Thursday, 6 November 2014
I'm a candidate for the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
More about the issues and why I'm running
Candidates' statements and election info
Follow-up letter to members of the SF Bicycle Coalition
Who am I, and why am I running for the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition?
Bicycling is central to my life and identity. I'm a former professional bicyclist (as a messenger, not a racer -- professional racers are a tiny minority of the numbers of working cyclists). I've never owned a motor vehicle. The ability to rely on bicycles and mass transit for year-round transportation is one of the reasons I moved to San Francisco in 1985, and have lived here (when I'm not travelling) ever since.
I write about travel, including bicycle travel, and I work for a travel-related human rights organization. I've ridden and observed bicycling in cities around the world (including in India, China, Argentina, the Netherlands, etc.), in addition to touring long distances by bicycle across North America and Europe, and I think bicycling has a key role in any sustainable human future.
In recent years, the SFBC has come to have an effectively "self-perpetuating" Board of Directors, with the members of the current Board nominating their successors and the election by the members of the SFBC serving as little more than a rubber-stamp approval of the Board's slate of nominees. This year, I'm the only candidate on the ballot for the SFBC Board of Directors other than the candidates nominated by the members of the current Board.
I would bring to the SFBC Board of Directors a focus on policy advocacy, on bicyclists' rights, and on participatory decision-making and internal transparency and democracy within the SFBC -- all of which have been under-represented on the current Board.
Events over the past year, from motorized vehicular killings of bicyclists to the backlash by some motorists against bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit users expressed by Proposition L (which was defeated, but still got 60,000 votes), make clear the need for us to renew our commitment as a civil rights organization to defend bicyclists against discrimination and to realize the full potential of the "transit-first" clause of the city charter. Bicycle-friendliness requires more than just bicycle-specific infrastructure. Too many bicyclists in San Francisco are still subjected to bias and harassment by motorists and police. The SFBC can and should, as part of our work, be doing something to change this. But that's only part of the challenge we face.
I've posted my complete answers to the SFBC questionnaire for candidates for the Board of Directors, which give more detail about my candidacy, as does this follow-up article with more about the issues and why I'm running.
I would welcome a chance to talk with SFBC members about my candidacy and about what you want the SFBC to be doing. Feel free to contact me by phone at 415-824-0214 (be aware that I might be travelling and in another time zone) or by e-mail at "firstname.lastname@example.org".
If, like most of the people I know in San Francisco, you are a member of the SFBC, and you know me -- as a friend, as a neighbor, as a colleague, as an activist, and of course as a bicyclist -- please support my candidacy, and encourage your friends to do so as well.
[I plan to post a follow-up article with more details. But I haven't been able to find out when the ballots will be sent out, and want to make sure that at least this much information is available to voters when the ballots arrive and voting begins. I was given wrong information about the election deadlines, and was finally told the deadline for candidate statements to be sent out with the ballot the same afternoon that they were due. I've requested a copy of the minutes of the decision scheduling and establishing procedures for the election, but haven't received it. So far as I can tell, someone on the SFBC staff and/or the current Board of Directors -- I don't know who -- is making up the election rules and procedures as the election is being conducted.]Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 6 November 2014, 10:10 (10:10 AM) | TrackBack (0)