Tuesday, October 12, 2010

League of American Bicyclists reform candidates

(Full disclosure: I'm working with LAB Reform in an effort to put some reform-minded candidates onto the League's board of directors. We're asking LAB members to sign the petition to put John Brooking, Eli Damon, and Khal Spencer on the upcoming ballot.)

The League board changed their bylaws in July this year. The change permits 7 of 15 board members to be appointed rather than elected by the membership. This weakens the members influence.

LAB Reform, a loose coalition of like-minded bicycling advocates, believes this is unacceptable in a membership organization. They're working to support John Brooking, Eli Damon, and Khal Spencer as candidates for the board. Their goal is to make all board positions elective and responsive to the members. They believe that LAB has been ineffective in supporting cyclist's rights and representing members interests.

Hans van Naerssen, Chair of the League Board, wrote that the increase in board members is intended to "encourage a greater diversity of opinion, skills and perspectives." While this sounds nice, it doesn't help make the board more accountable to the members or responsive to their needs. LAB needs more transparency and that doesn't come from unelected board positions.

Currently, the board determines who may be on the ballot. They've accepted only one reform candidate, Bill Hoffman, who is currently serving. John Brooking, Eli Damon and Khal Spencer must collect over 1000 petition signatures to get on the ballot.

Please sign the ballot petition. You can find it at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/0league0/petition.html

If you want more information and especially if you would like to help collect signatures, please see http://www.labreform.org/campaign/

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Blogger Khal said...

Dear Ed and fellow readers.

Just speaking for myself.

I'm not convinced the League is ineffective, as some claim, but like any other membership-driven organization, it will be a lot more accountable to membership if the Board elections are answerable to membership. That includes setting organizational priorities.

When future Board membership is contingent on existing Board approval, that obviously is not going to happen. Further, when a majority can appoint its own choice of members to create a supermajority, then existing ideas are locked into place, indefinitely.

So what is the sound of one hand clapping? Hence the petition drive. Like any other organization of members, whether the United States of America or the League of American Bicyclists, we need to have checks and balances on our policies. That's what Board elections should be about.

(see the LAB Reform page for our individual rantings and ravings).

10:43 PM  

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