Here is Save SF Bike’s campaign platform for keeping the Bike Coalition democratic and reinvigorating this great organization we’re all committed to.
Click on each bulleted item below for more information
Rebuild Member Trust
- Respect, honor, and listen to membersMembers are the SFBC’s most important asset. The board should connect with members and listen to members to make sure the organization is representative of the diversity of the membership and its needs. Members often know best what improvements are needed, because members are riding the streets everyday. Members are the on-the-ground experts for identifying ways to improve bicycling infrastructure and safety.
- Keep the Bike Coalition democratic with member rights intactSFBC grew as a member-based, grassroots organization. The SFBC should be accountable to its members, who have ultimate control of the organization through their vote. We are strongly against changing the bylaws to remove member voting rights.
- Meaningfully increase the quorum requirement for any referendum to terminate member voting rightsThe recent bylaw vote in which the board attempted to abolish member voting rights has eroded trust in the SFBC. Therefore, the number of members required to vote (the quorum requirement) on such a drastic change in the organization’s governance should be increased from its current 5% to a more reasonable 25%. This sends a clear message that member votes matter. With more members required to weigh in, it will be harder for a rogue board to deceive the membership into voting for a bylaw amendment that abolishes member voting rights and takes away the board’s accountability to members.
Reinvigorate Member Involvement
- Reinstate member-led groups, encourage member-led initiatives, and support them with SFBC resourcesMember-led groups of volunteer advocates are dedicated and passionate, because the biking improvements they are working on usually affect them personally. Member-led groups are responsible for many of SFBC’s victories. One example is the BIKES ONboard project to improve bicycle access on Caltrain and BART, started by members in 2008 under SFBC sponsorship, but abruptly canceled by the SFBC in 2015. Member meetings in which members present ideas and get feedback from other members is a great way to kickstart member initiatives. We believe the SFBC should encourage, support and guide members in effective advocacy. In the end, everyone will benefit.
- Make SFBC a model for the country with respect to how to maintain grassroots advocacy when an organization grows largeThere is no reason that a large organization can’t support grassroots advocacy. Some proposals are (1) support satellite projects led by members by providing a staff person whose sole job is to work with the member-led projects, and (2) act as an incubator to mentor and grow volunteer groups to expand beyond bicycle advocacy with the shared goal to spin them off.
Continue to Support the Great Ongoing Work of the SFBC
- Support the Bike Yield ordinance and its implementationThe proposed Bike Yield ordinance will bring enforcement into the 21st century by establishing clear priorities for the San Francisco Police Department. The ordinance is intended to end the SFPD’s misguided practice of ticketing bike riders who safely yield at stop signs. The SFPD should focus instead on the most dangerous behaviors at intersections. We will continue supporting the Bicycle Coalition’s work on this important issue and ensure the Bike Yield ordinance is fairly implemented once approved.
- Advocate for the San Francisco Police Department to respect bicyclists’ rightsThe SFPD needs to better understand the experience of bicyclists in our city and respect and protect our rights to use the public right of way. Enforcement should be proportionate to the behaviors and their impacts on people in our city.
- Work toward the City's goal to eliminate all deaths on San Francisco streets by 2024The 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 bicyclists and pedestrians in the downtown area. Rapid implementation of data-driven safety designs in the most dangerous corridors is especially important.
- Support a cross-town network of safe bike routesA safe network of bike routes enablest anyone, regardless of age or ability, to criss-cross our city comfortably and safely. We support enhanced bike lanes and finding ways to address gaps in our network.
Expand and Diversify
- Broaden outreach to better represent San Francisco's diverse populationTo represent all of San Francisco, meaningful attention must be paid to low-income, communities of color and the southern neighborhoods. 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. This must be recognized by the SFBC when advocating for better and safer infrastructure. The SFBC must stand in solidarity with these communities so they can not only bike more, but continue to do so in San Francisco.
- Expand the bike build program and support affordable bike shops in neighborhoods that lack themMore focus is needed to expand the bike build program to provide bikes to people in need. Two models that have been successful are the San Francisco Yellow Bike Project and Bicis del Pueblo. The SFBC should continue to support these programs and replicate the model in other neighborhoods. We also support more bike shops in areas of the City where none currently exist.
- Change the perception of San Francisco’s bike riders to include women, people of color, youth, seniors, families, and people with disabilitiesThere is a common perception that bike riders in San Francisco are all young, able-bodied, professional, white males. In fact, the population of bike riders is very diverse and the image of bicyclists should be expanded to embrace this diversity. Actively engaging all San Franciscans will gradually change the perception.
- Broaden and strengthen alliances with public transit riders, transit justice advocates and pedestrians Forming alliances is a powerful way to bring the larger message to the community and decision makers. Public transit riders, pedestrians, and bicycle riders have much in common – all are forms of transportation that promote sustainability as a highly effective antidote to societal ills including pollution, traffic congestion, and fossil fuel consumption. Sustainable transportation is especially important for the transit-dependent and low income communities of color most at risk for injury on San Francisco’s streets. The case for sustainable transportation is the same as the case for a healthy public, economy, and future.
- Avoid indiscriminate use of closed session at board meetingsThe SFBC board overuses closed session at board meetings to exclude members from relevant discussions. Closed session should be limited to only those items that require confidentiality such as potential litigation or discussion about SFBC personnel issues or salaries. The Ralph M. Brown Act provides guidance on acceptable closed session topics. All other board discussions should be open to members.
- Post board meeting minutes on the SFBC web siteAnyone who wants to learn about the board and its work should have easy access to the board meeting minutes.
Protect Member Privacy
- Create a new category of non-voting supporters for members concerned about privacySave SF Bike’s attorney proposed that members concerned about privacy may opt to become “supporters” with all the same privileges as voting members except for voting for the board of directors. The current bylaws explicitly allow for this, but the board has refused to enact this common sense proposal. The fact that the board continues to reject this proposal shows they are more focused on eliminating everyone’s right to vote than they are on protecting the few members who are more concerned about privacy.
Ensure Fair Board Elections
- Implement term limits for board membersTo 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, something that can be particularly dangerous if the board members are not in touch with the membership. Term limits also preclude less than adequate board members from staying on the board too long. Some current SFBC directors have been on the board for over a decade, and it’s time to refresh the board with new, energetic directors dedicated to keeping SFBC member-focused!
- Eliminate the requirement that board members must donate over $500 annuallyWhile we understand that fundraising is an important role for board members, this clearly discriminatory (and probably illegal) requirement excludes people of lesser means who could provide extremely valuable insight and input to the board. The board must be open to all members, regardless of economic status.
- Do away with formal board endorsements of board candidatesThe SFBC board has used its endorsement process to discourage capable members from running for the board. 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, instead of the board hand-picking their favorites and discouraging others. Diversity on the board is a benefit for the organization.
- Disclose the results of the member votes on board electionsThe board has been disclosing the winners of the board elections, but not the number or percentage of votes each candidate received. Such secrecy erodes trust in the SFBC.