[act-ma] 11/08 to 11/10; Vote to save Harvest Co-op today!

R. Wayne Clark rwayneclark at igc.org
Tue Nov 7 15:49:03 PST 2017


Matt Andrews, one of our most active Members in the Harvest Real Co-op
Initiative, has a message for all Harvest Members on the Election of new Harvest
Co-op Directors.




Today is election day for Boston, Cambridge, and other local elections across
the state. But there is also another election going on that you shouldn't
forget.  The Harvest Co-op is having a Board of Directors election that could
determine whether our flagship co-op grocery store survives another year.  If
you've been following co-op news, you know that the Harvest finally went public
last spring about losing tens of thousands of dollars every month.  In fact,
it's been this way for years and members are outraged that we have only recently
been informed of this crisis.  Even if you haven't been following the financial
woes of Harvest, you've probably shopped there and noticed the bare shelves, and
frequent employee turnover.

The good news is a core group of community members have decided the Harvest not
only needs to be saved, it needs to be transformed!  A real co-op could offer
endless opportunities for building community, sharing food, and modeling
leadership for social and economic justice.  The Real Coop Initiative has been
trying to mobilize members and lobby the board to open up the books, and allow
for greater member empowerment.  We collected a petition of over a hundred
members to demand a Special Membership Meeting, which was a long over-looked
provision in the Harvest bylaws.  We held an emergency meeting on our own in
which over 30 members affirmed a set of core principles. We've initiated
Employee Appreciation Days to support Harvest staff.  Now we have a slate of
candidates for the board of directors.

Active RCI candidates include Josh Anderson, Marlene Archer, Leslie Belay, Emily
Bergersen, Adam Frost, and Jennifer Jensen.

This is the first truly competitive election for the Harvest Board in over 20
years!  The Real Co-op Initiative candidates have demonstrated they have the
energy, creativity, and most importantly, values, to save our co-op.  The
Harvest may never compete with Amazon/Whole Foods in some ways, but we believe
acting like a community owned co-op will give us advantages Whole Foods cannot
compete with!

If you are a member, you should have received an email on October 25th from the
Harvest with a unique link for voting.  We are using an online voting service
called electionbuddy.  If you want to vote online but can't find this email,
contact  <mailto:kashif at harvest.coop> kashif at harvest.coop and ask for *your*
link.  Electionbuddy requires a browser that runs Javascripts.  Otherwise, you
can go to either store and find paper ballots and a ballot box to submit your
vote.  You will need the member ID number on the back of your Harvest card.

Tomorrow is the last day to vote in stores!  You can vote electronically through
November 10th.  Once the election ends, the results will be automatically
emailed to all participants.

If you need help voting, please contact us at HarvestRealCoop at gmail.com.  We
will provide ballots, rides, or any technical assistance needed.

Don't forget to vote!

Thank you!

~Matthew Andrews
  Real Co-op Initiative



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