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Sep 07

The Plan

The “steering committee” of P2P met last Saturday. Our main goals were to get the scope of our mission statement finalized; figure out how to organize our group; and define a set of “Phase 1″ projects. I’ll lay out the basics here; we are in the process of formalizing all of this with a goal of getting a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit status.

As we progress down this road, we’ll be sharing more details — my hope is that we’ll just be posting all of our articles of incorporation, bylaws, and 501c3 application online here. There may be some obvious reason that we shouldn’t do this, but after seeing other documents like this online, I don’t see why.

Anyway; in a nutshell:

Mission Statement. This is not final, but we wanted to open it up a bit, so we don’t get in a situation where we want to do something, but it falls outside the scope of our mission statement.

“Using the bicycle as a tool to empower people and to build healthier communities.”

That’s the basic statement, but we’ll be following it with a set of statements that express our values, which are summed up with the following words/phrases: sustainable, healthy communities,increasing bike ridership and ownership,community action, inclusion, transportation, environmental, light footprint, recycling, reuse, rehabilitate, outreach, empowerment, teaching, secular organization, tool.

Organization

Some interesting (to us?) bits about how we’ll be organizing our board:

  • 5 voting members.
  • No significant others/partners/relatives on the board.
  • All members are active volunteers in the org: at least 50 hours/yr (not including board meetings)
  • All members are volunteers. No members may pull any kind of salary/benefits from P2P
  • Meetings are closed; president may invite guests. One annual meeting will be open to anyone.
  • Quorum is 4. Four votes required to change by laws/vote out members. Basic decision making: 3 votes.
  • Minimum of 11 meetings annually
  • Terms are 3 years. Four consecutive terms max. One year off to reset.

Phase 1 Projects: we had a huge number of projects that we want to do. We narrowed the Phase 1′ers down to this list. We don’t have a milestone for Phase 2, but each project has an owner with internal milestones. This is the fun stuff. In time, we’ll build up a web page for each project on our site.

  • Community Bike Tune Ups: we’ve been doing these and they’ve been great. This is where we go to places in the community and do free tune ups. We’ll do at least one a month from May – Sept.
  • Village Bike Project: This is a huge and great project to be a part of. It also solves a lot of issues for us and our ability to collect donated bikes. Space is still an open issue.
  • Build-A-Beater: we’re doing this right now with a guy as a test run and it seems good. The basic idea here is that we’ll take a person on Monday or Weds nights for a few weeks and they’ll build up their own bike from the bits we have. The guy doing this right now is building a single-speed winter bike. When your done, you give us a donation and you have a beater or a basic grocery getter. We’re not talking high-zoot here; we’re talking highly-reliable basic transportation.
  • Basic Bike Repair Class: Liza teaches this already and it’s a great class. For learning basic road-side repair; bike maintenance, and the tire change.
  • Used Bike Sales: this is pretty low on the priority list, but every now and then we get a sweet old cruiser or a pretty decent commuter-type bike. We’ll likely craiglist it. But we do have a couple potential options for bringing them to events to sell.
  • Kid’s Bikes: in the past we’ve been giving bikes away to anyone who wants one. We’re getting out of that business for a number of reasons. But we do think kids should have bikes. Most kids get bikes and don’t have to pay for them. We’re looking to partner with some local women/children shelter type places to make sure the kids there have bikes.
  • Donated Bikes: again, if we find the space for the Village Bike Project bikes, we’ll be set. Once that space is figured out, we’ll start taking donations again. And we won’t have to be so selective. We’ll take it all.
  • Ad hoc projects: stuff comes up; we want to do one-time events that make sense. Stuff like the Farmer’s Market on Oct 6th, or the Local Flair Street Fair or Pride Parade that we did.
  • Monday/Weds nights at our shop: We’ll be staffing the garage from 6-9 M/Ws to take donated bikes; flatten bikes for VBP; strip or repair other bikes. This is also when we’ll have our “build-a-beater” person working on their bike.

Phase 2: Here’s a laundry list of projects we would like to do in the future: Create-a-commuter; earn-a-bike; bike bucket sales/class; workshop rental; downtown bike parking/showers; rent-a-bike-downtown; partnering with other non-profits for a variety of stuff; community cycling center.

Volunteers: One place we’ve had a hard time is figuring out a good way to bring in volunteers and get them set up and successful. We’ve had folks come to help and we’ve not had a good plan for getting them working and going. Our future success relies completely on building a strong and passionate network of volunteers.

To make this a reality, we are developing some basic projects along with a list of steps/handbook to make sure that any and all volunteers can come to our events and provide value. Every M/W night, we’ll have at least one trained member whose job it is to take in new volunteers and get them going on a task and to stay with them until they are productive.

You don’t have to be a bike mechanic to volunteer here. Contact us if you’re interested in volunteering: pedals2people@gmail.com

So that’s the nutshell version. Stay tuned.

One Comment

  1. Jason says:

    John, I’m really liking what you and the other p2pers are getting started and plan to continue showing up at the garage to help flatten bikes after my Build-A-Beater is finished. I’ve also put up a couple p2p garage related posts on my new biking blog (100km.us) for anyone interested in what the Build-A-Beater experience has been like from my perspective.

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