[Vision2020] 'Inclusion' for everyone

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Sun May 17 15:12:21 PDT 2015

Courtesy of this weekend's (May 16-17, 2015) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with special thinks and appreciation to Carolyn Ferguson of the Moscow Food Co-op.

Letter: 'Inclusion' for everyone
Did anyone else notice the glaring hypocrisy in the secondary headline of the article regarding the Moscow Food Co-op's concern over remaining "inclusive" with the most recent election of some new members of the board of directors ("Directors also assure that inclusive atmosphere will prevail," Page One, May 13)?
Can we please remain "inclusive" by including those with views that might differ from other board members, some of the management/employees and members? What happened to tolerance of others and celebration of diversity?
I assure you, if you come through my cashier line at the Moscow Food Co-op - or see me outside of work, I will treat you with kindness and inclusion regardless of your color, nationality, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, accent, hair color, body art, etc.
Carolyn Ferguson, Moscow


Courtesy of the May 13, 2015 edition of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Moscow Food Co-op to explore expansion
By Terri Harber, Daily News staff writer | Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 12:00 am
The Moscow Food Co-op board had an eventful meeting Tuesday night, discussing the possibility of expanding to Pullman and listening to concerns from members about the influence of Christ Church on the board.
The board's directors authorized the co-op's general manager, Melinda Schab, to begin exploring how it might expand its service reach, possibly even finding a way to sell goods in Pullman, for example.
Schab stressed after the meeting that directors only approved her beginning exploration of such possibilities.
Tonight, she said, "we made history."
The evening's concern, however, was the possible impact of new directors. Three of the seven directors are members of the conservative Christ Church of Moscow. When the old board met for the last time in April, the matter came up.
The church affiliation of the three members - one who was already serving on the board - has caused some co-op owner-members to express concern they could attempt to find ways to bring forward their church leaders' well-publicized views against same-sex marriage and the LGBTI community into the co-op's operations.
There has been a trend nationally among some Christian conservatives to express and seek political protection for "the right to discriminate," said Chris Norton, a former co-op director.
He also noted how the Southern Poverty Law Center has reported about Christ Church Pastor Doug Wilson and the controversial opinions he has voiced about slavery, rape, adultery and a host of other issues.
Norton suggested the directors ensure rules are clear about how these elected representatives are supposed to put the co-op's values above their own when they conduct business on behalf of the organization.
He said a subcommittee review would be a way to "figure out where the loose threads are so they could be tied up," such as making sure employees' full reproductive health coverage would remain intact.
Owner-member Rebecca Rod introduced her wife, Theresa Beaver, and said they wanted to see the co-op's current "welcoming and inclusive" atmosphere continue.
"People like us look for places where we feel welcome," Rod said.
She also urged the directors to make sure the rules and policies all clearly communicate the importance of equal treatment of members, employees and others who visit or do business with the co-op.
There is a difference between someone's "own personal values and politics and our work as a board," Director Bill Beck said.
"We are a welcoming community," President Colette de Phelps said. One that "advocates human rights and social justice, and supports the LGBTI community."
Regardless of personal beliefs, "we uphold the values of the co-op," de Phelps said, "and it's important we assure our customers of that."
Another owner-member, Diana Armstrong, asked the board to consider policy stating co-op employees couldn't be elected to the board.
Norton later suggested an employee be chosen by other employees to sit on the board "so they could feel enfranchised."
"There's no reason not to do this," he said.
The directors asked for a review by a subcommitee that specializes in rules, bylaws and policies to ensure co-op principles are upheld by the directors ahead of personal beliefs.
There was also discussion about expanding the opportunity for members to conduct online communication with the co-op and, perhaps, among themselves, about various topics, such as food, recipes or other subjects addressed in the co-op's newsletter.
Director Kurt Obermayr said he thought it would be practical and inexpensive to create an online vehicle for such a purpose because the monthly newsletter is limited in the amount of material it can deliver.
The operation has been in existence since 1973 and has nearly 7,500 owner-members.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
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