Letter to the editor: local farmers disqualified from Ukiah Co-op election

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The authors of the letter.

Friends, neighbors, and fellow local food lovers,

Hi there, our names are Gina Covina, Halle Brady, and Julia Dakin. We’re writing today as a team of three local farmers asking for your support in our run for the Board of the Ukiah Natural Foods Co-op. With our combined decades of experience in organic food production, local food issues, and Co-op membership, we feel we can help the Co-op improve the food security and economic independence of our community.  However, two of us, Halle and Julia, appear to be stalled at the starting gate. They were told we were not eligible to run for the Co-op Board because their husbands’ names appeared first on their Co-op accounts, making them non-members. Yes, really. Still, we’d like to focus here on ways we would like to help make the Co-op an even more integral part of Mendocino’s food scene (or skip the details and sign our petition to get all three of us on the ballot here).

We’ve watched the Co-op grow from a tiny food buyers club into the  thriving, $15 million per year pillar of our community it is today.  When we heard that  a recent survey of member/owners said the number one thing they wanted was more local goods, we immediately thought that nobody knows better how to tap into local production than farmers themselves.  We believe innovative ideas could foster more local farms, mean fresher and healthier grab-and-go items, and increase food security for our whole community. We hope all three of us can run with these similar motivations in mind, so we can have the chance to champion them together as members of the board.

We agree with one member/one vote, and one member/one place on the Board. We don’t agree that the arbitrary act of putting our partner’s name first should keep us from offering to serve the membership by running for the Board. Here’s where you come in!  We’ve put a petition up on change.org (sign here) asking for Co-op members to support our efforts to be deemed eligible for next month’s election.  It only takes a couple of clicks to add your name and share it with your friends on facebook. We ask you to show support now so there will be time to include all of us in the upcoming election ballot materials.

Want to show even more support?  The next Co-op Board of Directors meeting is on Feb. 20th at 6 pm in the annex (same parking lot, at the south end of the social services building). If you are a Co-op member, please show up and voice your support as the three of us try to get more actively involved in a world that is calling out for more local leadership and engagement.  We look forward to serving you. Thank you for your support and inspiration!

Sincerely,

Gina, Halle, and Julia

Here is the petition

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1 COMMENT

  1. I’d love to hear the individual members of the Board/ current alternative applicants to the Board speak up on where they stand on this issue. Cant imagine they couldn’t make this right. Especially interesting would be the opinions of the 3 board-members who are up for re-election. I’m a Co-op member and sure as sheesh ain’t voting for anyone who doesn’t stand up vocally to this hogwash! Same goes for any current members of the Board when they are up for re-election.
    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.” Frederick Douglass (Trumps right- Frederick’s getting more and more recognition everyday)

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