New Newsletter for Members, by Members?

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Co-op Voice Editor Meghan Breen was in attendance at the June 5th HWFC Board meeting. Included in the agenda packet were notes from a recent Communications Committee (Comm Comm) meeting wherein plans were developed to create a new Co-op publication, tentatively entitled “Honest Slate,” to encompass both the Member-Owner Coordinator’s monthly Co-op Connections and the Board’s Inside Scoop, as well as reports from Committees of the Board and the like.

The plan itself, directed by Janet Sorrell as Comm Comm liaison, is not new. The Committee made known six months ago at the January 2, 2018 Board meeting (see p. 41 of attachments to Board mtg. minutes of 01-02-18) that the Board had tasked it to make plans to “create and publish a newsletter to enhance and clarify Board-to-Membership communication and relations.” That earlier plan appears to now be coming to fruition.

A lengthy discussion of plans for the new publication ensued at the June 5th Board meeting. The Coop Scoop will remain a marketing publication. The new publication will include Co-op Connections (a Staff publication), the Inside Scoop, (a Board publication, a la the “From the Director’s Chair” in the old Coop Scoop) and reports from Committees of the Board. It would appear the content will be coming from or directly overseen by the Board.

As this was Meg’s first visit to a Board meeting in a long time, she raised her hand and asked several questions. The exchange went something like this:

Meg: Will the membership vote on this on the 18th?
Janet: No, the bylaws state that the Communications Committee should have a newsletter. No need to vote.

Meg: So, will the members vote on the name?
Janet: No, the Board votes tonight.

Meg: So this is not really for the members or by the members?
Janet and Carolynn: Of course it is. Members can write. Be on the Committee. Be on the editorial panel (if chosen by the two Communications Committee editors, that is.)

It was further clarified that the editorial policy for the new newsletter is not yet ‘finalized’; that will be voted on next time by the Board.

As there is not currently a sufficient number of members on the Communications Committee to staff this newsletter, Yevette (Member-Owner Coordinator) has put a note in the Co-op Connections to help recruit new members with appropriate skills.

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Meghan Breen is a budding herbalist, training to be a Certified Herbalist with Aviva Romm. She is a former public school teacher and clinical social worker originally from Syracuse, NY. She is currently homeschooling her five kids on a small homestead outside of Albany. She has been a member of HWFC since 2006 and a contributing writer to the Co-op Voice since 2016 and feels very committed to supporting member-owned cooperatives. For this reason, she chooses to do almost all of the shopping for her family of seven at the Co-op, even if she could occasionally save a buck elsewhere. Meg is so very grateful for HWFC and its continual and evolving work to give every member a voice!