[TheThinkTank] THE LIST

Angel York aniola at gmail.com
Sun May 24 18:16:18 PDT 2015


*What I want to avoid supporting are people using a 501c status to
"recycle" bikes for a personal profit (an astonishing number of people) I'm
also wary of the religious non-profits using bikes as an evangelical tool
(also a surprisingly large number).*
I haven't encountered these.  Could you provide examples? While you can
work for a 501c, the IRS has the following to say:
The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private
interests
<http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Inurement-Private-Benefit-Charitable-Organizations>,
and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to
the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization
engages in an excess benefit transaction
<http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Intermediate-Sanctions-Excess-Benefit-Transactions>
with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise
tax
<http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Intermediate-Sanctions>
may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the
transaction.
http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Exemption-Requirements-Section-501%28c%29%283%29-Organizations

I'm aware of Bike Churches (the original one started on Church Street), but
not of religious organizations using bikes as an evangelical tool.  Except
maybe to evangelize about bikes and biking?

*All that said, THE LIST is getting a lot of request from charities and
educational non-profits. It's difficult for me to know who is actually
innovating with social relationships and who is just filling a local
material need. Both are important. Suggestions? *

If they are both important, then I would list anyone who asks.  I would
expect that people are mostly going to be looking at your list to figure
out who their local bike-related organizations are.

On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 5:32 PM, Angel York <aniola at gmail.com> wrote:

