State of the Co-op Union

Hi everyone! 

Fall is here, which means it’s time for our fall Members’ Assembly meeting! I wanted to review a few of the things we’ll be doing at our fall meeting. 

Board Elections: We’ll be hearing from the folks who are running for the Board. Voting for your Board of Directors is a very important way you can participate in the management and governance of your business. The Directors represent your best interests, so make your voice heard! It’s always an exciting time when we seat new Directors because new ideas and perspectives refresh and invigorate our vision of the future and our understanding of how we fit into the local economy and the global co-op community. If you haven’t yet reviewed the candidates, please do so here

Bylaws Updates: Occasionally, we need to vote on things together that involve changes to some of our policies or bylaws. This fall, we are proposing three changes to the bylaws: 

1) Reduce the mandatory number of Members’ Assembly meetings from three to two. When we wrote our bylaws back in 2006, we were meeting three times a year: once in the spring, once in the fall, and once for a big party somewhere along the way. Now that we’re open for business, we have member-owner events throughout the year as well as our spring and fall MA meetings. Changing this language will not impact our meeting frequency; we’re aligning our bylaws with current practice. 

2) Remove language about the number of meetings the Board of Directors holds per year. The bylaws require the Board to meet 12 times a year. However, sometimes due to a variety of reasons it’s difficult or perhaps unnecessary to meet that many times. We want to remove the mandate of 12 meetings per year so each Board can have the flexibility to decide a schedule that works out best for them and for the health of our business. 

3) Change the name of our standing committee. Our standing committee is responsible for recruiting new Directors and ensuring that we have a healthy pool of leaders in our membership. The committee is currently called the Member Linkage Committee, but we feel this title does not accurately describe the charter of the committee or its responsibilities. We propose to change the title of the committee to the Leadership Development Committee. Nothing about the committee’s charter otherwise will be changed. 

Vision Discussion: This fall, we’ll also be engaging in a group interactive discussion about the vision of our expansion and how we can contribute to that development as member-owners. We’re still working out the details of that discussion, and the more people who get involved the more fun and dynamic it will be. Come with your ideas and enthusiasm!

The Members’ Assembly meetings are fun, informal ways to learn about your co-op, get involved, and get reacquainted with old and new member-owner buddies. They are also your opportunities to participate in the democratic operations of your business. I hope to see many of you on October 26th

Erin O'Bryant is the President of the Black Star Co-op Board of Directors. She's not a'scared of nothin' never. *raises her fists with pugilistic bravado