Dear Honest Weight Community Members,
November 25, 2015
I’m Jeff Marden. Many of you know me because of the many years that I have been part of our Honest Weight community or because I’ve gratefully been elected by our community to the GRC.
I’m writing this letter from a place of sadness solely as member, not from my seat on the GRC. I shopped at the store today because I had to get a couple of small things for my family’s large Thanksgiving meal that I cook each year.
My sadness comes from many things that I experienced today at the store and have been growing in frequency.
I learned that an incredibly valuable, open hearted staff member is leaving us because of the current conflict and the anger, accusations and threats that she has had to manage.
I learned that others will not be staying at the Special Membership Meeting because of fears for their safety.
I’ve learned over the last month or so that paid staff members are looking for other work because of the “animosity and fighting,” – their words – at the store. These are not the only employees that have said this to me.
I, myself am concerned about safety because of things that I have heard and witnessed.
All of this is because of where we are right now as a community – because of what is happening right now in our community. Unfortunately, I feel that this word, community, may not describe us accurately at the moment.
We are a successful co-op not in spite of, but because of our disagreements. We’ve disagreed respectfully over the years because of the many rich, varied and different places we come from and because of the beautiful richness that are our differences. That richness has helped us grow our community and our store to who we are today.
Honest Weight currently supports thousands of share holders, member-workers and an innumerable amount of larger community members – from the farmers who supply us with all this glorious product, to the crafts people whose products we offer, to the people who drive the trucks that bring us canned beans, and so on.
We are not a successful co-op because of the building we are in or the products that we sell. Honest Weight is a successful co-op and community because of our compassion for our community. Everything that has grown up around us has come out of that compassion we have for each other and the nurturing of our community. We are losing what makes us strong and who we are.
This letter is not the resignation of my seat on the GRC or an asking back of my member share that Honest Weight has held for my family for 20 some odd years. This letter is a call to our community to please remember why we are successful. Honest Weight was founded and grew out of compassion and care; care for our community, locally, globally and for every share holder and customer.
I call for us to remember this compassion that we have manifested and grown over the years – this Thanksgiving week and all year long.
I love Honest Weight and I call on each and every one of us to show the compassion for our community that everyone and our store deserves.