Below are rules established as a response to the
controversy created by the blatant interference
by a faction of the board in the 2003 LAB board election. These new
rules are obviously designed to help the faction maintain their ill-gotten
These rules are
posted on the Leagues web site.
League of American Bicyclists
Policy Statement Regarding Use of League’s Membership List by Members
Approved by the Board, 11-29-04
Any Member (or a Member’s attorney or agent) may physically inspect the
League’s membership list (the “List”), at the League’s office, at any
reasonable time. The concept of a “reasonable time” implies such common
courtesies as advance appointments.
League will not provide copies of the List, nor permit the making of copies,
except for proper purposes specifically approved by the
As of the date of adoption of this Policy Statement, the following purposes
have been designated by the Board as “proper purposes” for Members’ use of the
of signatures for nominating petitions, in accordance with Article III,
Section 7 of the Bylaws;
of votes, for or against any candidate, in an election for the Board of
of signatures, or dissuading members from signing, a petition for a
referendum, in accordance with Article III, Section 5B of the
of votes for or against a referendum, in accordance with Article III,
Section 5B of the Bylaws.
person requesting a copy of the List (or any part thereof, such as a list of
all Members in a Region), for a proper purpose, may be required to pay the
cost of copying the List, and must provide a written statement:
the purpose for which the List will be used,
that the List is not to be used for any other or improper
the receipt of, and understanding of, this Policy Statement,
to indemnify the League, the Board of Directors, individual Officers and
Directors, and individual members of the Staff, from and against any claims
arising from any use of the List, for any purpose and by any person, other
than the purpose stated in accordance with paragraph 4(a)
A Member may make use of the List, or any portion thereof, without obtaining
physical access to the List (and thus avoid the indemnification described in
paragraph 4(d) above), by engaging the services of the fulfillment house which
is under contract with the League for the purpose of maintaining the List. The
League staff will assist Members who wish to make use of the List via the
fulfillment house. Each such use of the List must be approved as a “proper
purpose.” The Member must bear all costs of mailing, including postage,
materials, and the fulfillment house services. Further, the Member must comply
with paragraphs 4(a) through 4(c) above.
The section below favors the faction. Not only
does the board (and thus the faction) get advance notice of a mailing against
one of their candidates (the challenger does not have this advantage), they also
get to see what is to be sent and thus have a chance to quickly respond to
it. Finally, they get to censor anything if they can make a claim of
possible libelous material. This way they can prevent challengers from
pointing out that certain directors have violated their duty to members or
otherwise acted unethically.
A member may also make use of the list, or any portion thereof, without
obtaining physical access to the List (and thus avoid the indemnification
described in paragraph 4(d) above), by requesting that the League’s staff
broadcast a message via the Internet. Each such use of the List must be
approved as a “proper purpose.” The Member must bear the reasonable cost of
staff time in preparing and distributing the message. Further, the Member must
comply with paragraphs 4(a) through 4(c) above.
By the precedent established in 2003, election to LAB board seats has become an
expensive proposition. It is not in the members' interest for outside
groups (such as America Bikes, the bicycle industry lobbying organization) to
"buy" a seat on the board by financing an expensive mailing campaign.
If the List is to be used, either directly by a Member or via arrangement with
the League’s fulfillment house, to send a written communication to all or any
substantial portion of the membership, whether nationally or in a region, the
Member must submit, in advance, a sample or specimen of said written
communication piece. All communication pieces must disclose the name(s) of the
Member(s) sponsoring the mailing.
The Board of
Directors reserves the right to reject any communication piece that
libelous material, or that otherwise might subject the League to threat
There are fairer and more reasonable ways to regulate
campaigning for the board:
1. Require that any candidate who would use the mailing list, first notify all
other candidates running for that same seat, giving them a reasonable time to
respond. This eliminates the "sneak attack" as used by the faction in
2003. It also gives the challengers a more equal opportunity.
Unfortunately, this still favors those with money to spend.
2. The least expensive way to allow campaigning is for the League to establish a
campaign web site, on which candidates may post their messages and their
claims. Then direct members to this site for the latest
3. Rather than the censorship promoted above, the League can produce a reasonable
disclaimer (saying the views are those of the candidate, etc.) and then let
candidates write whatever they choose.
Major portions of this article were reproduced under fair
May be copied with attribution.
www.labreform.org and restore the BikeLeague to the members.