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Governance

As a taxable non-profit mutual benefit corporation, LoopWorks has a responsibility not only to investors, but also to management, employees, customers, suppliers, the local community, and the environment. Maintaining this "stakeholder perspective" might come with higher costs in the short term, but it will deliver better returns in the long run for all parties so that local community wealth - commonwealth - grows. The role of LoopWorks is to make the right trade-offs so that all stakeholders can thrive.

Integral to the LoopWorks business model is community self-determination. LoopWorks will be owned and controlled by members through their elected representatives while providing transparency, accountability and social responsibility. Democratic decision-making processes ensure bottom-up, community-led solutions that emphasize community benefit over private gain. LoopWorks believes that people and places thrive when democratic communities determine their own social, cultural, and economic needs and solutions.

Bylaws under which LoopWorks will operate provide for democratic involvement of stakeholders and equitable operation of the business. We want to spread power by using a decentralized structure where Members guide our activities. We prioritize decentralized governance because it builds people power, creates resiliency, and fosters a strong sense of ownership which activates people to build and steward our commons for the long-term. The activities of LoopWorks will therefore be spread out among small groups, grassroots teams, or committees that will be accountable to the whole. As a guide, we will use “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux which presents examples of decentralized organizations.

Our commitment to community control of commonly-used infrastructure requires:

• Democracy and self-determination: Communities must democratically shape the transportation sector and have long-term access to and control over transportation infrastructure so that we can build wealth, health, and jobs for ourselves and future generations.
• Equitable Service: Our commitment to low-priced, high-quality transit service will help reduce the inequities in our community, and bolster people and families that have been disproportionately harmed by our economic system.

A key process in any self-directed organization is the "advice process": in principle, any person in the organization can make any decision. But before doing so, that person must seek advice from all affected parties and those with expertise on the matter. Big decisions that affect the organization must, of course, seek the Board’s advice.

In conformance with LoopWorks’ goal of transparency, financial reports and various other documents are made publicly available here.

Governance Overview

Here is an overview of our governance structure. Broadly speaking, there are three governance bodies that work together as follows:

1. Members: LoopWorks exists to serve its Members, so Members have core control over LoopWorks through their election of the majority of the Board and voting on major decisions.

2. Worker Members: The Worker Members’ role is to serve and be responsive to all Members, thereby facilitating Member participation in projects and other initiatives. Through their daily work, the workers make most decisions about the management of LoopWorks.

3. Board of Directors: The Board primarily oversees the Workers to ensure that Workers are fulfilling their purpose and are accountable to Members. Four Directors are elected by and represent the interests of each type of member (workers, community members, right-of-way property owners, and funders). The President and Treasurer are elected by all members, and 2 Directors are appointed by the City of Milpitas and the Milpitas Unified School District.

4 Types of Members

Foundation Members, who provide capital and primary funding.
Anchor Members, who provide property easements.
Community Members, who provide small contributions and represent the community.
Worker Members, who provide technical, operational, and organizing support to all other Members.