Weigh in on the future of Cascade’s candidate endorsements!

By the Cascade Board of Directors 

Recently, Cascade’s board of directors has been reviewing the work of Cascade Bicycle Club as a whole, which comprises three distinct legal entities: the Cascade Bicycle Club Education Foundation (a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization), Cascade Bicycle Club (a 501(c)4 nonprofit membership organization), and Cascade’s Political Action Committee (or PAC).

There could be some real benefits of converting to a more simplified structure (i.e. a public charity), but doing so would prohibit us from certain aspects of advocacy that we currently do – mainly being able to endorse political candidates. The benefits of simplifying our organization range from tax-deductible entry fees for event rides to easing the burden of administrative functions. On the other hand, Cascade has a long history of candidate endorsements, which have been critical to the success of our advocacy work.

The board is requesting membership feedback to help determine if the costs of dropping candidate endorsements may outweigh the benefits gained from a more simplified organizational structure.

JOIN US FOR A CASCADE ANNUAL MEETING

Wednesday, March 4, 6-8 p.m. at Cascade Bicycling Center
Wednesday, March 11, 6-8 p.m. at Bellevue Brewing Co.

“The board appreciates the long-standing history of the club as a 501(c)4 membership organization, including its strong history of making candidate endorsements, so we are looking very carefully at the pros and cons of a potential change in the organization’s structure,” said Board President Catherine Hennings. “The club and the board remain deeply committed to bicycling advocacy, and this potential change does not in any way reflect a shift of the club away from advocacy work. The only activities that could possibly go away would be individual candidate endorsements, working on a candidate’s campaign and the PAC,“ added Hennings.

To that end, Cascade’s staff and board would love to hear from you on how you see Cascade; what, among the many roles it plays, you value most; and whether your engagement with the club would be affected by such changes. Please attend one of two Cascade Annual Meetings we’ve scheduled in early March to talk to board and staff members about Cascade’s structure pros and cons to different organizational structures, and what you value about its work and programs.

We remain deeply committed to education, advocacy and bike riding. Cascade’s work on the Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link, the Westlake Protected Bike Lane, the Eastside Rail Corridor, and many other key regional connections, ballot measures and levies will continue as strong as ever, regardless of Cascade’s legal structure.

Please join us, or email us at cascadestructure@cascade.org with your thoughts.