When one becomes a member of Three Rivers Market co-op, they accept certain responsibilities. No, I don’t mean putting your shopping cart back when you’re done – although, we all thank you for doing so. I mean the responsibilities of ownership.
Our co-op is a democratically controlled organization, which means all members bear a duty to help chart the course for Three Rivers Market. A fellow Board member spelled out earlier this year that all members can attend Board meetings, register for member forums to share important feedback, attend member events, join Board committees, and even run for a seat on the Board of Directors.
As a new Board member, I feel it’s important to spend time reflecting on the values that built our co-op. Of our many estimable ideals (self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, solidarity, honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others), one has a tighter grip on me than the others: self-responsibility. Self-responsibility means action. It means accountability for my activity, and it means knowing my participation is on behalf of the whole membership.
Any one of us can have an impact on the future of Three Rivers Market, but only to the degree that we participate in the process. Our co-op is unlike any other store or market in Tennessee – and the reason is that you can have a say in the values espoused through its operation. You can have a say in the quality and sources of the food you buy. You can have a say in the treatment of the employees who serve us, and in the direction we set for tomorrow.
Participation is vital to the success of our shared future. Register to attend the next Board meting. Attend our upcoming events. And on behalf of my fellow members, I invite you to join the good work of governing our co-op by running for the Board of Directors later this year.
Decisions get made by those who show up. I hope to see you soon!
Drew Rutherford, Director