2015 Elections: How it Works and Schedule
In 2015, there are several member-elected positions on the League Board of Directors for which qualified candidates can apply.
How Candidates Apply
- A person nominated himself/herself—to ensure the candidate understands the requirements and accepts the responsibilities.
- Candidates write a statement of qualifications addressing the eight qualifications below, showing how she/he meet the qualifications for serving on the League board.
- The following must be sent to Diane Albert, head of the League Board Election Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 19, 2014: Resume, statement of qualifications, 200-word profile, photo (300dpi)
- All candidates deemed qualified by the League Board Governance Committee will be notified by October 1, 2014 and placed on the ballot.
- Profiles and photos of each candidate will be included in the League's November/December issue of American Bicyclist, which is distributed to all members, along with a ballot for League members to vote.
- The new members of the League Board of Directors will be seated at the League's annual meeting the first week of March 2015.
What's it really like?
Curious about what it's like to serve on the League's Board of Directors? Watch this Google Hangout with current board members to hear their insider insights.
The Board of Directors of the League of American Bicyclists should be composed of enthusiastic cyclists. Ordinarily, Board candidates are active cyclists but retirement from active cycling due to age or disability will not disqualify a candidate. A high level of qualification could include a seasoned bike advocate, a professional racer, a committed bicycle commuter, a bicycle industry professional, an accomplished bicycle traveler, a cycling instructor, a dedicated recreational cyclist or othertypes of bicycle experience.
Directors should be familiar with current issues facing America’s cyclists and potential solutions. At a minimum, candidates are members of the League and perhaps other bicycling clubs or advocacy organizations. A high qualification would be many years of active leadership roles in multiple advocacy organizations.
There are two characteristics to this qualification: volunteer service and leadership role. The minimum qualification is prior service on a non-profit or business organization board. A high qualification would entail a history of board service including: leadership positions in large regional, state or national non-profit organizations with the same order of magnitude or larger than the League – national in scope, professional staff, and budget in the millions.
Membership in the League at the time of Board deliberations is a minimum qualification. Additional factorsto be considered include: length of membership, attendance at League‐sponsored events, active participation in the National Bicycle Summit, completion of League‐sanctioned training, and/or volunteer service on a League Committee. High qualification is many years of ongoing participation in the League’s activities.
As the Board’s role is not to actually do the work but to oversee, direct and support the President and League staff, professional skills are especially important. Desired skill sets may include: executive management, fundraising, advocacy, education, marketing, communications, finance, human resources, board and staff development, or legal background. Minimum qualification is experience in one of the above areas. High qualification is proven expertise in one or more areas.
Candidates are sought with the wit and ability to engage diverse communities and the capacity to reach out to all cyclists. They need to bring wisdom, esteem and the ability to work with others to collectively solve issues. Candidates may be asked to provide references. A high qualification would be references from executives or directors of large organizations,
The League needs significant financial resources to execute our valuable programs, from the Bicycle Friendly American program to Women Bike. In addition to giving their valuable time and insight, board members contribute to our financial stability and growth through personal financial support, connections with potential donors, business and political leaders, and other sources of support for the League.
The League's code of ethics:
- Consider myself a trustee of the League and will do the best I can to ensure it is well-maintained, financially secure, and operating in the best interest of our members;
- Not use my service for personal financial gain;
- Respect and support the majority decisions of the board;
- Approach all issues with an open mind, and will be prepared to make the best decision for everyone involved;
- Conduct myself in a respectful way, and extend that respect to all board members and staff of the League;
- Not violate the trust of those who elected me;
- Accept our differences, but do not feel that those differences are unimportant, or that they should be ignored or treated as if they did not matter;
- Not make public statements critical of members or their committees;
- Keep confidential information confidential; and,
- Always work to my best ability to help make America more bicycle-friendly.
All board members shall be subject to the Code of Ethics, as adopted by the Board of Directors;
The At-Large Member or other officers appointed by the President will investigate reports of violations of the code of ethics. A written report with the results of the investigation shall be given to the Secretary and the member accused of the violation of the code of ethics. Any discrepancy will be resolved as specified in the most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order; and,
The Board of Directors shall make any appropriate disposition.
Yes. Eight of the 15 board members are directly elected by the membership. The value of appointing members to the board is that particular skills and attributes that the board needs can be recruited – and remember, the majority of the board members making the appointments are always going to be elected. To vote in the 2015 election, you must be a registered League member by Nov. 1, 2014.
The six regions into which the League membership was divided for board elections were arbitrary and unwieldy; board members struggled to truly “represent” their regions. Under the new system, both elected and board-appointed members are responsible for considering the needs of all League members, and indeed all cyclists. Our appointed board members have always had strong ties to the bicycling community and impressive bicycling credentials. At the same time as we made this board change, we also reinvigorated the State Ambassador program to better connect the League to state and local activities, clubs and advocacy groups.
In mid-August the League announced the opportunity to apply for open board positions via the League's website, E-news and social media.
Once applications are submitted by September 15, the nominating committee will evaluate each candidate based on seven specific qualifications and their capacity to provide high-quality, national board service. Committee members take this responsibility extremely seriously, to ensure that all the candidates have the basic qualifications necessary to serve the League well, regardless of their specific platform or views.
Each member of the governance committee will make an independent recommendation that will be tallied and sent to the board as a recommended list of candidates. They will approve the nominations for the upcoming election. Those not selected will be thanked and invited to continue to play an active role in the League.
