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Shop. Vote. Run. Your Co-op Depends on YOU!

The Willy Street Co-op is fortunate to be owned by a community of more than 31,000 people who care about the existence of this great community resource. We are fortunate to have a community of Owners who are engaged, active participants that hold us accountable to continue to meet the community’s needs and desires in terms of food quality, support of local and cooperative businesses, sustainability—both economic and environmental, and ethical and humane practices. We are fortunate that our Owners want us not only to succeed as a business, but to succeed in the right way, so we can serve as a model for other cooperatives and businesses to lead with similar values.
You may be wondering, as an Owner of this business, how you can get involved in the Co-op to help support and spread these values. There are, in fact, many ways you can have a big influence:

The number one way you can support your Co-op is to spend your grocery dollars here. Everyone needs food, and when you choose to shop at the Co-op for your needs, you are not only getting healthy food to eat, you are also supporting our values and contributing to the continued existence of this resource for yourself and others. The Co-op exists to serve your needs, and on the other side of that coin, we depend on your support to exist.  

So, let’s say you are thinking, “I already shop regularly at the Co-op, what else can I do to get involved?” The next step you can take is to stay informed on what is happening at your Co-op: keep reading the Reader, check out our website for news and updates, follow us on social media for daily conversations, take our Owner Survey, attend Owner meetings, and most importantly, vote for Board candidates and other important proposals in our annual election process.

Speaking of voting, I wanted to explain a change to this year’s election process. Last year, Owners voted to approve a change to Bylaw Section V that would move the timing of the Election Period in order to enable Owners to vote at the Annual Meeting & Party (July 9th, 2015). Due to this timing shift, Board candidate applications were due June 1st, and Owners can now meet and vote for candidates while in attendance at the Annual Meeting. You will still have a three-week time frame to place your vote, but this way, the voting window encompasses the Annual Meeting. We hope this change will increase voter turnout. Take advantage of this new opportunity and place your vote when you stop by the Annual Meeting & Party!

Run for the Board
I have been fortunate to be able to support the Co-op in a leadership and governance role through serving on the Co-op’s Board of Directors for the past three years. Fellow Board member Mike Martez Johnson wrote about why it made sense for him to serve on the Board in his Reader article last month. I hope some of you reading this now have taken that step to support your Co-op by choosing to run for the Board. While this is certainly the most demanding option for getting involved in your Co-op, I would also say it is the most rewarding, and I am proud to contribute to our Co-op’s continued existence in this capacity.

While the application deadline for this year has passed, if you are thinking about running, keep it in mind for next year—three seats are up for election every year. You also have opportunities to get involved in Board Committees throughout the year, and the Board from time to time will reach out to Owners for input in various focus groups and surveys on anything from how to improve our Annual Meeting & Party experience to opinions on our Bylaws. So please stay involved and let us know (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) when you see an opportunity you want to get involved with.

As an active Co-op Owner, you have many roles and opportunities to support our continued existence, so please shop, vote and consider getting involved on the Board of Directors!

Po WaterduDon SamuelsenMini of Madison

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