The silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition used to be a great magnet and gathering ground for grassroots Bicycling advocacy in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. For several years, local long term bicycling advocates have suspected financial and operational irregularity. The ED and board held closed meetings and refuse requests from members of the public for meeting information. They stopped having legally required board meetings, and refused to comply with legally and properly made request for legally required disclosure and review of documents. They then imposed their own bylaw rewrite without membership comment or approval, despite many changes affecting voting rights. The newsletter ceased publication, long time services were discontinued or unreasonable demands for guaranteed profits were made for the services to contnue. They conduct censorship and defamation against known critics selectively removing their access, even to view postings only, from the email list and all other SVBC electronic and printed media. This despite the SVBC being the dominant and controlling provider of cycling advocacy community and related information in the South Bay and Peninsula area. They receive public funding to conduct events, yet fail to properly disclose the accounting of the use of the public funding. The ED continually refuses to request an opinion for clarification from the CA State Attorney General, despite this being the Attorney General's recommended action prior to engaging in possibly questionable dealings. Myself and several others combined resources to investigate their operations and research applicable laws and codes. We found self serving transactions leading to the ED receiving a compensation package considerably out of proportion with other similar nonprofits, with half of revenues going toward her household, and her mother being hired as an assistant using a noncompetitive, unadvertised hiring process. In early 2010, the City of San Jose, CA, code enforcement department served a notice to cease order on the executive director for an illegal business and zoning arrangement, which included the ED failing to pay taxes on illegally obtained rental income, and failing to disclose the income on her divorce filing. Pending still, are IRS actions, and State of California Attorney General's office investigations. Lastly, they act illegally to control and manipulate the nonimating and voting process for board of director elections.
Review from Guidestar
SVBC is a really effective advocate for those of us using bicycles for transportation. I appreciate their multilevel approach - from teaching safety classes in schools to advocating with transportation agencies for greater accommodation of cyclists to organizing Santa Clara County's Bike to Work Day activities. They have a great website - dedicated volunteers provide updates on construction projects and policy developments in cities in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Volunteering is fun; there's a strong esprit de corps.