Bill Hoffman's Letter to LAB Region 2 Members

To LAB members in Region 2 (DE, DC, MD, NJ, PA, WV):

Iím asking for your vote in the Region 2 election to the LAB Board.  If you receive an additional solicitation, I apologize.  I took advantage of LABís offer to all candidates to send one email appeal to members.  But the League, quite properly, does not give out membersí addresses, so I have no way of knowing who received it.

Why is this election crucial to LABís future?  Because, the League has been badly mismanaged for the past 10 years and present management is not inclined to fix problems.  If you elect me, I will work vigourously to redirect LABís actions to better reflect the interests of its members, instead of only the short-term interests of the bicycle industry, bikeways planners, and other "partners" whose main focus is not on cycling as we know it.

A full analysis of what LAB has been doing thatís wrong (as well as whatís right) is at www.labreform.org.  I urge you to visit the site and read about things the League hasnít told you.

In brief, here are the main issues:

  1. Whether intentionally or not, LAB as an advocacy organization has been promoting the selfish interests of non-related partners more than (often instead of) the interests of its own members.  Some of LABís actions contradict its own policy statements that appear (but are buried deeply) on its website.
  2. LAB does not adequately defend cyclistsí rights, some of which have been endangered as a result of its advocacy for separate facilities for cyclists.
  3. LAB has become less democratic and less responsive to its members.  The number of elected directors has been reduced from 12 to 7--42% of the directors are now appointed.  Also, certain bylaws changes adopted quietly without advance notice have further eroded membersí rights.  Link for more information
  4. LAB has not been a good steward of membersí money.  Having its headquarters in Washington, DC costs too much for an organization of its present and probable future size.  LAB has been running deficits frequently since moving to DC.
  5. LABís Board doesnít operate openly enough.  Important decisions are made without advance notice to members and sometimes even without notice to some of the directors.  The Board meeting minutes are often too sketchy for anyone who didnít attend the meeting to have a good understanding of what took place.  There is also an unreasonable delay in publishing minutes on the Leagueís website.

There are proposals at www.labreform.org to address each of these issues.  If you want to change the culture in LAB, I am the only candidate for our region who will work for you.  While I will be only one vote out of 12 on the Board, I promise to work aggressively for the reforms that will make LAB a better and more responsive organization for its members.  Reform-minded candidates are running for some of the other elected seats, in the hope that we will achieve a majority within a few election cycles.

After you have voted, please notify me by email, giving your membership number, so I can have a check against the votes actually submitted.  I will ask to be present when the votes are counted.  LAB has held suspicious elections recently.  Since I am viewed as a pariah by the current management, there is the risk that some votes for me could be "lost."

Bill Hoffman

Lancaster, PA

billhoffman1_AT_verizon_DOT_net


Endorsements for Bill Hoffman

Phyllis Harmon, Director Emeritus, Editor Emeritus; League member since 1937

I highly recommend Bill Hoffman as a nominee for L.A.B.  Director in the upcoming 2008 election.  I have known and worked with Bill since he joined the League in l97l, am proud of his service during his terms on the Board, am well aware of his many, many volunteer hours and dedication to the League.

Bill became a Life Member in 1976, is well known all over the U.S. as an excellent tour leader, participation in many League events, author of very interesting books, and for his expertise and enthusiastic work in bicycling, education, and safety.

Ralph Galen, LAW President 1969-71, Life Member #1

It is with great pleasure that I am recommending former Director Bill Hoffman to serve once again on the Board of Directors of the League of American Bicyclists..  I have known Bill as a friend, a cyclist and as a publisher since 1974, at which time he was on the Board with me.  As a Board member Bill Hoffman was always knowledgeable, fair minded and energetic, keeping the best interest of the LAB in mind at all times..  During his tenure of office as a Board Member Bill served 3 years as secretary and 3 years as treasurer.

Not only have Bill and I biked together at different times but it was Bill who published my book 2 Wheels, 2 Years and 3 Continents.  Without his help this book might have never been published.  When biking with Bill one is ever conscious of his experience as an Effective Cycling Instructor.  In other words he practices what he teaches.  From the mid 1980's to the 2000's he organized, co-organized or conducted Effective Cycling BikeED courses at different League events.

Rather than list the many offices and chairmanships that Bill has held over the years let me say that he has served on the local bicycle club level, the national LAB level as well as with the county of Lancaster and the state of Pennsylvania.

In conclusion let me say that we are indeed fortunate that this tireless club member is still ready, able, and interested in serving the cause of bicycling.

