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Our December 2015 election is now open and all current SVBC members are being contacted to be involved in this crucial process.

This year’s election includes voting on a new Bike to Work Day role for SVBC and on eight candidates for the Board of Directors: five returning and three new. The entire slate of candidates and the merger have been strongly recommended by the current SVBC Board; we think you will agree when you read their statements, but they need your votes!

Voting is open from November 23 through December 6. The election is being held online, and an email with the link and information was sent to all current members for whom SVBC has an email address.

If you are a member and did not receive notice of the election on December 2, then it is possible we do not have your correct email. Please send inquiries regarding the ballot to Anne Fisher, afisher@bikesiliconvalley.org.

There will also be an opportunity to vote at the Winter Party on December 4.

Vote to approve merger of Bay Area Bicycle Coalition into Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition

ACTION: Approve the recommendation from SVBC Board of Directors to have Bay Area Bicycle Coalition merge into SVBC, and coordinate the regional Bike to Work Month.

Summary
The Board of Directors of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is recommending a merger with Bay Area Bicycle Coalition (BABC), in which SVBC will assume all of BABC’s assets and liabilities. This includes BABC’s existing contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to coordinate Bike to Work Day (BTWD). SVBC would continue with the regional Bike to Work Day contract henceforth, subcontracting the other bike coalitions across the region for county-level implementation.

Any merger requires a vote of the SVBC membership per the bylaws. If approved, BABC would cease to exist pending the appropriate filing with the State Attorney General’s Office.

Background
The Executive Directors of San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC), Bike East Bay, and SVBC currently comprise the BABC Board of Directors. While BABC had a role in regional advocacy in the past for the last several years it has become much more streamlined. BABC as an organization has one main function – to run Bike to Work Day at the regional level.

BTWD is an annual program that encourages people across the Bay Area to ride a bike during the month of May. MTC provides money to BABC to run the program and a consultant works with each of the bike coalitions around the Bay Area to organize countywide bike to work month and day events. Last year 100,000 people rode their bikes on May 14th all in an effort to promote better environmental and human health.

For over a year, the BABC Board of Directors has been discussing how to run BTWD more efficiently for several reasons: the management of BABC creates additional work, BTWD is less successful without a committed home, and the MTC contract money and event sponsorship require a separate insurance policy and other business expenses. After thoughtful evaluation of different options, it was decided that the best direction is to merge BABC into Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition.

SVBC was chosen as the appropriate home for regional BTWD because it has a solid relationship with MTC and is good at leading with a regional and collaborative approach. In addition, SVBC is best positioned to raise additional corporate sponsorships dollars to support regional BTWD, something that will help the region as well as SVBC.

This change follows some precedent: in the last few years, large regional-scale programs have increasingly been contracted to one of the county-level bicycle coalitions with work then subcontracted out to the other county-level groups. Another example is the STAY program for youth bicyclist education that is lead by San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and which SVBC participates in as a subcontractor.

Furthermore, Bay Area Bicycle Coalition is in a strong position financially with no known liabilities; the cash position is approximately $160,000 and the contract with MTC is expected cover all costs in the upcoming year.

SFBC, Bike East Bay, and SVBC staff members have strong partnerships and will continue to collaborate on regional-level advocacy issues.

In sum, BABC would go away, SVBC would assume its assets and liabilities and SVBC would take over as the regional coordinator of Bike to Work Day.

Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, the bike coalitions across the Bay Area and SVBC all support a yes vote of the SVBC membership on this matter.

Vote to approve Board of Directors Candidates

New Candidates

Ken Chin
Ken brings excellent credentials in bicycle infrastructure planning from his career in the City of San Mateo as a City Planner and as a Project Manager working to develop the City’s Pedestrian Master Plan and to implement the recently adopted Bicycle Master Plan. He was instrumental in getting bicycle projects instituted, including installation of electronic day-use bicycle lockers at the Caltrain stations and bicycle corrals in downtown, expanding the overall bicycle network, and planning for bicycle lanes on El Camino Real. He also developed the Sustainable Streets Plan, which includes Vision Zero as a major policy, and was awarded grant funds to implement a Safe Routes to School Program.

In July of 2015, Ken left the City of San Mateo to become a stay-at-home dad, Currently as a volunteer, he is involved in the launch of the City of San Mateo’s bike share pilot project, which is scheduled to occur this spring.

Ken is excited to combine his passion for cycling with his experience and background, to support SVBC.

Poncho Guevara
Poncho Guevara is the Executive Director of Sacred Heart Community Service, one of the leading grassroots antipoverty organizations in Silicon Valley. A native of Santa Clara County, Guevara’s professional career has been geared toward the advancement of low-income families –from providing direct services and community organizing, to serving in executive management roles in nonprofit housing and human service organizations.

