On Dec. 14, 2015, in response to a request from Jeremy Pollock, a member running for the SF Bicycle Coalition Board, and in compliance with California Corporations Code, the SF Bicycle Coalition provided a list of the names, addresses and email addresses of all SF Bicycle Coalition members to Mr. Pollock.
When Lisa Fisher and Carla McKay, two other members running for re-election as Board members, learned that Mr. Pollock had obtained the member list, they also requested the list, though they only asked for email addresses. They stated that they planned to review the list, identify people they knew, and only email those members about the Board election.
On Dec. 23 we received a request from Shirley Johnson, a member running for the the SF Bicycle Coalition Board, for the member list. She stated she planned to use the list to contact members to campaign for the Save SF Bike slate of candidates. The list, including names, addresses and e-mail addresses was provided to her.
The list provided to those members referenced above reflects current members as of Nov. 15, 2015, as these are the members eligible to vote in the board election which opened on that day.
No other candidates have access to member contact information, including Board incumbents. Peggy da Silva, a member who is also running for the Board of Directors, made a request for the list as our office was closing for the holiday. We will evaluate her request when we re-open on Jan. 4, 2016.
We attempted to satisfy Mr. Pollock, Ms. Fisher and Ms. McKay by offering an alternative, as permitted under California law. We proposed to send an email from the SF Bicycle Coalition to members with information candidates wanted to provide regarding the board election.
Mr. Pollock refused this alternative and repeated his request that we turn over the list within the legally-required 10 days of the date of his request. Ms. Fisher and Ms. McKay discussed this alternative with us, but ultimately determined that it would be less intrusive to members if they used the list to identify people they knew and contacted them directly. We did not make this offer to Ms. Johnson because she requested the list one day before our office closed for the end of year holidays and thus we did not have time to send an email on her behalf to members. We also did not offer alternative to Ms. da Silva, who requested the list as our office was closing for the holiday.
California law requires an organization to turn over the member list or go to court to prove that the proposed alternative is reasonable.
After considering state law, which clearly requires organizations with member-elected boards to provide member contact information to a member who requests the information to contact other members about issues related to the organization, we provided a list of all members’ names, mailing addresses and email addresses to Mr. Pollock and to Ms. Johnson.
To respect members’ privacy to the fullest degree permitted under the law, we did not provide additional information requested by Mr. Pollock and Ms. Johnson, such as phone numbers and the date the member joined the SF Bicycle Coalition.
We provided a list of member names and email addresses to Ms. Fisher and Ms. McKay as they had limited their request to just those items.
Each candidate also received a written reminder that the contact information may only be used to contact members regarding SF Bicycle Coalition matters, and that any other use of the list is prohibited by law.
We take our members’ privacy very seriously and have provided this information solely because it is required under state law due to the fact that we have a member-elected board. We apologize for any concerns this may raise with members. Questions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.