Bylaws of The Bicycle Tree
The bylaws of The Bicycle Tree approved June 14th, 2012
The Bicycle Tree is a member project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs, and we are subject to the bylaws of our parent organization. To guide our internal operations, we have drafted the bylaws below.
Article I – Name and Purpose
Section 1 – Name
The name of the organization shall be The Bicycle Tree. The Bicycle Tree is a project of fiscal sponsor Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs.
Section 2 – Purpose
The Bicycle Tree is organized to encourage bicycle use by educating the public about how bikes work and by helping people maintain their own bikes. The Bicycle Tree also exists to refurbish and recycle used bikes, and to provide bicycle-related services for low-income individuals.
Article II — Membership
Section 1 – Eligibility
Application for membership to The Bicycle Tree shall be open to anyone over the age of 14, regardless of race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or political viewpoints. There are three types of Bicycle Tree membership: provisional membership, non-voting membership, and voting membership. Provisional membership is granted following completion and receipt of the Volunteer Information Form. Persons aged 14-17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian for membership.
Section 2 – Provisional Membership, Rights and Responsibilities
All new members must undergo a period of provisional membership. Provisional members must volunteer 12 hours of their time with The Bicycle Tree within a period of six months or less before they are eligible for non-voting membership. Provisional members must volunteer 24 hours of their time within a period of four months or less before they are eligible for voting membership. After this time, they may be approved as voting members by quorum consensus vote at a member meeting.
A Provisional Member:
Adheres to the Member Code of Conduct.
May attend member meetings but does yet have voting rights.
May participate on committees.
Included in provisional member emailings.
Section 3 – Non-Voting Membership, Rights and Responsibilities
Non-voting members make substantial contributions to The Bicycle Tree, but they are not permitted to take part in the governance of The Bicycle Tree to the same extent as voting members. However, they are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas at meetings.
A non-voting member has all the rights & responsibilities of a provisional member, as well as the following:
Spends at least 6 hours per three month period working on behalf of The Bicycle Tree in approved ways, as set forth in policy.
Has access to free shop time (equal to time volunteered) when space is available.
Included in member email list.
May advertise their excellence as a Bicycle Tree member.
Section 4 – Voting Membership, Rights and Responsibilities
All members aged 16 years or older who have volunteered 24 hours of their time within a period of four months or less are eligible for voting membership.
A voting member (who may also be referred to as a “core member”) has all the rights and responsibilities of a non-voting member, as well as the following:
Spends at least 6 hours per month (taken on a three-month rolling average) working on behalf of The Bicycle Tree in approved ways, as set forth in policy.
May attend member meetings and cast a vote.
May run and vote for elected positions.
May order items for personal use at wholesale (plus use tax, shipping charges, and other costs). Such purchases must be paid in advance by the member and must not exceed $250 per year.
Article III – Codes of Conduct
Section 1 – Member Code of Conduct
All members should act to further The Bicycle Tree’s Mission Statement in accordance with The Bicycle Tree’s philosophy, bylaws, and policies.
Members should behave respectfully toward others during Bicycle Tree activities, despite matters of race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, or political viewpoints. Violations of the code of conduct will be dealt with in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.
Section 2 – Visitor Code of Conduct
Visitors are defined as any non-member or non-volunteer attending Bicycle Tree activities. Members may expect visitors to behave with respect toward others during Bicycle Tree activities within spaces occupied by The Bicycle Tree. Visitors displaying pronounced offensiveness, particularly with regard to matters of race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, or political viewpoints, should be asked to cease such behavior. If the visitor continues to display such behavior, a member may ask the visitor to leave.
Section 3 – Intoxication
Visitors who are clearly intoxicated during public events or workshops may not use tools or equipment, and may be asked to leave by a member. Members or volunteers who are clearly intoxicated during public events or workshops may not use tools or equipment and must be asked to leave. The definition of “intoxicated” is subject to the opinion of members present.
Article IV — Meetings of Members
Section 1 – Regular Meetings
Member meetings are to be held at least once per month, at a time and location decided by voting members.
Section 2 – Annual Meetings
An annual meeting of the members shall take place in the months of September or October, the specific date, time and location of which will be decided by the voting members. At the annual meeting the members shall determine the direction and budgeting of The Bicycle Tree for the coming year.
Section 3 – Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by a quorum of the voting members to discuss pressing issues.
Section 4 – Notice of Meetings
For both regular and special meetings, at least ten days notice must be given to all members by way of the member email list (special provisions can be made for members without email access). An agenda for the meeting must also be distributed ten days prior to the meeting by way of the member email list. Agenda submissions must be received by the author of the agenda 14 days prior to the meeting.
Section 5 – Quorum
Meetings may proceed with any number of members, but votes may only be cast with a quorum of voting members present. A quorum shall be defined as no less than one half of voting members. Certain votes may be delayed to await a greater percentage of attendance if agreed upon by voting members present.
Section 6 – Voting
The Bicycle Tree shall adopt a consensus-oriented approach to all decision-making. This means that on any issue, the decision-making entity should seek a unanimously supported decision. If, after a genuine effort, unanimous support is not achieved, the body can make a decision with an 80% supermajority. Supermajority refers to 80% of those voting members who choose to vote, not 80% of all voting members.
