by Joe Courter
The election for the Citizens Co-op Board is underway. If you are a member, please vote. If you want the store to survive, please shop there. If you are sick of the whole mess it is understandable. It has been a tragedy of idealism gone wrong, festering problems ignored, boneheaded decisions, entrenched positions, and like a dysfunctional family, the root of the problems and the bigger picture gets lost in the more recent affronts. As a person who helped and worked to get the Co-op there next to the CMC, and so much enjoyed the symbiotic relationship the CMC had with them—the potlucks, films and discussions, music in the courtyard benefiting both organizations—it has been hard to watch the unraveling. I am sorry; you do not fire five workers with an email at 7:45am. They need a new Board and new start, but the murky financial records and the severe drop in business may kill it anyway. So sad.
People invested a lot of money in a Co-op. What we got was something that for a variety of reasons evolved into more of a store. With a new Board, with replacing Lucian Kraigel, who seemed to be the key person in undoing the Co-op-ness of the endeavor, MAYBE we can get back to what we had. We were living a dream to some extent, but to keep a dream going, to keep it real, it takes work. The workers who organized and were fired for it were an alarm clock. That they filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board is logical. If that decision comes down against the Co-op, they should not be blamed. Co-ops need to evolve, and perhaps out of this, something new can grow.
Voting is open until July 8th, one vote per membership, you can do it online or at the store.