How am I supposed to pick 6 candidates from the list of 8?

Voting in board of directors elections is a real chore, isn’t it? All you get to go on is a bio and a statement, and from that you’re supposed to make an informed choice?

Here’s the criteria I use when voting in contested board elections.

  1. Does the candidate have a history of devoting time  to the cause? Board service requires time. If a candidate does not have a history of volunteering, they might not have the time to be a board member. The more time a candidate has, or has evidence of creating, the more time the candidate can spend in service of the mission.
  2. Does the candidate have a network they bring with them to the board? One of the roles of the board is to help the organization succeed. Strong networks are very useful when one-off specialized knowledge is needed, or when needing favors. For example, financial oversight requires access to accountants, lawyers who specialize in non-profit structures, auditors, and investment specialists. Having strong political connections is also very useful. A strong board network is a tremendous asset to the executive director.
  3. Does the candidate bring some specialized skill or knowledge to the board? Cascade’s board has a couple of philanthropists, a couple very senior managers who oversee very large organizations, a couple of lawyers, a couple of intense cycling activists, one person with a long volunteer history with the club, a developer, and other various backgrounds that make for a diverse board.
  4. Does the candidate have board experience? Boards are strange beasts that find it way too easy to be looking at the small picture instead of the big picture. To a certain degree, the board that governs least, governs best. Strong board leadership can make sure the board operates at the strategic level and performs its oversight functions, but having members who have already internalized this makes leadership’s role that much easier.
  5. Does the candidate bring a perspective that represents my interests? The club has many parts: advocacy, events, event rides, daily rides, and education. You should make sure that there is a least one board member who will champion the programs you are interested in. “Champion” doesn’t mean “manage,” for staff is responsible for management, it means argues for the value of the program and can help set high level outcomes for the program.

So as you read the candidate statements, try viewing them through the lens above.

In doing so, you’ll notice that I have a history of volunteering, have bring a network of environmental and philanthropic leaders with me to the board, bring board leadership, strong technological knowledge (and a deep commitment to addressing climate change) with me as my skills, and have a ton of board experience. Although I stress advocacy in my statement, I’ve been on the board long enough to know that every program is important, and that they are synergistic. My goal is a unified club where all programs support each other to more effectively and efficiently achieve our mission.

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What are the greatest areas of opportunity for Cascade?

On the Cascade Message Boards, Jenny Anderson writes,

Thank you for serving on the board thus far, Daniel.  What do you think are the greatest areas of opportunity for the Cascade Bicycle Club?

Answer:

There are opportunities in every area we operate in, advocacy, education, and rides.

Thinking really big, it would be great if Cascade could pull off an annual 30 mile Cyclovia that ran through our residential and scenic areas and engaged every type of cyclist. Doing this would help all of the goals, including advocacy and education. But it would be a major undertaking and require the help and cooperation of groups and businesses throughout the city.

The other great opportunity is to become more regional. We are starting this process by allocating resources to eastside issues (mostly Redmond, Kirkland, and Bellevue), but there is much more to be done. And we can’t do it all ourselves. We need to build a model of helping others to replicate proven methods for getting more people on bikes.

We also have the opportunity to increase our reach and innovation by incorporating more volunteers at all levels of the club. After all, volunteers created STP, RSVP, Expo, etc. Regardless of how great our staff is, there is always more to do and try.

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What differentiates me from the other 7 candidates?

(The title of this post differs from the question in the message boards because one candidate took herself off the ballot after Lamar posted his question.)

Lamar Bass, Cascade volunteer extraordinaire, posted the following question on the Cascade Message Boards:

What differentiates you from the other eight candidates?
Specifically, what unique skill-sets would you bring to the board?

Answer:

Each board member brings specifics skills and networks to the board. The board and club is best served when we have an overlapping and complete range of skills and networks to pull from.

The skills and networks that I bring with me are in board management, philanthropic giving, and ties to the environmental world.

