Wednesday, 04 April 2012 19:00
1. What skills, experience, education or training do you have that is relevant to serving on GreenStar's board of directors? (Are you currently or have you previously been on Council? If so, for how long?)
2. What life experiences or perspectives can you bring to Council that would help Council better represent the Membership?
3. What do you think are the most important issues for Council to be working on at this time?
4. One of Council's primary roles is listening to our members and keeping them informed as to important Co-op developments and upcoming discussions. What are your ideas or concerns about the involvement of the Membership in Co-op matters?
5. What would you like GreenStar's involvement with or connection to the larger community to be?
6. Is there anything else you want to say to the voters?
1. I would bring skills and in advocacy, service, research, technology and outreach. I question many things and will work with facts and emotions until I can be confident in an answer. I hold degrees in media production, educational technology and educational leadership. Finally, I currently serve on the Ombuds committee.
2. My experiences as a teacher, administrator and member of other community-based boards have shown me the importance of local decisionmaking and consideration of all stakeholders. I have lived throughout the country and have learned to value the uniqueness each region. I may be strong willed, but appreciate thoughtful challenge and engaged discourse.
3. In a time of expansion and change, Council should ensure that stakeholders (especially members and employees) are valued, informed, heard, considered and participatory through these stages. This is compounded and even more important in an economically difficult time. Managing change is an important consideration and skill.
4. It concerned me that, in the prior attempt to approve Bylaws, not enough votes were cast. This could indicate a general apathy among many members or that the membership did not find the voting process convenient. Having said that, I appreciated the recent survey and hope that its responses provide information and guidance. I think that members should be able to participate in many ways and different levels. Some may want to dive in-others may want to dip a toe. Council should continue to find ways to encourage communication and discourse in a way that doesn't confuse or add to the din of posters, leaflets, journals, displays, and conversation. Even maybe a quick survey on the keypad when checking out. If GS is going to have to pay a transaction fee for debit/credit cards, why not try to get valuable information back through the checkout device? (Just a thought)
I also think that providing communication through e-mail, social media, blogs/wikis, or other electronic media would be good to grow as a reliable, consistent, and accessable venue.
5. GreenStar is not unique because it sells organic beets, bulk laundry soap, or bánh mì. GreenStar is unique because it serves, and is served by, a diverse community. GreenStar should continue a broad education campaign through many channels/venues, continue to evaluate its product offerings, challenge its membership to better themselves and the community, and seek out partnerships. It is important, though, that GreenStar build, evaluate, modify, and remain true to its identity just like any other organization and not take on too many initiatives or stances (even valuable and honorable ones) that may detract from its mission.
6. I may be new to the area, but I'm not new to food, shopping, education, or community responsiveness. I look forward to the opportunity to buy from and serve with GreenStar in a variety of roles – and specifically ask for your vote and support to do it through being a member of Council. Thank you!
1. I have served for the past two years as Danby's appointed representative to the Tompkins County Environmental Management Council (EMC), which advises the Legislature on environmental matters. I was a member of the EMC's energy committee, focused on renewable energy projects and ways for Tompkins County to reduce its energy footprint. Over the past three years, I have worked with ShaleShock to educate the public about the dangers of hydrofracking for gas. I facilitated some of their meetings using an "open space" process, helped plan a benefit concert at the State Theatre, planned and facilitated a number of rallies, and worked with the Danby Town Board to modify zoning to explicitly exclude gas drilling. Realizing the need to find a positive alternative to fracking, I have been a strong advocate for renewable energy projects, including the Black Oak wind farm, the Danby Land Bank, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension's energy efficiency outreach. As a journalist with Tompkins Weekly, I have focused on sustainability, democracy, and positive community projects, giving a voice to those doing good work. One of my strengths is as a communicator and a connector; I enjoy bringing people, ideas and inspiration together. I feel my environmental advocacy and activism will help me contribute to GreenStar's Council, should I be chosen.
2. My partner and I are starting a small farm in Danby, focused on Permaculture practices, and Edible Forest Gardening. We've eaten organic food for most of our adult lives, and sharing that with others is important to our family. We've been GreenStar members since 1998, so bring both a shopper and producer prospective to the position.
