Over the summer, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors unanimously recommended a change to the bylaws to protect members’ contact information. In order to do so, we recommended that new Board members be elected by sitting Board members, not by all members of the Bike Coalition.
We made this recommendation in response to members’ complaints about their contact information being shared with, and used by, a person who was running for the Board. Under existing California law, anyone who pays the minimum membership amount and insists on contacting other members directly about issues relating to the Bike Coalition is likely entitled to get the entire membership list with your full contact information. Lawyers advised us that the only way we could protect members’ contact information was to change the way Board members are selected to the more traditional non-profit standard of having sitting Board members select new Board members. Other organizations that started with member-elected Board have made this change, including the California Bicycle Coalition and Walk SF. The amendment was approved by a 2-1 member vote.
After the vote concluded, we discovered some flaws with how we provided notice of the vote, particularly to members who do not have either an email address or home address. In addition, some members gave us feedback that they felt the information we provided about the vote was not sufficiently clear.
To ensure that the process is clear and fair, the Board has voted to rescind the certification of the July election. This means we will go back to our prior bylaws; it also means we will have a member election for Board members this fall. If you are interested in running for the Board, please submit your application by September 23 if you want to be considered for endorsement by the Board or by November 6 if you are not interested in Board endorsement. Information about the board nomination and election process can be found at sfbike.org/news/2015-board-elections.
The Board remains committed to figuring out how to protect our members’ privacy while keeping our San Francisco Bicycle Coalition a strong, member-driven organization, and we are interested in any suggestions you may have on these topics. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your patience as we sort through the thicket of California non-profit law.