>
>
> *As long as co-op are exploring ways of distributing decision making power
> than I think they qualify for my purposes.*
> For instance, I can think of a food *co-op* that is run by a board of
> directors, and a has a *standard hierarchical management structure*.  The
> owners (many of the shoppers) in theory can vote on big decisions, but if
> the food co-op already has an outcome in mind, that is absolutely going to
> skew the vote.
>
> My current food* co-op *is run by a board of directors, and has a*
> collective management structure. * The owners (many of the shoppers) in
> theory can vote on big decisions.
>
>
>
> On Sun, May 24, 2015 at 5:19 PM, Angel York <aniola at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> I think one is going to be able to find non-profit organizations that
>> choose to explore ways of distributing decision-making power and
>> collectives & cooperatives that do not, and that it may not necessarily
>> always be obvious which is which.
>>
>>
>>
>> On Sat, May 23, 2015 at 9:34 AM, Joshua Hoffman <joshuahof at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Angel, et al.,
>>>
>>> I appreciate the distinction you make between *co-ops* and
>>> *collectives.* It sounds like your shop is innovating with the power
>>> relationships that surround decision making. I'm excited to see how you
>>> grow.
>>>
>>> It's my understanding that capitalism is a firstly a description of our
>>> social relationships, and secondly our economic system. Because it's not
>>> just our economy but society itself that is capitalistic (in reality the
>>> two are the same) living a true alternative is actually impossible. We
>>> can aspire to take anti-capitalist actions by experimenting with new
>>> non-hierarchical systems for the production/distribution of goods and
>>> services. I'm interested in exploring those alternatives.
>>>
>>> To be clear, I don't think that hierarchical power structures are very
>>> innovative. Which is why I'm less interested in traditional non-profits and
>>> more interested in collectives and co-ops that may use a 501c status to
>>> explore what's possible. As long as co-op are exploring ways of
>>> distributing decision making power than I think they qualify for my
>>> purposes. What do you think?
>>>
>>> What I want to avoid supporting are people using a 501c status to
>>> "recycle" bikes for a personal profit (an astonishing number of people) I'm
>>> also wary of the religious non-profits using bikes as an evangelical tool
>>> (also a surprisingly large number).
>>>
>>> All that said, THE LIST is getting a lot of request from charities and
>>> educational non-profits. It's difficult for me to know who is actually
>>> innovating with social relationships and who is just filling a local
>>> material need. Both are important. Suggestions?
>>>
>>> The votes so far:
>>> Include ALL 501c bike related orgs - 6
>>> Include only collectives, etc - 2
>>>
>>> - Joshua
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 7:11 PM, Angel York <aniola at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi Joshua,
>>>>
>>>> Both of the bike collectives I have volunteered at are consensus-based
>>>> organizations.  The Davis Bike Collective spent a year putting together its
>>>> by-laws and running them past a lawyer to ensure that the board had no
>>>> formal decision-making power, but was instead beholden to the decisions
>>>> made by the core volunteers.  I believe the legal definition of a co-op has
>>>> to do with purchasing power, where as a collective we didn't have to have
>>>> that orientation and could instead focus on our priority, which was helping
>>>> people learn how to fix bikes. Food co-ops are usually co-ops because they
>>>> are about *buying* food. So I'm not sure that a co-op is actually less
>>>> capitalist, and given what I hear you saying you value, I would be also
>>>> asking how the various organizations are making their decisions.  Also,
>>>> have you checked the wiki page of community bicycle organizations?  It has
>>>> a long-standing list including the criteria that I believe more or less
>>>> helps guide who might be interested in participating in, say, this list.
>>>>
>>>> The more lists the better! I look forward to thr day when there are so
>>>> many lists of community bike organizations that you need lists of lists to
>>>> keep track of them! Thanks for creating one such list!
>>>>
>>>> Angel York
>>>> On May 21, 2015 1:17 PM, "Joshua Hoffman" <joshuahof at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Thanks to Eric, Paul, Jeff, Kevin, and Matt for taking the time to
>>>>> engage. Also thanks to everyone who shared new shops to add. I'll get on it
>>>>> (that includes you Jeff). It turns out I was only subscribed to the "list"
>>>>> email that arrives once a week so I missed a few of your replies.
>>>>>
>>>>> The line is fine but its clear. I agree that cooperatives and
>>>>> community shops are often different. I also agree that for-profit shops can
>>>>> engage in so called "non-market" activities. My main criteria is DIY
>>>>> (free/barter/cheap). If there is a second criteria it's a *free* EAB
>>>>> program. My not-completely-arbitrary preferences in descending order are
>>>>> cooperatives > community shops > service-oriented for-profit. That logic is
>>>>> based on my assumption that orgs designed with cooperative structures will
>>>>> find engaging in non-market behaviors easier. When we share the
>>>>> risk/rewards of acting there is less incentive to shirk, pass important
>>>>> ethical decisions "up the ladder", or use the "bottom line" as an excuse.
>>>>> Yes, cooperative work can be messy and slow, but it can also liberate. For
>>>>> many people their experience with a cooperative bike shop is the first time
>>>>> in their lives when their voice mattered.
>>>>>
>>>>> My reason for creating the list was to get new ideas for how people
>>>>> doing community bike work engage with their communities. Shops that
>>>>> focus on sales, or who use sales as their measure of success are going to
>>>>> engage in a different manner that is less interesting to my aims. We
>>>>> can start another thread on cooperatives if anyone wants. ;)  If
>>>>> anyone wants to learn more about worker directed non-profits there is a
>>>>> webinar next week.
>>>>> <http://www.theselc.org/worker_self_directed_nonprofits_20150526>
>>>>>
>>>>> PLEASE NOTE: I'm getting most of my information by snooping through
>>>>> websites and facebook pages. If I missed a shop or if I misunderstood what
>>>>> a shops/orgs mission please correct me. I think Eric pointed out that
>>>>> Uptown Bikes is for-profit (WB and Blackstone are both on the list). You
>>>>> can leave a comment on this google.doc
>>>>> <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1S0FOc6ZJA-wYWo4qZ4yx75SBFq53aD8ELY1JGBt6UQY/edit?usp=sharing>
>>>>> .
>>>>>
>>>>> - Joshua
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Thu, May 21, 2015 at 12:01 PM, Joshua Hoffman <joshuahof at gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Here is a searchable document
>>>>>> <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1S0FOc6ZJA-wYWo4qZ4yx75SBFq53aD8ELY1JGBt6UQY/edit?usp=sharing>
>>>>>> if you want to check for your shop.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> NOTE: So far THE LIST
>>>>>> <https://www.facebook.com/lists/792013340883812> 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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