Voice Mail – July 2018

171

This month, we received two letters to the Co-op Community.

Letter from Linda Casale 
Letter from Grace Nichols 


Paula, Mollie, Meg and the Voice Newsletter Team, hello –

Thank you for your dedication and fine work in publishing Membership’s Newsletter: the Co-op Voice.

I had an opportunity recently to share an article titled “True Leaders Believe Dissent Is an Obligation” with a member of the current Co-op Board. While the article, from the Harvard Business Review, discusses dissent in corporate hierarchical structures, I believe it is also relevant to our Honest Weight Food Co-op.

Our Co-op was created to be a fully democratic entity of, for, and by the Membership. This is our foundational principle.

To be robust, a democracy needs participation, allocations of time, resources and an independent space where members can freely discuss ideas and issues. Debate and dissent are important in this process by helping us understand a wide range of viewpoints so we can make informed decisions. The Co-op Voice Newsletter is Membership’s independent go-to space where Members can read about, discuss and debate issues that are important to them.

I fully support the allocation of time and resources to the Co-op Voice to ensure a true democratic and healthy Co-op.

Sincerely,
Linda Casale

Who Speaks for YOU?
YOU do.
Your Thoughts,
Your Words,
Your Co-op Voice.

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Dear Co-op Community,

Would you like to participate in a play day for adults at the Co-op? I just did, and we’ll have a chance again on July 24th. After the enjoyable time I had, I would suggest you consider joining in.

On Tuesday, June 26th at 6:30pm, our friend Karen Beetle initiated an hour and a half of play for Co-op members and staff in the Community Kitchen. Karen is known locally as a meditation teacher, a family therapist, the daughter of noted Quaker peace activist Pat Beetle, and an advocate for immigrant rights.

I didn’t know it was happening when I arrived at the Co-op, but Yevette, our intrepid Member-Owner Coordinator, grabbed me from the checkout line and asked me to come. I went on a whim. I mean, I am frequently in search of a way to procrastinate writing my next article, so I figured, “what the heck?”

We sat in a circle, taking in Karen’s warmth and appreciation; we began to share silly facts about ourselves, line up in size order, chose to love flowers or vegetables but not both equally; shared our favorite activities; and considered whether beaches or mountains are, in fact, more enticing.

I couldn’t believe the good, relaxed time I had with total strangers and nearly-total strangers in attendance.

At the very end of the session, Karen cheerfully announced that we had just engaged in an Alternatives To Violence curriculum, a group of exercises similar to those used in jails to help prisoners learn to trust and create human connectedness. And, while sobering, a good time was had by all. I will definitely return when she does it again at the end of July. Though I don’t see it on the official HWFC website calendar, Karen and Yevette promised us a monthly play session, and I, in a very adult manner, approve.

—– Grace Nichols

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