Filed under: -of eats, -of green, -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey, -of localism, -of politik, -of townie-to-townie
i got a text on thursday night.
it read, “remind me why i am out supporting my local food co-op tonight and you all aren’t even members?!”
i’m tired of hearing folks report getting the cold shoulder from Friendly City Food Co-Op insiders.
i’ve heard several stories recently wherein concerned, interested, or simply conversation-making co-op members were informed by snotty co-op big whigs that their questions could not be answered in the interest of secrecy and security.
questions about the mystery location of said co-op.
questions about the mystery opening date of said co-op.
questions about the mystery inner workings of said co-op.
come on, people.
there are ways to keep information private without being holier-than-thou secret club members.
it’s a co-op, damn it.
i personally feel that you’re really burning some important transparency bridges.
i understand if a business deal is not yet complete, you might not feel you can go round town running your mouth about it.
but why not just say as much? we’d understand.
but don’t insinuate that we’re not cool enough to know.
i’m not a member and have been pending my membership until i’m convinced by someone that FCFC has potential. i’m further from sold than ever before. why give my money to a co-op production just to be shut out of the process?
don’t you all have someone who is supposed to be public relations-oriented? advertising? community building?
i’ve written many annoying rants on this blog trying to get someone’s attention.
(trying to get someone to write me back and prove me wrong.)
maybe that’s too adversarial of an approach for you. but, honestly, to an outsider – a potential member, it doesn’t look like things are going so well. until a couple of days ago, your website, STILL said that a summer 2009 opening date was expected. you have 580 member households, but need 1000. you have raised $85,000, but need $600,000.
okay, that was a little harsh. a lot of hard work has gone into getting 580 households signed up and $85,000 raised. but, it really seems like you needs some new ideas. and most of all, you need a better attitude when talking with the community.
it’s true. i didn’t go to the meeting. that was a little lame, i admit. but, i have talked to many who were there and people are still a little confused. everything is a little ambiguous.
maybe it’s time to spice it up. try something new. ride the wave of controversy. turn it into something positive and energy-inducing.
we have over 200 people reading this blog a day.
you have the chance to write in and make me look like just a girl with a bad attitude. convince me to join. convince me that what you are doing is going to work.
write to me and give me the scoop. this isn’t actually all about me. (believe it or not.) it’s about reaching a whole lot of people who might be unimpressed with your old methods of potluck and music at the mediation center. make our readers (many of whom are already members), feel involved.
here are some ideas:
(you see – we’re with you, not against you. because we like co-ops.)
we’d love to host quarterly question/answer sessions right here on the state.
what about a rock lotto-style concert series FCFC benefit?
maybe a family supper-style gourmet local-foods event. i bet some local chefs would participate. and farmer’s would donate the goods.
what about low-income folks? do you have any sliding-scale system in place that might encourage the active involvement of those who want to show you (and the bank) that they like you but can’t dish out $200? this might get you a few hundred more member households in a hurry. there are a lot of students and poor-ish families out there that probably would support you if it didn’t seem so financially daunting.
start an interactive blog. even the farmer’s market has one.
keep up the facebook page. gets some more fans already.
and tweet more. your last tweet was in may. come on, it’s cute, simple, short, and sweet.
so, here’s your chance. respond. let us help you. a little controversy sometimes inspires the best conversation and action. give us a better attitude. that’s my real gripe. show us that you’re nice, you know what you’re talking about, and that you encourage questions, participation, and discussion.
“The evils of controversy are transitory while its benefits are permanent” – Robert Hall
(because i want to give you my $200.)
p.s. i’ve asked my kind friend who sent that lovely text to write a rebuttal to this post. we’ll see what he has to say…
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