Guevara’s experience has reinforced his dedication to creating systemic responses to poverty through a combination of investments in human services and organizing for wider public policy solutions. By cultivating and creating bridges between diverse constituencies, he has helped develop and lead campaigns on critical issues in workforce development, children’s health care, homelessness, affordable housing, and wage standards. Guevara is also involved in a coalition of organizations working to provide better transit options for transit-dependent individuals.

Poncho Guevara lives in San José with his two daughters. In addition to his expertise as a nonprofit executive, he represents the “every day rider” perspective.

Lisa Sinizer
Like most, Lisa loved riding her bike growing up. She was among a nucleus of students who started a bike club at her high school and rode to school regularly. Her bike was her primary mode of transportation during college. She began riding recreationally nearly 30 years ago when she and her husband, also a cyclist, moved to a house near the velodrome and the Coyote Creek Bike Path.

Lisa earned her Bachelor’s in Religious Studies from San Jose State in 1971, an MSW in 1983 and studied for a Master’s in Comparative Religion at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She began her career as an executive recruiter and has spent the last 25 years in human resources at corporations such as Sun and Adobe. Her preference however is small companies and over the last several years she has been the Human Resources Director at three start-ups.

Lisa is committed to cycling for personal enjoyment, as a sport that everyone can enjoy at all ages and as a critical part of the answer to complex transportation issues facing our community today and in the future.

Incumbents Running for Reelection

Phil Brotherton
Phil’s cycling passion started as a child in a Los Angeles suburb riding his bike to school and around town. Eventually, school and his career brought Phil and family to the Silicon Valley and he has ridden thousands of miles on Bay Area roads and trails since.

Having started riding in Los Angeles, it’s always been clear to Phil that the Silicon Valley bicycle advocates and planners made a huge contribution to the safety and success of road cycling in the area. Phil would like to continue to develop that legacy for all future riders. Safety on the roads continues to be a big challenge. For example, while many of our roads have safe shoulders for cyclists, there’s much more to do. One of the most challenging areas, and the one he’d really like to impact, is raising awareness in the cycling and driver communities on how to safely co-exist.

Gary Brustin
Gary has been an avid cyclist for over forty-five years. His passion for cycling has shaped his professional career. He has been in private law practice since 1976, specializing in personal injury litigation. Twenty-five years ago he decided to specialize in bicycle litigation and today his entire caseload consists only of cycling-related matters. He has personally handled over 1,000 bicycle cases.

Gary is also very committed to bicycle advocacy. In addition to his work on the Board of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, he also served on the Board of Directors of the League of American Bicyclists for nine years, the Board of Directors of the California Bicycle Coalition for ten years and the Sacramento Bicycle Advocates Advisory Board.

His office proudly co-sponsors the Velo Girls as well as many other groups and cycling activities. In his spare time, he acts as a volunteer attorney for various racing clubs, writes magazine and newspaper articles, and travels across the country speaking to bicycle clubs about cycling safety and the law.

Peter Ingram
Peter is a committed fitness cyclist, logging miles on the roads of San Mateo County, going on century rides and hill climb racing.

Prior to becoming a community development consultant, he served for 23 years as an executive manager in the cities of Richmond and Redwood City. When he left his last position of city manager in 2010, Redwood City had nearly completed an award-winning general plan and a bold new downtown precise plan – both providing for cycling. He also serves on the Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco board.

His motivations for seeking a continued seat on the SVBC Board of Directors:

A strong interest in policy and governance, as well as many years of nonprofit experience in both membership and charitable public service organizations.
As a person who cycles, he knows that there is much work to be done in changing relationships on the road, such that everyone is safer and we lessen the rate of cycling injuries and deaths.
He also believes that bicycles can and should play a key role in reducing our dependence on car trips and forever shift us from suburban development patterns.

Alyssa Plicka
Alyssa is a native of the Bay Area and by design currently lives in the biking rich Santa Cruz Mountains. In college, she exclusively commuted on her bike and her love for cycling has continued. Alyssa rides road, cross and mountain bikes in addition to competing occasionally.

Alyssa is a CPA with PWC and has been on SVBC’s Finance Committee for the past six years. She notes that SVBC has seen much growth during her years on the board which has been very exciting to be a part of. She strongly supports cooperative driver/cyclist awareness & education so both can safely coexist. Alyssa’s expertise in finance has been an invaluable asset to the SVBC Board.

Jeff Selzer
Jeff has worked in the cycling industry for more than 30 years, the past 15 as the General Manager of Palo Alto Bicycles. He has been an ardent advocate for cycling; running the Bikestation Palo Alto (a non profit for cycling commuters) since 1999, traveling to Washington DC as well as the State Capital in Sacramento to lobby for cyclist rights, and serving on the NBDA Board of Directors since 2011 and the SVBC Board of Directors since 2010. Jeff is excited to continue his work with SVBC and plays a lead role in helping the organization understand how to work with the bicycling industry and recreational community.