Update from the Board of Directors
November 22, 2015
Our Ward Advocacy Groups increasingly face challenges that, more often than not, are city-wide issues. For instance, policies on shared space (where the City has chosen experimental designs that see cars and bikes mingle), the use of sharrows instead of dedicated cycling facilities, and the preoccupation with retaining on-street car parking are working against our local advocates as they seek positive change in support of active transportation. To harmonize our advocacy work city-wide, the Advocacy Committee is creating a series of public position statements on what quality bike infrastructure and traffic law enforcement should look like in the City of Toronto. Draft statements have been prepared on Shared Space and Use of Sharrows, with statements on Bike Parking and Bike Boulevards to be completed by December. Early in the new year, statements on Protected Bike Lanes, Safe (One-Metre) Passing and the Idaho Stop will be prepared. Once these have been completed, the set will be posted on the Cycle Toronto website to help our ward advocates speak with a strong, united voice.
The board’s governance committee has begun implementing its strategy to increase the diversity and representativeness of our board. Phase I (leading up to the 2016 annual general meeting) includes an exercise to identify barriers and opportunities, a talent roundtable, and the launch of a board candidate mentorship program. Because the board has elected to reduce its numbers from 15 to 13 in 2016 (related to the transition to a new governing model – see below), it will be especially important to identify and support candidates who have the skills and experience to govern the organization while helping the board to better reflect and represent Toronto’s diverse communities. If you are interested in participating in this effort, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of its gradual transition from a working board to a governing model, the board focused its October planning retreat on 1) the board’s role in fundraising and stewardship, 2) the board’s committee structure and board/staff responsibilities, and 3) planning for a ‘refresh’ of the organizational goals established in 2012. A plan to engage the membership on the ‘refresh’ will be announced at the 2016 annual general meeting.
As a result of the committee review, the Operations Committee has been folded into the Governance Committee. The organization is grateful to “Special Ops,” as it was fondly known, for working with staff to enhance the organization’s performance management and planning tools (including the annual operational plan, dashboard indicators, and annual report).
Fundraising & Membership
The board is incredibly proud of the work done by staff and volunteers on the Bloor-Danforth Fundraising Ride, which brought in over $34,000! As we work to ensure that Cycle Toronto can remain an independent voice for the interests of people who ride bikes, our reliance on members and donors for resources is increasingly important. The board’s fundraising committee is now hard at work leading the year-end donation drive, including a Giving Tuesday appeal on Facebook for our Streetsmarts 2016 program (eligible for a tax receipt). Please consider Cycle Toronto as you make your year-end contributions!