Yes. The Bylaws include a provision for additional candidates to be nominated by petition. Candidates who are not deemed qualified by the Governance Committee will be informed on October 1, 2013 to give them time to organize petitions. To be added to the ballot, a potential candidate must obtain signatures of 5% of the League membership.
There is no single or right way to govern a national membership group; the hybrid approach of having some appointed and some elected board members is common and the use of a board nominating or governance committee to manage the election process is standard. In our own small world of bicycling, IMBA, Adventure Cycling and Bikes Belong all have different board selection approaches – none as transparent as the League.
The League moved to a preferential voting system for the 2011 board election. We tested our system by conducting a survey for our members on our website. We asked you to rank a list of 10 cyclists from 1 to 10, and then used the principles of instant runoff voting (IRV) to determine the all-time best cyclist, and the four runners up, in a trial run of how we’ll elect our five board members. Here’s how the vote was calculated.
We thank the experts over at Fair Vote for their technical assistance in this test vote; they supported the count for the 2011 board election and will do so for the 2012 election -- which begins January 3, 2012. Their profiles will be posted before the voting begins.
In the first ballot, Eddie Merckx had a simple majority of the first place votes, with 68 votes of 133 cast. He’s our best cyclist of all time, and was elected to the five member “best cyclist” board.
First ballot, number of first-place votes:
Eddie Merckx 68
Fausto Coppi 1
Gino Bartali 1 J
acques Anquetil 2
Jeannie Longo 16 L
ance Armstrong 18
Marshall “Major” Taylor 26
None of the Above 1
Bernard Hinault, Francesco Moser, and Graeme Obree received no first-place votes.
With Merckx already elected to the board, we turned our attention to the second slot. Merckx’s name was removed from all the ballots, redistributing those 68 first place votes to the second name on each of those ballots. While Lance Armstrong had fewer votes than Major Taylor before Merckx’s votes were redistributed, he had the lead when the second ballot began, and he would never look back. Here’s how the vote looked at the beginning of the second round.
First place votes at the beginning of the polling for the second slot
Fausto Coppi 13
Jacques Anquetil 4
Jeannie Longo 30
Lance Armstrong 38
Marshall “Major” Taylor 35
Gino Bartali 5
Bernard Hinault 7
There was no candidate with a majority, so we began removing the cyclists with the fewest first-place votes from the ballots, and redistributing their first place votes to the next cyclists on those ballots. First Obree and Moser, who got no first place votes, were removed, then Anquetil, Bartali and Hinault. Armstrong, Taylor, Longo, and Coppi all gained votes as the runoffs were calculated, but their relative order never changed. Coppi was eliminated in the fifth runoff, leaving three candidates:
First place votes for the second slot, after the elimination of Fausto Coppi
Jeannie Longo 36
Lance Armstrong 50
Marshall “Major” Taylor 46
There were more than enough votes in play when Jeannie Longo was eliminated to put Major Taylor over the top, but her ballots were split equally between Armstrong and Taylor, and Armstrong won the second slot by 4 votes over Major Taylor, almost exactly the difference between the two men at the beginning of the ballot.
Armstrong was then eliminated from all of the ballots to conduct the runoffs for the third slot.
The third election was very similar to the second — cyclists were eliminated in the same order, and Major Taylor led from the first ballot to the last.
The instant runoff system played a more interesting role in the election of the fourth candidate to our “board,” following the election of Merckx, Armstrong, and Taylor (and their elimination from the ballots for the remaining two slots.
Vote distribution at the beginning of the fourth runoff election:
Bernard Hinault 22
Fausto Coppi 32
Gino Bartali 6
Graeme Obree 6
Jacques Anquetil 18
Jeannie Longo 46
Bartali and Obree were eliminated first, with the order of elimination being unimportant, since six additional votes would not have saved either man from being the next to be eliminated.
Fourth “board” slot election after the elimination of Bartali and Obree
Bernard Hinault 25
Fausto Coppi 35
Jacques Anquetil 20
Jeannie Longo 50
Jacques Anquetil gained only two votes in the redistribution process, and was the next to be eliminated. Jeannie Longo’s commanding lead suddenly evaporated, as 17 of the redistributed votes went to Fausto Coppi, with only 1 to Longo, and 2 to Hinault. (You’ll note at this point in the process that the total number of votes is shrinking a little, as some ballots are “exhausted” as a result voters who did not rank any of the remaining cyclists.)
Fourth “board” slot election after the elimination of Bartali, Obree, and Anquetil
Bernard Hinault 27
Fausto Coppi 52
Jeannie Longo 51
Hinault’s 27 votes could have cast the result in either direction, but at this point you had to suspect where things were headed: a voting block of fans of European men’s road racing was now setting the pace. And indeed, Coppi received 2/3rds of the reallocated ballots, to win the fourth slot by a 10 vote margin.
Vote counts at the beginning of the runoff for the fifth slot
Bernard Hinault 31
Francesco Moser 1
Gino Bartali 11
Graeme Obree 8
Jacques Anquetil 28
Jeannie Longo 50
Jeannie Longo began the balloting for the fifth board slot with a commanding lead. As her competition were dropped, one by one, she slowly added to her vote total, but Hinault was gaining ground, buoyed by the same voting block that had pushed Coppi into the fourth slot. She did attain the required majority in the final ballot, winning 67 votes to 62 after the elimination of Jacques Anquetil.
Top five cyclists of all time, as voted by League of American Bicyclists members:
1. Eddie Merckx
2. Lance Armstrong
3. Marshall”Major” Taylor
4. Fausto Coppi
5. Jeannie Longo