Sunday, September 15, 2013

Board Candidate: Sally Brownfield

Hot off the press: previews of our 2013 candidates for the Board of Directors! You'll also find the information below in the October-November newsletter, along with your ballot. Voting runs from October 15th - November 15th. In addition to choosing four new Board members, you'll also have an opportunity to vote on four proposed changes to the Co-op's bylaws.

Want to know more about the candidates? Mark your calendar for the Annual Meeting! October 27th, from 1-4 pm at the Olympia Ballroom. Great food, candidate speeches and the first round of member discussion on recent research into whether the Co-op should change our legal status (currently, we are a not-for-profit under RCW 24.03.) We look forward to seeing you there!

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Board Candidate: Sally Brownfield

Why do you want to be on the Co-op Board of Directors? 

I would like to be on the Co-op Board of Directors because I agree with the mission statement of the Co-op and I want to bring my experience and abilities to serve the needs of the Co-op and its membership.  I have been a member of the Co-op since 1992 and I feel the Co-op has given me so much and that it would be a privilege for me to serve on the Board of an organization that encompasses all of my values and to be able to give back to it.  I have been interested in food issues and their impact on social justice issues my whole life.

What general abilities would you bring to the Board? What specific abilities and experiences would you offer to help provide direction in dealing with the Co-op’s challenges? 

In general, I am knowledgeable about food issues, social justice issues, cross-cultural issues and the workings of the Co-op from the point of view of a member.  As a French teacher and former Peace Corps volunteer, I try to be sensitive to cultural differences.  I am a reasonable person and a good listener--I used to work on a crisis hotline and was trained in empathic listening.  This technique helps me to see both sides of situations which can be useful in bringing people together and making decisions.  I also worked on the Board at the Unitarian Church; I was involved in forming the Bosnian Student Project with the Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation; I am an active member of the Tacoma Education Association Union, and I helped start a non-profit food buying club in Jonesboro, Arkansas when I lived there because there was no Co-op.

What do you see as current strengths of the Co-op that you would like to see maintained? What would you like to see changed?  

The strength of the Co-op is the sincerity of its staff and members in striving to achieve the goals and fulfill the mission statement.  The Co-op has been successful in its mission because the staff and members believe in what the Co-op stands for.  For that reason, they are willing to do things differently to make it a success even if sometimes it involves risk.    In addition to maintaining the high quality of the foods available and the relatively smooth operation of this organization, I am especially interested in policies concerning GMOs (or GEs).  For example, I am concerned about organic companies owned by large corporations and the money they have contributed to the anti-labeling campaign in California (and now in Washington) and whether or not the Co-op should continue selling their products under these circumstances (for example Muir Glen).  I am concerned about the contamination of our food supply from GMOs and would like to keep the Co-op as GMO free as possible.  However, this does not mean I am against scientific research regarding food.  But the research should be to benefit humanity, not for profit and should not pose a threat to our food supply.

What vision do you have for the Co-op for the next five years? 

I would like to see the Co-op and its principles regarding food and process reach even more people.  I would also like to help develop policy regarding GMOs .