Cognition Issue 15

SFBMA Elections - April 13th
Our third annual SFBMA elections are coming up. In order to maximize member involvement, ballots will be distributed by Paul Kazemi (Prime Mover) the day before. You may vote by leaving your ballot in the ballot-box that will be placed in the SFBMA newsbox at the Wall, during normal business hours on Wednesday, April 12, and Thursday, April 13, or make sure it arrives at the meeting April 13th. Or you can simply show up at the SFBMA general meeting, April 13th, get your ballot, and vote then.. Ballots must have your name and messenger company on them to be valid.
The SFBMA has existed without any officers for eight years. Officers were chosen simply because they are legally required to obtain non-profit status. Officers do, when effective, facilitate decision-making processes and disperse information. Titles also mildly impress outside officials and newspaper reporters; however, we should remember that the SFBMA is a rank and file organization and all active members have equal power and standing. A title does not grant any power, nor should lack of title prevent any courier from becoming as involved in the SFBMA as much as they care to.
Previously SFBMA elections have simply been a popularity contest. This year only couriers who have been actively involved in the SFBMA have been nominated, and a candidates debate wil take place on Tuesday, April 4 at 255-9th at 7pm. Feel free to write-in candidates as long as they have worked in the courier industry in SF in the last year.
Votes will be counted at the April 13th meeting. Whichever individual receives the most votes for the given office wins. If candidates receive an equal amount of votes, a run-off election will quickly be held. -A

President
de jure responsibilities: The President shall represent the best interests of the membership to the general public. If there are responsibilities to be delegated, it is the Presidents job to do so, as well as to organize and submit necessary budgets to the Board of Directors for approval.
de facto responsibilities: give public speeches, meet with union organizers, outreach to community, check SFBMA mail and phone messages
Rick Cochran (Ultra)
Paul Kazemi (Prime Mover)
Damon Votour (First Legal)

Secretary
de jure responsibilities: The Secretary shall keep minutes of every General Meeting, make them available to any member with reasonable notice, and periodically post them in a conspicuous location.
de facto responsibilities: take minutes of general meetings, edit Cognition
Paul Kazemi (Prime Mover)
Stephan Kizziah (Ultra)
Howard Williams (Ultra)

Treasurer
de jure responsibilities: The Treasurer is responsible for collecting and accounting for dues and other funds, and shall report these records at each General Meeting, as well as make these records available to any member with reasonable notice.
de facto responsibilities: collect monthly dues, disperse funds, keep books, oversee fundraisers
Rak Alfonso (Ultra)
Bill Bridges (ProMess)
Natasha Dedrick (DMS)

Executive Director
de jure responsibilities: The Executive Director is required to fill in for any of the above offices with reasonable notice. The Executive Director is the Principal Officer.
de facto responsibilities: facilitate meetings, coordinate shop stewards, oversee elections
Angel (Ultra)
Kwai (ProMess)

Proposals
Eliminate Board of Directors, replace in Constitution with Board of Shop Stewards.
Consolidate offices into fewer positions.

Vote for SFBMA Anthem:
Back in Black by AC/DC
The Bummy Song by the Cheesy Trolls
Secret Agent Man by theVentures
Don't Stop Believin by Journey


Promess strikes
March 13th, the messengers of Professional Messenger staged an unfair labor practices strike at 1740 Caesar Chavez. We had, by my count, thirteen of sixteen bikes and eight drivers. The strike started at 7:30 am, and heavy turnout began early. We considered the participation excellent and inspirational.
In order to protect ourselves, we rationalized the strike in protest of Pro-Messâ continued absence from bargaining in good faith and specifically for their arbitrary alteration of the tenure bonus÷an alteration which unpleasantly surprised those unfortunate to be affected by it.
If these were are pragmatic and legally motivated reasons, then the heart of the reason was to express our great dissatisfaction with the clumsy and irresponsible treatment of dispatcher Christian MacKnight÷denied a raise (while giving one to another dispatcher). The action was clearly an attempt to get rid of a union sympathizer on the inside. The solidarity of the bikes inexorably denoted our support of Christian. The fact that the drivers would get behind this issue was, well, pure gravy. We disbanded in the afternoon and split into teams to inform clients of what was going on. Client response was mostly supportive and somewhat illuminating. Clients informed me that Pro-Mess was telling them to use other services because they were "backed-up." Pro-Mess has no problem continually fleecing its work staff, so why not employ this tactic with clients? These people will stop at nothing to repel growing union interest.
Dig in for the fight and know your enemy. - Bill Bridges


