Bicycle Coalition needs creative ways to recruit new members and retain existing members. We must listen to why people don’t join and why members decide to leave, and act on what we learn. A growing member base is critical to increase our political influence.
- Increase advocacy capacity by empowering members and supporting member-led initiativesIncreasing advocacy capacity is very important. Member-led groups of volunteer advocates are dedicated and passionate, because the biking improvements they are working on usually affect them personally. Member-led groups have a long history of victories, being responsible for many of the Bicycle Coalition’s successes, such as increased bicycle space onboard Caltrain and ending the bike ban onboard BART during commute periods. We believe the Bicycle Coalition should foster and guide members in effective advocacy that aligns with the coalition’s values. In the end, everyone will benefit.
- Broaden outreach to San Francisco's diverse population and invest more in underrepresented communitiesThere is a common misconception that bike riders in our city are all young, able-bodied, professional, white males. In reality, San Franciscans of all backgrounds bike, but none more so than the poor and communities of color, the same groups under threat of displacement to suburbs burdened by streets far deadlier than San Francisco’s and terrible to non-existent transit. The image of bicyclists needs to be expanded to be more inclusive. Meaningful attention must be paid to low-income and communities of color. The Bicycle Coalition must commit to long-term coalition building with communities that do not have the luxury of making bike advocacy their top priority.
- Expand fundraising opportunities with new board membersFundraising is an important part of board service. By involving more board members from different areas of the city and with different networks, fundraising opportunities can be expanded and diversified to support a financially healthy organization.
Ensure Fair Board Elections
- Preserve member voting rightsA member-elected board of directors keeps the board accountable to members, which is especially important for an advocacy organization.
- End board recommendations of board candidatesThe fact that the SFBC board recommends or endorses candidates limits diversity on the board. When candidates don’t get board recommendation/endorsement, they sometimes withdraw their candidacy, resulting in less diversity and lower member engagement in board elections. While we appreciate the need for a well-rounded board, a better approach is to advertise what skill sets are needed to encourage members to come forward and run for the board.
- Implement term limits for board membersTerm limits could be implemented as three consecutive two-year terms, after which a one-year pause must be taken before being eligible to serve on the board again. The IRS favors term limits for nonprofits and 70% of nonprofits have term limits according to BoardSource Nonprofit Governance Index 2010. To keep an organization nimble and attentive to changing needs, it’s important to have new directors join the board by creating vacancies through term limits. Term limits prevent a concentration of power within a small group, which can lead to a disconnect between the board and membership as a whole.