Article V — Board of Directors
Section 1 – Fiscal Sponsorship
The Bicycle Tree is a member project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a nonprofit public charity according to section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Bicycle Tree is subject to the bylaws and policies of SEE, some of which are communicated here. The Bicycle Tree is legally a part of SEE, and is not a separate nonprofit organization. The Board of Directors of SEE is the legal Board of Directors for The Bicycle Tree. SEE is the ultimate legal possessor of property held by The Bicycle Tree.
All income and expenditures of The Bicycle Tree are to be processed through SEE, which extracts a fee of 6.5% of The Bicycle Tree’s income ($200 annual minimum). The Bicycle Tree must not maintain any separate bank accounts.
Section 2 – Project Director
SEE’s bylaws stipulate that each member project must have a Project Director. The Project Director has certain rights within the SEE organization, such as withdrawing funds from The Bicycle Tree’s account for authorized mission-related expenses. Within The Bicycle Tree, the Project Director has all the rights and responsibilities of the other voting members, with voting rights equal to the other voting members. The Project Director may identify themselves as such in certain communications, but frequent and highly public use of this hierarchical title is discouraged in light of The Bicycle Tree’s consensus and cooperative orientation.
The Project Director position is held until vacated due to death, resignation, or recall. The Project Director may be recalled by an 80% vote of all voting members. A new Project Director may be appointed following member nomination and approval by 80% of all voting members.
Article VI — Committees
Section 1 – Committee Formation
The core members may create or approve committees as needed.
Section 2 – Finance Committee
The Finance Committee consists of the Project Director and the Treasurer, plus other interested core members. The Finance Committee is responsible for maintaining financial records and ensuring agreement with the official records maintained by SEE. The Finance Committee also processes financial disbursements and expenditures, maintains and advises the annual budget, and makes financial information available to members and the public.
The Treasurer is a core member who performs their duty to the satisfaction of the membership. The Treasurer is approved or recalled with an 80% vote of all voting members.
Section 3 – Graphics Committee
The Graphics Committee is responsible for creating, developing, maintaining, and altering the many forms of media utilized by The Bicycle Tree, including but not limited to the organization’s logo, flyers, websites, e-newsletters, signage, stickers, t-shirts, letterhead, and assorted documents. The Graphics Committee should seek consistency across these various media, drawing from a central vision and principles outlined in documentation that is available to and advised by members. Most products of this committee should be approved by the core members via sketches, mock-ups, etc., prior to execution, printing, or distribution.
Section 4 – Pancake Committee
The Pancake Committee is responsible for budgeting and putting on the annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser held to raise funds and awareness for The Bicycle Tree. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: submitting documents and fees for securing event location, soliciting and acquiring donated items for the silent auction, planning the menu, soliciting and acquiring donated food for service, purchasing all other items needed for the event, coordinating promotion of the event with the Graphics Committee and all other members, and coordinating event logistics.
Section 5 – Grants Committee
The Grants Committee shall be responsible for seeking grants from any available sources. The commitments, budgeting, and representation of The Bicycle Tree within grant applications should be in line with The Bicycle Tree’s established mission, goals, activities, philosophy, and capabilities. This committee may prepare budgets appropriate to the funding guidelines of the grant opportunity, but these budgets must be confirmed with the Finance Committee and core members prior to submission.
Article VII – Disciplinary Procedure
Section 1 – Initiation
Any member or volunteer may be considered for disciplinary action. Typically, a mistake or violation should be shared with one or more core members, who must then take appropriate action. Disciplinary action may include private conversation, group conversation, suspension, expulsion, or any other action deemed appropriate by a member vote.
Section 2 – Private Conversation
Private conversation should precede most instances where disciplinary action is considered. Private conversation should be adequate for minor missteps, including but not limited to: mechanical or educational technique, inappropriate language, intoxication, or inappropriate/offensive dress.
Section 3 – Group Conversation
Group conversation should take place when group input is sought in a disciplinary manner. It should occur in a closed meeting of core members and parties involved. Group conversation should precede most instances where suspension or expulsion are considered. Violations that may require group conversation include but are not limited to complicated events with multiple witnesses.
Section 4 – Suspension and Expulsion
If suspension or expulsion are considered as punitive action, proceedings must take place in a special meeting announced at least seven days prior that is closed to core members and parties involved. The recipient of punitive action should be given opportunity to present their case unless their presence is deemed unsafe or inappropriate by the core members. Following thorough conversation, the case may be dismissed, or the person in question may be suspended or expulsed according to normal voting procedure. Those accused of violations may be automatically suspended until the case has been discussed. Violations that may be subject to suspension or expulsion include but are not limited to: theft, harassment, repeated intoxication, or a verbal or physical altercation. Felonious crimes, such as grand theft or sexual assault, that occur in spaces occupied by The Bicycle Tree, to anyone associated with The Bicycle Tree, or to Bicycle Tree property, must be reported to the police, and those accused are automatically suspended pending trial.
Article VIII — Amendments
Section 1 — Amendments
These bylaws may be amended following a written proposal from a voting member and approval according to normal voting procedure.
These bylaws were approved at a meeting of the core volunteers by no less than 80% of voting members present.