By-laws of the San Francisco Bike Messenger Association
Article I: Name
The name of this organization is the San Francisco Bike Messenger Association.
Article II: Objective
We, the Messengers and Allied Workers of the San Francisco Bay Area messenger industry, incorporate as the San Francisco Bicycle Messenger Association (SFBMA) under the laws of the State of California and the United States of America, and under the following principles freely adopted by our members.
Our first and foremost goals are to increase our incomes, receive employer paid
health insurance, implement work safety programs, and establish a pension for
retired workers. These and other rights and benefits, which we have more than earned throughout our collective careers, are due to us from our employers, but it is our responsibility to take action to obtain due payment.
In the past, we have often responded to challenges and adversities beyond the call of duty, from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and multiple police “crackdowns” to the 1996 Cycle Messenger World Championships and the Bay Area’s heaviest rainfall this century; now it is high time the industry rose to the occasion itself.
We seek to:
Advance the economic and working conditions of bicycle messengers and other messenger industry workers;
Continue to enhance the image of our profession and its tradespeople and to strive to honor our profession as part of cycling’s proud history;
Advance the cause of alternative transportation as a means of solving ecological and social problems; Increase our already notable community activities;
Ally ourselves with workers in other industries under the principle that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
To achieve these goals, the SFBMA must be a democratic and inclusive organization, open to all messenger industry workers and their opinions. Our officers will serve without pay until the membership decides democratically and constitutionally to authorize salaries. We state that our officers serve effectively only when they are acting on the express wishes of the membership.
We pledge to honor these principles for the sake of ourselves, our retired colleagues, the honored memory of our departed sisters and brothers, and the education and advancement of our children.
Article III: Membership
Traditionally, anybody who was or is a S.F. bike messenger, dispatcher, waler, etc. is a member of the SFBMA, in general terms. However, the rights, rules and responsibilities described herein apply only to members whose dues are current to within 60 days of the present. The community at large that supports the SFBMA is considered a part of the SFBMA as well.
Article IV: Quorum
In order for a vote to count, the persons voting must comprise at least 51% of the current dues-paying membership.
Article V: Voting
All votes, unless otherwise specified, shall be decided by a margin of greater than 50%. All elections shall happen once a year at the General Meeting closest to April 1st, except in the case of a suddenly vacated office, or sudden emergency matters. Notice of any election or voting concerning general policy must be posted in a conspicuous location at least 2 weeks prior to the vote taking place.
Article VI: Officers
In order to fill any of these positions, the person has to have been employed as a S.F. messenger, order taker, or dispatcher within the last year [amended 2000]. All officers are required to give 2 weeks notice of resignation, except in the case of an unforeseeable emergency. Such notice must be posted in a conspicuous location. To remove an officer before the yearly election, a petition to do so must first be signed by 50 members, and then voted upon at the next General Meeting.
The President shall represent the best interests of the membership to the general public. If there are responsibilities to be delegated, it is the President’s job to do so, as well as to organize and submit necessary budgets to the Board of Directors for approval.
Treasurer:The Treasurer is responsible for collecting and accounting for dues and other funds, and shall report these records at each General Meeting, as well as make these records available to any member with reasonable notice.
Secretary:The Secretary shall keep minutes of every General Meeting, make them available to any member with reasonable notice, and periodically post them in a conspicuous location.
Facilitator: [Amended 2007]The Facilitator is required to fill in for any of the above offices with reasonable notice. The Facilitator is the “Principal Officer.”
Article VII: Board of Directors
In order to be on the Board, the person has to have been employed as a S.F. messenger, order taker, or dispatcher within the last year [amended 2000]. To remove a Board member, a petition to do so must first be signed by 50 members, and then voted upon at the next General Meeting. Our Board shall consist of either 5, 7 or 9 people. It is the Board’s responsibility to approve or disapprove budgets and committees. Board members are required to give at least 2 weeks notice of resignation, except in the case of an unforeseeable emergency. Such notice must be posted in a conspicuous location.
Article VIII: Staff
There shall be no paid staff of the SFBMA, with the exception of outside, contracted workers needed to perform tasks which could not be reasonably performed by an SFBMA member for free.
Article IX: Meetings
General Meetings shall happen at least 10 times a year, and Board Meetings shall happen at least 4 times a year.
Article X: Publications
The SFBMA shall produce and distribute a publication at least 4 times a year. It shall consist of information on current SFBMA issues, and a calendar of upcoming events. It shall also have examples of bike messenger culture, such as poetry, art, music reviews, etc.
Article XI: Affiliations
Any affiliations with outside organizations must first be approved by the Board with a 2/3 or greater vote, and then may be voted upon at the next General Meeting.
Article XII: Changes to these By-laws
If an SFBMA member wishes to propose an alteration or addition to these by-laws, she or he must propose the motion at an SFBMA general meeting. Those SFBMA members present at that general meeting will then decide by a simple majority vote whether the proposed change is minor enough to be voted upon at the same meeting or whether the proposal presents a sufficiently significant change that the motion be tabled until the next general meeting after the proposal been well-publicized and provided to the membership. The proposal would then be decided by a simple majority vote of those SFBMA members present at that subsequent meeting [amended 2006].