On Monday, I received this note from the California Bicycle Coalition regarding the helmet discussion with the California legislature:
The problem is that, as you may know, a mandatory helmet law for adults is controversial in California, especially within our own membership. We have lost quite a few donating members over this, including a few major donors. But frankly, we would rather have 100 members who give us $10 and are against mandatory helmet laws than a few members with deep pockets who would push for a law that moves bicycling in the wrong direction.
I wonder who these major donors might be?
We have several major bike brands here in the Golden State. There was some speculation that a certain large helmet brand might have pulled their support, but I don’t see them listed as a major contributor on the CBC’s tax documents.
The groups I see on Form 990 Schedule B “Schedule of Contributors” include the American Automobile Association of Northern California, Nevada & Utah; SRAM; and the bike industry funded Bikes Belong / People for Bikes. The other major donors are the Clif Bar Family Foundation, CBC Board Member Stephan Vance, the Chintu Gudiya Foundation of Alameda, and La Vida Feliz of Fairfield CT.
La Vida Feliz is controlled by millionaire hedge fund manager Aaron Sosnick, who lives in New York City. Donald Ajit Lobo, one of the original engineers at Yahoo, gives through his Chintu Gudiya Foundation. I can’t imagine either of these being too interested in California helmet politics.
Schedule B is only required for contributions over $5,000 per year. Even somebody withdrawing a thousand or two in support per year can be a significant hit. Still, it might be interesting to see who stops giving after this year.
If you’d like to contribute to the CBC’s efforts, I invite you contribute now. Don’t forget to use your employer’s match if they offer this.