Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Member Forum: Format & General Information

Doors will open at 5:30pm. Members will be seated first, and if there is additional room, community members will be invited to observe. Bring your membership card. We will have the membership database available to confirm membership.


The Board’s goal is to gain a deeper understanding of members’ ideas and responses to the question, “Where do we go from here?”

Three specific sub-topics were identified through listening to members at the stores, receiving comments by email and phone, and meeting face-to-face with groups in support or opposition to the boycott. The topics are:

1. The Israeli-product boycott: What should happen?
2. The Co-op’s overall boycott policy and process: What would make it better?
3. The Co-op community: How do we continue to talk about tough issues?


Co-op members can choose to speak publicly, complete a written feedback form, and/or contribute to a “mural” of ideas posted on the walls.

Members who wish to speak will choose one of the three topic areas listed above and sign up to comment on that topic. The amount of time that is spent talking about each of the topics will depend on how many people sign up for each one.

Each member will have up to two minutes to speak. We will accommodate as many members as possible in the time we have.

Ground rules:

The Board is working to create an environment where everyone can express themselves and be respected. Participants whose intent is to disrupt or who cannot adhere to the ground rules may be asked to leave.

The ground rules are:

Demonstrate respect for all participants through your words and body language. Avoid assumptions about others and stereotypes.

Speak from your own experience instead of generalizing (use “I” statements).

Direct your comments to the Board.

One person speaks at a time. Please refrain from applauding, booing, etc. (This will save time and allow more members an opportunity to speak.)

Press, recording, etc.:

Instead of taking notes by hand, the Co-op will videotape the Board and speakers. The purpose of the video is solely to create a record for the Board so that they can be present and listen in the moment, and have an accurate record to review afterward. This video will not be broadcast or distributed. The focus will be on the speakers, not on the general audience.

Members of the local press might attend the forum. Because our highest priority is our members, non-member reporters will be asked to wait until all members have been seated to determine whether there is room for them. As a safety precaution and to encourage open dialogue, we request that members of the press do not record or take photographs, and that they do not quote anyone by name, unless given specific permission to do so. Press packets will be available.

Recognizing that cell phone and internet technologies allow all of us to be reporters, we also request that members of the audience not record or photograph the forum.