Board management: I have been the chair of the board for nearly 2 years. I am a trusted and effective member of the board with the duty ensure the board and club and always moving forward.

Philanthropic giving: Being a donor to many organizations, I understand the philanthropic process and what it takes for an organization to build the trust it needs with its donors.

Ties to the environmental world: I serve on the boards of Climate Solutions and the Washington Environmental Council. I also have less formal relationships with other environmental organizations. I joined the Cascade board because I see Cascade as furthering an environmental agenda by making biking accessible to all and making it a complete transportation alternative.

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Advocacy for Cycling Infrastructure

The following message was posted to the Cascade Message Boards for board candidates from Rob Brown.

Thanks for running for the board.

My questions : there seems to be two camps concerning advocacy for cycling infrastructure A. Build it, even if unsafe, to get the  number of riders to increase B. Only build infrastructure to that actually is safe. 

Since we in Seattle have a lot of Door Zone Bike Lanes, non-standard Sharrow placements, and are promoting Cycle Tracks in areas  where there will be a lot of driveways and other obstacles which dramatically reduces their safety level. 

Which camp are you in A. Build it to get the numbers B. Only build it if safe. 

How do you see the club’s role in carrying out your commitment to whichever camp you are in.

Rob,

I’m in the camp for safety. Only by achieving true safety will we get as many people as possible on bikes. Unsafe infrastructure does not increase the number of riders. I believe the club is committed to safety. No one will argue that paint alone on roads creates safety, especially bike lanes in door zones. Cities are moving beyond mere paint (not that they’ve given up completely on paint) and towards more separation from traffic. Even the cones under the Cherry St. underpass help.

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This thread is for asking me questions.

As the questions come in, I’ll be responding inline. For larger answers, I’ll be creating a new blog posting.

 

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I’m running to be re-elected to the Cascade Bicycle Club Board of Directors

Welcome to my campaign blog. I’ll be answering your questions here instead of on the Cascade discussion boards.

Here is my campaign statement.

I’ve been on the Cascade board for nearly 3 years, the last two as the chair of the board. Why do I want to be reelected to the board? Because I want to continue creating more and safer riding opportunities for everyone who cycles or would like to cycle: commuters, recreational cyclists, those running errands, and anyone else wanting to use two wheels. The community needs safer and more bike routes, well maintained roads and trails, more alert, aware drivers, and more bicycles on the road. The club has proven its mettle in all these areas, and has the size and power to continue getting results as it strives to do more and more.

During my time on the board the club has increased riding opportunities. As just a sampling of its increased growth and reach, the club has dramatically grown its daily rides program, created two new event rides, helped local cities to pass safe streets laws and regulations, grown the Commute Challenge run in May, developed the BizCycle program to certify businesses that support bicycle commuting by employees, and created the Advocacy Leadership Institute to train new bicycle advocates.
The club is facing a huge transition with the passing of the baton from Chuck Ayers to Elizabeth Kiker. I am very excited about the selection of Elizabeth Kiker as the club’s new Executive Director, and was on the search committee that hired her. Elizabeth will bring new ideas, methods, and insights to the club. My reelection will help bring stability to the board and club, serving a stable bridge between the old and the new.

I remain committed to advocacy that has the goal of changing the laws and culture to work for us, and not just for cars. For example, bicycle trails, completing the “Missing Link,” road diets, traffic signals that detect bikes , harsher penalties for Driving While Distracted, and the “Idaho rolling stop” all improve safety, and all require government action in the form of laws and budgets. The Cascade Bicycle Club must continue its leadership in advocacy, as well as its collaboration with other advocacy groups such as the Bicycle Alliance of Washington.

One of my pet projects at Cascade has been the complete renewal of its website and data technologies. By December you should be experiencing a modern website instead of the ancient system we have now.
I serve on the boards of both non-profit (I’m currently a board member at Climate Solutions and the Washington Environmental Council) and for-profit organizations. I understand governance, strategy, tactics, and group dynamics.

Follow and question me at http://www.WeiseForCBC.com.

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