GRASSROOTS ACTION and (oops) Sunday’s Meeting begins at 4:30pm with MEET THE GRC CANDIDATES!

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Posted by Laura Hagen, HWFC Member-Owner

GRASSROOTS ACTION IS POWERFUL! is a blog dedicated to American independently-owned, Member-Owned & operated, community food co-ops, their Member-Owners and families.

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CORRECTION ALERT: The HWFC Membership Meeting on Sunday, 10/23/16 begins at 4:30pm with a Meet the GRC Candidates’ Session; 5:30pm is the Dessert Potluck; Meeting begins at 6:00pm at St. Sophia’s Church, 440 Whitehall Road, Albany, NY.

Please see the rest of today’s blogpost here.

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THANK YOU to a bunch of “eternally vigilant” readers for the HWFC meeting time correction!

The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.

John Philpot Curran

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2 thoughts on “GRASSROOTS ACTION and (oops) Sunday’s Meeting begins at 4:30pm with MEET THE GRC CANDIDATES!

  1. Sue

    Yup. Really good “Voice,” as well. Love everything you guys write about other Co-ops. Did you ever talk about one in New Hampshire? I don’t recall.

    Like

    1. Laura

      Sue, it’s the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society in Lebanon, NH (now called the Hanover Co-op Food Stores). In 2014, Member-Owners there started a website and FB site called “Concerned About the Co-op, CATC.” See: https://www.facebook.com/concernedaboutthecoop/ and https://concernedaboutthecoop.wordpress.com/.

      I have mentioned CATC, but never written about them and it sure would be worth it to hear their story. I think they maybe the oldest food co-operative in the nation (80 years old this year) and they are also the largest food co-op in the northeast. Member-Owners there took action to support some unjust employee firings and very poor management decisions. They were also concerned at a Board not exercising oversight over the GM and other concerns, we at HWFC are all too familiar with.

      Here is the Member-Owners’ initial posting from July 30, 2014: https://concernedaboutthecoop.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/press-release-july-30th-2014-concerned-about-the-co-op-group/ It states:

      “…the most recent annual meeting of the Co-op brought two petitions, one to reinstate the two fired employees that has 500 signatures, and one to ask for a ‘Special Meeting’ with the board that has 750 signatures. As one member succinctly put it, ‘I’ve been so passive, that I’ve let this happen in my community, but I’m not going to be this way any more.’ ”

      One of the Hanover food co-op’s former employees, Tony Alongi, Director of Finance, is now the new GM at Bloomingfoods in Bloomington, Indiana, just as a former member of the HWFC three-person Leadership Team (LT), Lexa Juhre, who resigned her position in spring, 2016, is now the new GM at Fiddleheads Food Co-op in New London, CT. Duke Bouchard, a second member of the HWFC LT is now the Finance Manager at River Valley Co-op in Northampton, MA (he formally submitted his resignation at HWFC in December, 2015, soon after our own historic emergency Special Membership Meeting on 11/30/15).

      Bloomington, Indiana’s co-op, BTW, just this week had an annual election process which was, as far as I could tell, devoid of democratic process entirely; it had the ‘appearance’ of democracy (see my recent blogpost on their voting process: https://hwfcinfohub.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/grassroots-action-invitation-rsvp-required-for-some-to-cast-vote-at-bloomingfoods-40th-annual-meeting/).

      It appears that ‘appearance’ was enough to fool the Member-Owners of Bloomingfoods, whose Member-Owners have done no community organizing whatsoever.

      However, there certainly are leadership jobs available for food co-op upper-management-on-the-move within the large network of US food co-ops which belong to National Co-op Grocers (NCG)!

      There are several other regional co-ops whose names/stories have popped up on this blog over Member-Owner issues with top management and/or Board, expensive store expansions and poor treatment of staff and Member-Owners: Brattleboro and Burlington, VT are two. We have Member-Owners here at HWFC who are also either Members at those co-ops, or who have family & friends who are Members.

      I do wish they would share their stories and observations about these two Vermont food co-ops on this blog.

      Mimi Yahn has, of course, written about the Putney, VT food co-op, just over the border from us, and the threats to its Member-Owners, its co-operative structure and bylaws, and its participatory democracy.

      See:
      http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=11411&page=1#.VkEOreK9gVB
      http://vtdigger.org/2015/02/04/mimi-yahn-searching-democracy-putney-co-op/
      http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=11618&page=1#.Vmd6Z-K9gVB

      See this response to one of the articles Mimi Yahn wrote, from five Members of the Brattleboro, VT food co-op, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals:
      http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=11526&page=1#.VNQD7BlOnfA

      Most recently, we have been learning about the Member-Owners of La Montañita Food Co-op in Albuquerque, NM who are Taking Back Their Co-op. See: http://www.takebackthecoop.com/updates.html

      All of the above-mentioned food co-ops are, BTW, member co-ops of National Co+op Grocers (NCG). See: https://www.ncg.coop/find-co-op.

      Like

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