What is Membership?
Since the beginning, GreenStar's mission focused on making nutritious, whole food available to its members. But membership means more than just access to good, healthy food...
When you join the Co-op you become a Member-Owner of a locally-owned and cooperatively operated values-based business. We focus on the social and environmental impact GreenStar makes on our local and global community, as well as economic performance. We put our values first, and return all profits back to the Co-op or donate them to the community.
One Member – One Vote means your voice truly counts!
Like all consumer co-ops, GreenStar is owned and democratically run by the people who use the store. Unlike traditional corporations where the amount of a stockholder's investment determines his or her voting power, every member at GreenStar has equal voting rights. As a Member-Owner, you have an equal say in the future direction of GreenStar.
By investing and participating in your co-op, you're putting your values into action.
Through your Equity Share investment and patronage, GreenStar supports the health and well-being of our member-owners, our community and the planet by:
- Purchasing from local farmers and businesses
- Paying a livable wage
- Using clean energy and recycled office supplies
- Supporting organic agriculture and fair trade producers
- Offering health insurance to employees
- Donating to local charities and events
- Providing education on nutrition, health and sustainability
- Improving access to healthy food to those on limited budgets through the FLOWER program
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 18:42
By Alexis Alexander,
In October, member-owners have the opportunity to vote on six bylaws changes being proposed by Council. GreenStar's bylaws, the rules that govern the internal management of the Co-op, were originally established when GreenStar was incorporated. According to our bylaws, one of the essential rights of member-owners is the ability to vote on the creation and changes to the bylaws and mission statement.
Unfortunately, GreenStar, like many co-ops, suffers from very poor voter turnout relative to the number of member-owners. For instance, only 5 percent of member-owners voted in the Council elections last April. This month's column reviews why it's important for member-owners to vote and provides more specific information on the upcoming October vote.
Why should I vote?
As a cooperative, we exist to meet the needs of our member-owners who, through a democratic voting process, actively participate in decision making and in setting GreenStar policies. Counter to the world of corporations, where voting power fluctuates in accordance with money invested, every member-owner at GreenStar has one vote, so all votes are equal.
The more voting member-owners in the Co-op, the more effectively GreenStar can meet the needs of the majority. It's that simple. When only a small percentage of the membership votes, we never really know if the resultant policy or action truly meets the needs of the majority of member-owners or is in their best interest.
Monday, 03 August 2015 22:50
By Alexis Alexander,
As students return to Ithaca in late August, GreenStar will be hosting a two-week extravaganza of celebration and education. Two exciting celebratory events are planned, along with two opportunities for members and nonmembers to learn more about co-ops, including the history of the cooperative movement and its impact on local and global communities.
Topping the list of events to watch for is a performance by the amazing hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, who will be playing at the Bernie Milton Pavilion on the newly renovated Ithaca Commons on Thursday, Sept. 3. The show is being sponsored by GreenStar and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection, in partnership with the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA), as part of the CFCU Summer Concert Series. The concert is scheduled from 6 to 8 pm, with Kweli expected to take the stage at 7.
According to the DIA, Kweli is "one of the most lyrically gifted and socially aware rappers on the scene." He and Mos Def collaborate as the East-coast rap duo Black Star, and he has also collaborated with prominent artists such as Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Justin Timberlake, Norah Jones, and Gary Clark, Jr.
Our Marketing Department has worked tirelessly with the DIA and the Cornell Hip Hop Collection to secure an internationally renowned performer for the event, and we are incredibly grateful and excited for their success in bringing the community what will undoubtedly be an evening of memorable music and spirit. Moreover, the values embodied in Kweli's lyrics — social change, equity, and diversity — are the very same values that drive GreenStar's mission as a cooperative enterprise. If those values are important to you, then you may find our educational offerings in August, as described below, to be of great interest.
Co-op Education ...
On Monday, Aug. 24, we will offer our Co-op Enterprise 101 info session in a two-hour program starting at 7 pm in the Classrooms @ GreenStar. This session aims to educate and empower our member-owners in all things cooperative. Topics include the origins and history of the modern cooperative movement, more recent developments in various co-ops throughout the world, and how and where GreenStar fits into that picture. The training is relevant to most anyone drawn to shop at our stores: those new to cooperatives, those interested in learning what co-ops are all about but not yet fully engaged, those who've had long tenures of co-op engagement, whether at GreenStar or elsewhere. The session is free and open to both member-owners and nonmembers.
Thursday, 02 July 2015 06:54
By Alexis Alexander,
In response to several requests, I am happy to announce that we're offering a new information session for member-owners and nonmember customers this summer, called Co-operative Enterprise 101. Membership Administrator Laura Buttenbaum, who developed a similar and well-received training for staff this past fall, will lead the session. Join us for one of two scheduled sessions on Thursday, July 9 or Monday, August 24. Classes will run from 7 to 9 pm in the Classrooms @ GreenStar. If you're interested but unable to attend this summer, stay tuned: additional sessions will be scheduled this fall.
Co-op Enterprise 101 aims to educate and empower our member-owners in all things cooperative. This includes the origins and history of the modern cooperative movement, more recent developments in various co-ops throughout the world, and how and where GreenStar fits into that picture. The training is relevant to most anyone drawn to shop at our stores: those new to the cooperative scene, those interested in learning what co-ops are all about but not yet fully engaged, and those who have long tenures of co-op engagement, whether at GreenStar or elsewhere.
Without giving too much of the fascinating material covered in the class away, I've laid out a brief description of the class agenda below.
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On Wednesday, Jan. 9., four busloads of people from the Ithaca area traveled to Albany to join in a protest against hydrofracking at Governor Andrew Cuomo's annual State of the State speech. GreenStar, which has taken an official anti-fracking position, contributed funding to offset the ticket prices for the buses. We invited some of those who went to tell us about what they saw, heard, and felt while they were there.<...