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Everything’s Growing!

It’s that magical time of year again! Summer in Wisconsin is transformative for me. I will admit I do NOT love winter, but perhaps the best part about it is that it makes me appreciate our summers here even more. I look at the plants in my yard now, tall and thriving; and the seeds I started, now bursting out of their pods ready to be transferred to the raised beds—and it seems amazing to me each year how summer can do all this. 

Board Election time

This time of year is also special for the Co-op, because it is election time! The participatory element of this (and every co-op) is what really sets it apart from being “just another grocery store.” Willy Street Co-op is different because YOU own it, and your votes in our elections every year decide our future. 

This year, we will have several different items on the ballot for your vote. New Board officers; a bylaw update and expenditures that will allow the Co-op to grow, thrive and produce value for our growing community—much like my vegetable garden that will soon be giving me a bounty of peas, beans, cucumbers, squash, two types of tomatoes...ahhh, summer!

Here’s a run-down of everything you need to know about the upcoming election to be informed, be prepared to participate and act as a good steward of our growing Co-op:

June 1st

Board candidate submissions are closed. After two months of recruiting for candidates, our line-up has been filled, and you soon will be voting several new members onto our Board! 

July 1st

Voting begins! Candidate statements will be available online and in-store, published in the July Reader and available at the Annual Meeting & Party. See below for more details on your voting options. Look for an in-depth description of the ballot items in addition to the candidate statements (bylaw update, expenditure of funds) in the July Reader. 

July 13th

Annual Meeting & Party (AMP)! Come celebrate our Co-op with us—hear an update on all things Willy Street Co-op and gain insights from our General Manager, Director of Finance, Board of Directors and others. Ask questions and speak to us there. The food is good, the drinks are good, the music is good—we hope the sun will be shining and to see you there!

July 18th

Voting period ends. All paper ballots must be received by 6:00pm. (Online ballots must be cast by July 16th at midnight.) The Board will hold a special meeting to announce the results of the election.

August

Newly elected Board members participate in their first Board meeting.

Voting

Both Individual and Household Owners are entitled to one vote. Your voting options include:

•In the store: Ballot boxes will be available in all retail locations from 7:30am on July 1st until 6:00pm on July 18th. 

•By mail: Send your completed paper ballot, printed in the July Reader or available in stores, to: Owner Vote, Willy Street Co-op, 1457 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703. Ballots must be received by July 18th at 6:00pm.

•At the Annual Meeting & Party: We will have a special voting area with candidate statements and ballots so you can place your vote when you join us at the AMP on July 13th.

•Online: If the Co-op has your email address, you will receive an email with a unique link that you can use to cast your vote. If you do not receive an online ballot via email, you’re either not the primary owner on your account or the Co-op does not have your email address. If you would like to receive your ballot by email, please stop by the Customer Service desk at any store and fill out the appropriate form. 

If you are interested in speaking with the Board and our General Manager directly, we will be offering info sessions prior to the end of the voting period, or you can submityour questions to the Co-op and we will answer them either in the July Reader (if received prior to our go-to-print deadline, June 10th), or at the AMP on July 13th. You can reach out to Ben Becker, Board Administrator (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with questions.

Summer is (finally) here—I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and that as our gardens grow strong and healthy, you help our Co-op grow strong and healthy, too. Oh, and I forgot to mention the bunnies hopping around my neighborhood…they’re always a welcome sign of summer for me, too. Enjoy!

 

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