3. I see affordability of healthy food as a social justice issue that GreenStar can have a positive impact on, and would like to see us do more in this area.
4. As a co-op, giving every member a voice is key to our success; as a Council member I would find ways to listen to member's concerns, and look for ways to empower everyone equally. I'm good at listening to people, making connections, empowering others by helping them find their strengths, and keeping a positive attitude.
5. I'm always impressed that GreenStar gives so much food to events in the area! Nourishing people helps connect us. I also love GreenStar Community Projects, and want to see that effort deepened. And I'd like to see GreenStar more actively teach the cooperative model to other areas within the community.
6. When we travel and stop at co-ops in other towns, it always gives me a sense of pride that people recognize our GreenStar bags. Being on GreenStar's Council would be a privilege, and I appreciate being considered for this honor. Thanks!
Hello! I am Britton Dougherty and I am seeking election to council in 2012.
1. I have been blessed with opportunities to work with co-ops, currently as a cashier at the GreenStar West End location. I am also a member of the Staff Advisory Board, (SAB), whose role is to listen to, work with, and help direct GreenStar employees to the proper channels to help resolve issues. I also was a front end manager at Common Ground Food Co-op in Urbana, IL, before I moved to Ithaca. I have not had the pleasure to give my energy to a co-op board of directors yet and am very much looking forward to that possibility!
2. I have been interested in food politics and how they affect different cultures for many years. Access to quality food and quality education about nutrition are essential components to a healthy community. I was active in many different elementary schools in St.Louis, MO, as an education student and as a science teacher. During that time, I saw children with absolutely no access to fresh food, children who thankfully had lots of fresh food, and everything in between. I feel that those, among other experiences, will help me empathize with the diverse population that is our Membership.
3. There are many different issues for the Council to focus on at this time. One that I think will be at the forefront of discussion is expansion into Collegetown. I support this expansion and look forward to hopefully working with the Council in moving this project forward. Another thing that I feel is an important issue for the Council to be focusing on is community outreach and ways to keep, and further connect to, food justice movements in the community.
4. I think that the involvemnt of membership in Co-op matters is integral. The members are the owners of the Co-op and should be as informed as possible about the happenings of the co-op. That is one of the many reasons that the co-op model is so beautiful!
5. I feel that GreenStar has the capabilities to further deepen its roots in the community. I personally would like to see the Co-op get more involved with educating children about nutrition. I also love the FLOWER program and hope to see an increased awareness of that program in the community for those who may find it beneficial.
6. GreenStar is such an amazing gem in this region and I am so excited to have the opportunity to run for Council. If elected, I hope to use my energy, intelligence, and love of the Co-op to be an important asset on the Council.
1. and 2. My background is in nutrition- having earned a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and worked as a Dietitian. More importantly though, this education and experience has given me a base knowledge of nutrition that I have been able to expand upon, having read a great deal about nutrition and how it is still only beginning to be recognized as a way to prevent and cure disease. I believe that health-care to a large extent is based upon our lifestyles, how we care for ourselves, especially including how we eat. Allowing good access to fresh, organic foods and emphasizing sourcing the food locally are some of the main reasons I love GreenStar. In terms specifically relating to proposed work on the Council, I have been increasingly becoming involved in witnessing and speaking at public meetings, within city government such as with the Commons redesign project, the redrafting of the comprehensive city plan, and promotion of the Collegetown Crossing proposal.
3. Allowing the people in and around Collegetown better access to healthy, organic, and especially local foods-expansion of a new GreenStar store into Collegetown is the number one issue facing GreenStar. I have been volunteering with this project, spending a lot of time on this, simply because I love how this specific developer's plans will greatly impact both Collegetown and the City of Ithaca. The mixed used project with housing, GreenStar grocery, and other commercial spaces is under review and will proceed pending a variance for residential parking spaces per current city zoning. I would like to let people know that it is not too late to speak up about this car-free living proposal and help create the next step in a future site of GreenStar, by sending an email to the Planning Board. If you would like to show support for this project, please send me a message and I will let you know how you can be of assistance.
