[TheThinkTank] THE LIST

mfen651 at aol.com mfen651 at aol.com
Thu May 21 10:50:38 PDT 2015


Cyclist and individual chiming in here as I sometimes do when controversy strikes:  On the matter of "The List" (1) Its your FB page so you are entitled to do as you please within FB rules and regulations. (2) All though you have made a variety of statements as to why you are excluding some, and including others, you have failed to make a case for the outcomes you claim you are targeting:

 "I'm interested in more people learning to do more things for themselves and for others. Cooperatives have the potential to lower costs by focusing on mission rather than profit. They can also transform the social relationships between humans by substituting hierarchy for equality. The benefits of encouraging DIY are obvious."

In reality even some for profit shops can be shown to work toward these outcomes.  You offer no evidence that "COOPs" have a corner on these outcomes.  

Rather you are sighting a particular legal entity and business model as producing outcomes exclusively with no evidence to show it.  At the same time you are indicating that other legal entities and business models do not produce the stated outcomes you desire, again, without evidence. 

I'd happily produce the evidence if needed, but I think the authors of this and many other comments are producing more evidence than I could ever gather in a short time.  While mission has a reflection on profitability, it is not the sole component and therefore will not cause one over the other in any instance.  

Selection of legal structure in a business is as much about liability as it is about responsibility and far more than profitability.  

Doing good, teaching, and creating social transformation is as much about attitude as anything.  I would suggest your list be revamped to include all aspects of not for profit bicycle organizations and in some exceptional instances, you might want to include some of the for profits as well for their innovation and support within and beyond the community.

You could easily diversify your FB page or other "guides" based on their structure and presentation.  This way you could provide CO-Ops, other not for profits and even worthy for Profits with a mention of their programing or other progressive or advocacy actions.  

Doing this would be a win-win situation.  

Thank you for your consideration, 

Matt
Matthew Fenichel



 

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Jeff DeQuattro <jeffdequattro at gmail.com>
To: The Think Tank <thethinktank at lists.bikecollectives.org>
Sent: Thu, May 21, 2015 1:28 pm
Subject: Re: [TheThinkTank] THE LIST


 
I agree with Paul. And I think it's a very fine line that is being drawn here. My shop in Mobile, AL (Delta Bike Project) was not added to list after I requested it presumably because we sell used bikes? We sell used bikes below the blue book value - yes. And those proceeds pay our extremely high rent and overhead. We might sell 6 bikes a month on a good month. We have no employees, only volunteers. AND we are completely DIY - and not a repair shop at all. We are a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization. In the past 19 months we've put over 250 bikes into our small community and into the hands of the poor or homeless who have had to earn them through our Time is Money Program in which they pick up litter around the city, or mow the lawns on our property or adjacent properties, or help part out bikes and help around the shop for a certain number of hours until they earn a bike (aka: improving the quality of life). They also are taught how to repair the bikes they earn and many have become so skilled that they are now teaching others how to do the same. We have mechanics now that help us out through volunteering that are there every time we are open and they live in tents in the woods. Several of our Time is Money participants have been able to keep a job because they could get to work on the bike they earned from us. These are measurable impacts on the community.  
  
So if the purpose of the list is to have a database of strictly cooperatives that have a membership aspect that's fine, but I think you miss out on an entire class of shops that might not fit the mold of a cooperative. We started as a cooperative, but it didn't work on the Gulf Coast of Alabama. It just doesn't. The concept is not something that works here as evidenced by the almost complete lack of cooperatives (besides a few art co-ops). It doesn't mean that we don't do good, or as much good, in the community as a cooperative. In fact, we've won community awards and innovation awards and we are not the voice of a large sector of the people in bikes in our community. Our brand has been so effective at helping those in need in the community that we've started a spinoff that helps with healthcare and spay/neuter services for the poor and homeless that cannot afford to property care for their pets (Delta Dogs). I understand the anti-capitalistic angle, but I think that your notion misses a whole realm of shops that do a lot of good in their communities.I would suggest that all community bikes shops be added, but in an adjacent column noting the classification of that particular shop might give you a better idea of what's out there. My thoughts.   
 
 
  
  
On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM, Paul Fitzgerald    <paul at workingbikes.org> wrote:   
   
    
     
      
What non profit charges high prices to "raise the perceived value of bikes"?  Our prices at Working Bikes are set to not have our work resold by for-profit individuals at the swap meet or craig's list.   I may have a bias but I think that a 'community bike shop' and a 'cooperative bike shop' are different things.  One of these titles explains a structure and the other suggests an open door or policy of community engagement.       
       
      
It's your list and these are just my thoughts, but I was a little surprised to see for profit shops in chicago (uptown) on the list and non-profits (WB and Blackstone) not.      
      
     
-Paul     
    
    
     
      
       
       
On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:02 PM, Eric Honour         <eric.honour at gmail.com> wrote:        
        
         
Might be worth including them under a separate heading. 
          
On May 21, 2015 1:01 PM, "Joshua Hoffman" <          joshuahof at gmail.com> wrote:          
          
           
            Here is a searchable document if you want to check for your shop.             
            
NOTE: So far             THE LIST only includes shops that run cooperatively or at very least include some DIY elements. I've done this for a specific reason.... I'm an anti-capitalist. I'm interested in how bikes build community and engage people in acts of cooperation and self-determination. There are many "non-profit" shops that sell used bikes for high prices because they believe it will "raise the perceived value" of bikes. There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach except that I'm not interested in money or perceived value. I'm interested in more people learning to do more things for themselves and for others. Cooperatives have the potential to lower costs by focusing on mission rather than profit. They can also transform the social relationships between humans by substituting hierarchy for equality. The benefits of encouraging DIY are obvious.             
            
What do you all think? Should I include all "non-profit" bike shop regardless of their mission? What are the arguments for/against?             
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
           
           
            
            
On Wed, May 20, 2015 at 6:52 PM, Joshua Hoffman              <joshuahof at gmail.com> wrote:             
             
              
               Hello,                
               
               I've put together a Facebook list of all the community bike shops who's pages I could find. 133 in total from around the world. This list is constantly turning up amazing stories and new insights (lots of job opportunities as well).               
               
               https://www.facebook.com/lists/792013340883812               
               
               
Please let me know if I need to add other shops.                 
                
                
               
              
              
            
            
           
            
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--      
     
      
       
        
         
          
           
                          
               Paul Fitzgerald              
              
               General Manager, Working Bikes              
              
               2434 S. Western, Chicago, IL 60608              
              
               773-847-5440              
              
               -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------              
              
               Store Hours: Wed + Thurs- 12-7pm              
              
                                   Fri + Sat  -    12-5pm              
              
               
              
              
               Volunteer Hours: Tues- 5-9pm              
              
                                         Wed- 12-5pm              
              
                                         Sat- 12-5pm               
              
               
              
“El socialismo puede llegar solo en la bicicleta."

"Socialism can only arrive by bicycle."

-José Antonio Viera Gallo,  Assistant Secretary of Justice in the government of Salvador Allende
           
           
          
         
         
        
        
       
       
        
       
      
     
     
     
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