Cycle Toronto, Board Election Results and Annual General Meeting Recap
Submitted by Jared Kolb on 4 May, 2012 - 10:43
On Wednesday, May 2, the Toronto Cyclists Union held its Annual General Meeting in the basement of the CSI Annex Building. With over 200 members in attendance, the bike union voted on a new name, held board elections and reflected on the past year. Fair Vote Canada oversaw the vote to ensure a fair and transparent process.
Toronto Cyclists Union Adopts New Name: Cycle Toronto
After 5 weeks of discussion and engagement among members and non-members, the bike union voted on the name change to Cycle Toronto. The organization required a two-thirds majority to approve the change. The motion passed with 71% for the new name and 29% against. Incoming Board President Nick Cluley commented that with the new name “We will be able to reach out to more Torontonians and attract a wider variety of individual and business members to make us truly self-sustaining.” Look for our new branding throughout this summer!
Members Elect 6 New Board of Directors Members & Approve Bylaw Amendments
In addition to the name change, the bike union held an election of 6 new board members from a pool of 22 highly qualified candidates. Given the 22 candidates for the board positions, members had a challenging time deciding on whom to elect. In the end, the following 6 candidates were voted as our new board members:
- Joe Drew
- Shah Mohamed
- Beth Savan
- Morgan Skowronski
- Robert Tarantino
- John Taranu
Members also approved bylaw amendments that enable us to offer discounted memberships to students and seniors, among other things.
Reflections on 2011
Throughout the course of the evening, members heard about the victories achieved and challenges met by the bike union over the past year. Andrea Garcia, Director of Advocacy, pointed out the uphill struggle of dealing with the removal of bike lanes, while also emphasizing how a new conversation on separated bike lanes is now on the table. Thanks to our work, Toronto can expect its first separated lanes on Sherbourne Street this summer. Jared Kolb, Director of Membership and Outreach, pointed out how amazing our growth was over the past year – from just under 1,100 members in May 2011 to over 2,200 this year! Our strong membership growth stemmed from a combination people, partnerships, programs and campaigns.
Kristin Schwartz, Coordinator for the Partnership for Integration and Sustainable Transportation (the bike union’s partnership with CultureLink Settlement Services) reflected on some of the successes of the programming which she has run. Kristin related how a number of newcomers who had not considered cycling as a viable transportation option were now cycling regularly, thanks to the Bike Host program. Newcomers have also led a series of bike safety presentation to various groups based on the Toronto Cyclists Handbook, and this year the presentation had been given in Mandarin for the first time!
Heather MacDonald, outgoing Board Chair and President, reflected on the amount she had learned over her past four years of involvement with the organization, and how proud she had been to be a part of it through such exciting times. Nick Cluley, who takes over as Board President, thanked the outgoing Board Members (Heather, Mark Franklin and Gary Pluim) for all of their amazing work and support as part of the board. Leehe Lev followed with a review of the past year’s budget.
Nick Cluley closed the meeting by emphasizing that we will, in all ways, remain a strong, unified voice that together will not only make Toronto better, but the best cycling city anywhere.
A special thanks to Fair Vote Canada for administering the vote and all who attended: we'll see you on the road!