4. What I find to be helpful, and often personally utilize, is the comment card and response wall as well as Council members who do "tabling" work meeting and greeting people, especially in the lobby of the West-End store. The GreenLeaf publication is also something I regularly read and recommend to keep GreenStar members, and potential members, informed. Getting member feedback and support is key to meeting members' needs and developing policies that work for our community.
5. I really like that GreenStar is a living-wage employer. Promoting better access to healthy foods in the community is not at all about paying low-wages and selling cheap food-like products. I think Michelle Obama's campaign, for example, to partner with big-box retailers and advocate for cheap food is really harmful to our already diminishing population of small farmers and to "local foods" on a national level. Paying a fair wage to employees, and paying price for healthy food is just for all. I am also happy that the cooperative model is an additional way GreenStar promotes access to healthy food, by allowing people to work in the store and in return can pay a reduced rate via the member-worker discount, depending on the time commitment they make.
6. I have been in promotion of healthy local foods, the model of sustainability, and many other things that I have come to know that GreenStar is about, for a long time. Since I have had the General Manager, Brandon Kane, GreenStar Council's President, and Vice-President 12th Moon and Ethan Winn, respectively, all encouraging me to run for council, I know it is definitely time to be involved with GreenStar Cooperative Market on a more official level.
1. I am a clinical psychologist (PhD) by training and I have worked as a research-oriented professor in the university world for 25 years. I have served on many university committees and this experience helps me in understanding the pace and nature of group decision making and discussion.
2. I have been a long term member at GreenStar, for nearly 20 years, and thus I can help to bring a longer-term view to the discourse and decision-making processes on Council. Also, as an active member of the academic environment I bring the perspective of this world to the discussions we have at Greenstar. This is especially important, I think, as we have two institutions of higher learning in Ithaca and the connections between GreenStar and those institutions can always be strengthened and cultivated.
3. We need to fully implement the new Policy Governance approach in the Co-op. We need to continue to honor our roots as an organization that fosters a commitment to healthy food and the cooperative spirit.
4. Membership is the essence of the Co-op. I would like for Council to charter a very large-scale, representative survey of the Co-op membership to help us understand better the current concerns of the membership.
5. We should be an active voice in the community on issues related to food, healthy living, and healthy environment (both locally and regionally).
6. I have served on the GreenStar Council for the past three years and I have found the experience to be rewarding and invigorating. I would like to continue to serve the Co-op in this manner for the next three years.
1. I think my cashiering experience, my customer service training and my constant contact with members are all great experience for serving on Council.
2. and 4. I can bring fresh ideas based on what I hear from members themselves and my experience and conversations at the register.
3. The most important issues for Council to be working on are the GreenStar Collegetown project and food justice issues
5. While it's just an idea, I think a GreenStar farm where the members and community could grow our own fruits and vegetables would help GreenStar's connection to the larger community.
6. I think being on Council would be a great opportunity for me to learn and grow with GreenStar. I can't wait for the upcoming experiences and challenges.
1. I am currently on GreenStar Council and have served off and on since 1996. Previously, I served on the Ithaca Farmers' Market Board and I co-founded Local First Ithaca.
2. I have lived in Ithaca since 1971, raised my family here and started or co-owned nine local businesses. I have a strong connection and a deep commitment to the health and vitality of our community.
3. This is a challenging and exciting time for GreenStar and for Council! While small, local businesses around the country are squeezed out by Big Box chains and the economy falters, GreenStar finds itself with a unique opportunity. As a mission driven organization, we have long had a commitment to Living Wage, local foods and supporting and growing our local economy. Now, as worldwide events and market forces have brought these issues to the attention of the general public, GreenStar is in a position to collaborate with others in our community to share the knowledge and expertise that we have been working hard over the last 40 years to achieve. We have been looking at ways to expand the co-op model, forge new community partnerships and find innovative ways to make healthy food affordable to all members of our community.