John Forester, LAW President 1979-80, Author of Effective Cycling and Bicycle Transportation, internationally known as the creator of a formalized vehicular cycling program, which is the nucleus of LABís BikeEd; 1996 Paul Dudley White recipient, LABís highest honor

I have known Bill Hoffman for about thirty years, and for many of those years we worked closely together in cycling affairs, largely in the League.  Bill was a director of the League with terms roughly contemporaneous with my own (1976-1983), and with my presidency (1979-80).  Bill and I were the lead directors for the rewriting of the League's By-laws that enabled the League to resume smooth operation after the problems with Morgan Groves.  Bill was Secretary and later Treasurer, and did an outstanding job in both positions, but Treasurer was the most important at that time of financial problems.  Because Bill understood the financial condition, limitations, and responsibilities of a membership organization such as the League, he warned against those others in the League who were proposing grandiose budgets based on unrealistic expectations of growth and political power, the budgets that later, for the third time, ran the League into the financial swamp.  Bill has the knowledge, skill, and experience that the League needs so badly at this time.

Simultaneously with his work as League officer, and right up to the present, Bill has worked on the League's core tasks for its cycling members, organizing events and improving activities for cyclists to enlarge their pleasures (Rallies and tours for cyclists, publishing touring information), increase their skills (Early Effective Cycling Instructor, and East Coast mentor of the instructors in training, both under my supervision), and raise their public stature as lawful road users (Working with state and local governments).

Throughout all of this time, Bill has steadfastly maintained that cyclists are legitimate lawful road users who should always act as such and be treated as such.

Bill has accurate and sympathetic knowledge of cycling as an activity and the knowledge, experience, and skill that are required to translate that understanding into the guidance that our League needs.

Rep. Rick Geist (R-Altoona), Chair, House Transportation Committee; Promoter of the Tour de Toona International; 2001 Paul Dudley White Award recipient (LABís highest honor); 1997 Bicycling Magazine Legislator of the Year

Bill Hoffman has been and continues to be an outstanding advocate, educator and ambassador for bicycling, and the Pennsylvania cycling community is proud to call him one of our own.  He was instrumental in getting the BicyclePA routes established, and his involvement with the "Ridge Rides"greatly contributed to the effectiveness of bicycle advocacy within state government here in Pennsylvania.  In the 30 years Iíve known him and worked with him on cycling issues, Iíve found Bill to be tireless and tenacious in his efforts on behalf of cycling, and I am confident he would be a tremendous asset to the governance of the League of American Bicyclists.

John Schubert, Founder & Chair, BicyclePA; Member, National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Bicycle Technical Committee; Writer on cycling topics since 1975, published in two dozen magazines and the author of two cycling books; Secretary, Pennsylvania Pedalcycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee; Certified in three Federal Court jurisdictions and innumerable state and county courts as a forensic expert in bicycle accident reconstruction; Vice President of the League of American Bicyclists, 1997 to 1999; Board of Directors, Coalition for Appropriate Transportation; Friend and fan of Bill Hoffman

I first met Bill Hoffman, and saw his advocacy work, more than a quarter century ago.  Bill and I have spent the last 10 years working together developing 2,000 miles of signed long-distance touring routes in Pennsylvania.  Bill is acutely aware of what actually works for bicyclists, as opposed to what works for politicians and the professional planning bureaucracy.  I believe his ability to help steer the League in the correct direction far outdistances that of his opponent in the election and also that of every current board member.  If you want the League to stick up for cyclists' safety and rights without being distracted by bribe money attached to bad programs, you want Bill on the board.  If you have questions about my endorsement of Bill, please call 610/282-3085.

Joe Stafford, Founder and Executive Director, Bicycle Access Council (an advocacy organization for on-road cyclists in Pennsylvania)

The Bicycle Access Council endorses and encourages all eligible League members to cast a vote for Bill Hoffman.  Bill was a founding director of BAC in 2001 and a stalwart bicycle advocate in Pennsylvania for many years prior to that--he still is! Through the efforts of Bill, many accommodations for bicyclists exist today.  He was behind the efforts to create the Pennsylvania Pedalcycle [bicycle] and Pedestrian Advisory Committee in 1995 which ultimately led to the creation of the BicyclePA cross-state touring route network.  Bill was personally involved in laying out many of the routes used for BicyclePA.  As a League Certified Instructor, Bill has taught many cyclists in the various classes of League education programs.  He was also an LCI trainer, which certifies new instructors.

Bill usually logs between 10-12,000 miles per year, with multi-day touring combined with local utility and recreational cycling.  This yearís miles included a US cross country self-supported tour.


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