This is more bad news for the League of American Bicyclists. I’m sorry Bill will resign at the end of his current term and and has withdrawn from the elections. His letter, of which I’ve only snipped some short excerpts below, is at the LAB Reform page, linked here and below. Go read it.
“…LAB is no longer a true membership organization; it is now a political pressure group that happens to have members. And I might add, LAB membership is 27% lower today than it was as recently as 8 years ago—14,836 as of Oct., 2010 vs. 20,257 at 9/30/02…The reasons I joined in 1971 and became a life member in 1976, and why I am the second-longest serving volunteer in League history, are no longer at the fore…over the past dozen years or so there has been a gradual erosion of members’ rights and autonomy over the organization, without a vote to move in this direction ever being taken.”
—Bill Hoffman, in his resignation letter to the League of American Bicyclists Board.
Bill is a cycling enthusiast and beyond that, has put a huge amount of sweat equity into cycling and LAB governance over his 40 years as a LAB member (and as a LAB life member). Like many of us, he rides his bike because he loves to ride his bike. He has done it competently and is a longtime LCI. He has demanded high levels of excellence in LAB and its members. Not to dismiss all the work the League is doing, some of which is quite good, but there are basic core values in self-reliance and in keeping high standards. We lose these, or trade them for government-funded programs, at our peril.
I have my doubts that Bill’s resignation will do much to change the present course of LAB governance. If anything, it removes a dissenting voice from the Board. Like I said in my own critique of the recent election petition fiasco, LAB governance has become an insider game. Members have limited, if any, control over LAB’s corporate governance and therefore over its corporate direction. To some members, that is just fine. To others, it is galling. To that 27% who are now former members, perhaps it meant voting via a closed checkbook.
I remain a LAB member. But I don’t need to tell you what I think, as I already did.