4. Over the last 40 years, I have seen the level of member involvement ebb and flow. Initially, our survival as a co-op demanded active participation from members, as we had no paid staff. If we didn't work, it wouldn't get done. Even after we hired our first staff, times of upheaval, notably the fire in our Cayuga St. store, rallied the troops and brought active involvement from a majority of members. As our staff and membership have grown, our product line expanded and diversified, and sales have increased, there has also been a shift in the pace of our members' lives and the time that they have to be engaged in the Co-op. Many members have told me that they are happy with the Co-op and show their vote of confidence by shopping. While that is great news, we not only welcome, we need the continuing input of our members. Council works hard to reach out to members through Council office hours, member forums, events, Greenleaf, surveys and more. Still, as member owners, the most powerful tool we have is our vote. We encourage members to take the time to help chart our co-op's direction in this exciting time by voting.
5. The key words for our times are Partnership and Collaboration. We have been reaching out to new sectors of our community and have begun the work of addressing issues of diversity in our member workers and member owners. We are expanding our collaboration with other local organizations to create new opportunities for our local economy. I see these as important areas in which to grow, as we continue to build connections with others in our community already at work on these issues.
6. I feel that GreenStar occupies an important place in our community and has a vital role to play. It has been incredibly gratifying to be on Council and I welcome the opportunity to serve another term.
1. I have a bachelor's degree in Food Science, and have comprehensive knowledge of food science and technology.
I worked in the Deli department at the P&C in East Hill Plaza for about a year, so I have a basic idea about the daily issues involved in a grocery store. In the past few years, I have volunteered for some local NGOs such as Ithaca Community Harvest and the Cool School Food program. I am currently working in Community Nutrition at Cornell as a research project assistant. The research topic is a comparison of cost, variety and quality between CSA shares and grocery stores. In the research, GreenStar was chosen to be a representative of a co-op. I am also the project lead for a "food literacy" project at Wordsmyth in Ithaca. The project will produce educational materials and software.
2. GreenStar, as a successful food co-op, is one element in the local food system. In order to thrive as an organization while benefiting individual members, I believe we have to be thinking about the food system we are rooted in. A sustainable lifestyle is the key value that is shared by most of our members. We should keep moving on to carry out our values, more than just providing organic groceries for members. What makes GreenStar different from a merchant is that our members care about more than the goods we carry, more than the price discount we give. To better represent the Membership, I think, is to develop the potential of GreenStar in building a sustainable local food system, which will benefit the whole community in which our members are living.
3. As I learned recently, we are doing well with management in both stores. There is no urgent issue to deal with. We are doing fine as we are. So I think now is the time for Council to think about what to do next. We just got a space next to the main store. While we are spatially developing, the more important thing is work on the strategy of development. The main issue should be expanding the quality and quantity of relationships with members, suppliers, etc. An expansion of location is one possibility. Expanding the usefulness of the website in fostering relationships and community is another possibility.
4. This is a complicated issue that takes a lot of investigation and discussion. But one thing that occurs to me immediately is to make better use of our website. Our website now is pretty much a one-way communication. Given the number of our members, it is reasonable to assume there are a good deal of technology geeks who would be able to help develop an effectively interactive website. As a result, our website can become a communication platform for meetings, conferences, voting, and group discussion, which will allow more members to participate in more events at a convenient time and location.
5. GreenStar could and should play the role of a community-based food system builder/organizer/coordinator. As a food co-op, GreenStar may not be in a position to initiate and organize community projects directly. What is best for GreenStar to do might be to act as a connector linking the local farms and CSAs to the consumers, linking the information providers (Cornell Food Science Department, Division of Nutritional
Science, Cornell Cooperative Extension) to the confused, supporting the local community programs. I am sure GreenStar has been doing all this. I would like GreenStar to take more responsibility and do it more consistently and systematically with a deliberate longterm plan.
By D.E. Bentley
Joining is, without a doubt, a means to an end. People in their earliest incarnations joined to survive. It didn't take long for humans to figure out that it was much easier to fight ferocious beasts or gather food and other resources when they joined together to form a band of people. That said, some people, myself included, are not, by nature, joiners. But, as with all rules, there are exceptions. One notable exception has been my decision to join GreenStar and, for the past year, serve as an at-large member on the Governance Committee....