Thursday, 02 July 2015 07:16
By Dan Hoffman,
An unexpected side effect of the recent controversy over a proposed referendum on whether GreenStar should boycott certain goods from Israel has been the sudden end of the Co-op's longstanding boycott of most goods originating in the People's Republic of China. How did that happen and what will it mean for the Co-op?
In 1997, long-time GreenStar member Becca Harber was concerned about China's treatment of Tibet, including human rights violations and denial of independence (lost in the 1950s, when the new, communist government of China took over Tibet). She brought a request to the Co-op's Council: namely, that GreenStar join a boycott of goods from China (with an exception for medicinal herbs and other herbal products not available from non-Chinese sources) "until China withdraws from Tibet or enters into a mutual agreement with the people of Tibet." Council quickly approved the request and this prohibition was written into GreenStar's Product Line Policy.
Thursday, 02 July 2015 06:45
By Kristie Snyder,
GreenStar recently welcomed a newcomer to the Finance Manager position, Erik Amos. We asked him a few questions so as to let our member-owners better get to know one of the folks who performs a vital "behind-the-scenes" job to keep the Co-op running and vital!
When did you start as Finance Manager, and what attracted you to working at the Co-op?
I joined Finance in March. Before that, I worked at the DeWitt store for about a year as a Manager on Duty. I studied sociology and alternative economic systems at the University of Oregon, and while there I stumbled upon cooperative systems and cooperative economics. From there, I worked as a kitchen manager for an organic craft brewery in Olympia, Washington, and then I worked at Wheatsville Co-op in Austin, Texas for five years as an IT coordinator. I really like GreenStar in part because it encourages and allows the owners to get involved — not all co-ops do that. GreenStar is really integrated into the community, and I find that really appealing.
Friday, 01 May 2015 21:19
When the man who feeds the world by toiling in the fields is himself deprived of the basic rights of feeding, sheltering, and caring for his own family, the whole community of man is sick.
— César Chávez
By Joe Romano,
You may have noticed that the Classrooms @ GreenStar building has been adorned with a beautiful new mural that wraps the building. If you have not already seen it, stop by sometime and take a look. The mural was created for GreenStar by two collaborating artists, Paloma, who came to us all the way from Peru, and Kazoo, a former Ithaca resident who now resides in Oakland, California. Their credits include working with Positive News, Black Lives Matter, and co-founding a silkscreen co-op in San Francisco. The design is of farmers in a field and is intended to draw attention to the hard work performed by farm workers and the circumstances in which it is often performed. Also, there is a graph that shows how little of the proceeds from the average farm actually goes to the workers. This "Food Justice for Farmworkers" theme will help inform and educate our members and the community about the difficulties still faced by workers today, and aligns perfectly with our values here at GreenStar.
The artists were invited here by Caleb Thomas, working through the City of Ithaca Public Art Commission. According to GreenStar Council Member, Eric Banford, writing in Tompkins Weekly:
[Caleb] Thomas recently traveled to California to tour public murals in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles...Once he returned to Ithaca, he taught an Art and Social Justice class at New Roots Charter School, where he posed the question, "What would you like to see on a mural?" Antonio Triana is the son of a tutor for migrant workers, and expressed an interest in seeing a mural that honored migrant workers. Thomas took a picture of Antonio holding a poster with his idea on it, emailed it to artists he had connected with in Oakland, and it immediately resonated with them. The idea for the GreenStar mural was born.
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