CMWC Banned from Boston

The ninth annual Cycle Messenger World Championships was scheduled to take place in Boston, MA over Labor Day weekend this year; however, Boston city officials are trying to prevent this race from taking place. Boston was chosen as the locale for the 2000 CMWC because it had earned the dubious distinction of being the worst city to messenger in. Draconian anti-messenger laws were instated after William Spring jaywalked onto a Boston street, was hit by a courier, and went into a coma. Never minding the fact that death by automobile is a common occurrence and serious injury by bicycle is extraordinarily rare, Boston passed laws requiring couriers to be registered by the city, have license plates on their bikes, and carry $200,000 in insurance - more than is required for taxi drivers.
Sustained efforts to organize CMWC in Boston were thwarted when the City refused to issue any road closures for a race course. The City had made its decision to oppose the race back in October 1999 but kept this secret and strung CMWC organizers along in an outrageous attempt to sabotage the event. SF's own Wendy Fallin says she received an ãinside, unsolicited information from my someone in the Traffic and Engineering Department for the City of Philadelphia. I was told he got an email from a city official in Boston stating they would never allow the couriers to have the CMWC in their city.
She quotes this e-mail: "[A messenger] hit one of our (Boston's) major citizens last year and hospitalized him in a coma for six months, so they are not high on our Mayor's list these days for special street-closing favors." Ignoring the fact that Spring was breaking the law when he was hit, this arbitrary targeting of one group is completely illegal.
Luckily, Philadelphia bike messengers offered their city to host CMWC. CMWC Race President John Kenda and Vice-President Sean Belfast met with the City of Cambridge as a last effort to keep the race in Massachusetts; however, Cambridge turned them down, and it looks like the race will be taking place in Philadelphia.
The two most promising race courses are in Fairmont Park or in a network of small streets intersecting Willow Street. Philadelphia has a healthy BMA, thanks to Wendy, and an active bike coalition, in part thanks to another SF expatriate, Therese. Housing is plentiful and local beer stores are forced by law to sell beer by the case. Boston couriers will still be in charge of the race and related events, with help from the locals. CMWC 2000's new address is:
4508 Chester Ave
Philadelphia PA 19143
The website remains the same: www.dccourier.com. The e-mail address is: CMWC2K@ aol.com. All pre-registrations are still valid.
Understandably, bike messengers in Boston and elsewhere are outraged the City of Boston's behavior. Perhaps we can plan an appropriate bike protest in Boston after CMWC. -A



Benefit for Bryan "Black Dog" Picot

To: You know who you are, people, you were there
From: Jen Zen
Well people, WE DID IT! $700+ for our injured friend Bry. Even with some minor technical difficulties, the show ROCKED!
There are a lot of people I would like to thank for making it possible for us to help Bryan get through his healing period:
The SFBMA:
Howard Williams - for being everything a President can be, and more.
America Meredith - for her help with the benefit, and for helping us cover those Black Dog tags!
The ILWU:
Fred Pecker - our most heartfelt GRATITUDE!!!
The Bands who made this all possible, THANK YOU! Donating your time, talents, and enthusiasm was in the true spirit of selflessness. Nosmo, Tony Kiwi, Thaxton, Silvers, Sam, Heather (you rule), Rob (Anonymous Poodle Tosser?), Sunless Rich, John, Ron, and Jeff, Pollo del Mar, K-9, Proj÷sound guy extraordinaire, LUIGI, Broiler, saving the day and my sanity.
James MacDonald and his woman, Chad Gayheart: security.
Tony Calzone - Your fortitude and determination in the Heat of Ballet.
And last, but certainly not least, BLACK STAR BEER.
Bryan Picot could not even come up with the words to describe his appreciation for what we did for him· but the smile on his face yesterday said it all. -Jen Zen