I’m involved with AMOS, (Advocating, Mobilizing, Organizing in Solidarity) a La Crosse based interfaith social justice group that forms alliances with community groups to work towards creating a compassionate community. LaDonna Redmond of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (www.itap.org) spoke at our annual meeting about “Food+Justice=Democracy.”
Viroqua Food Co-op is a successful retail grocery store. For many it is more, it is part of a lifestyle grounded in a vision of community cooperation and empowerment. If food is linked to justice, then as Co-op owners, I feel we have both a responsibility and an opportunity to leverage our retail success for projects that work toward our collective vision.
The VFC Board held two public meetings where we’ve invited owner-members to discuss the “next step” in terms of enhancing the quality of life for the broader community through the success of our Co-op. More than 30 owners attended and discussions were lively. Our cooperative structure separates us from becoming just another small, run of the mill corporation, and flourishes when you as an owner get actively involved. Please consider these meetings as an opportunity, even if you do not see it as a responsibility. While the Board represents you; you are the Co-op and we need your participation.
What is your vision for bettering community life? Being an owner of a business that is a leader in our community for alternative energy or that creates new businesses on Main Street or one that serves youth or the elderly or the disabled or folks without transportation…the sky’s the limit! Watch for the Board’s next public meeting—attend and make it your meeting.