Democratic institutions cannot survive without participation of their members, nor without access to open communication with members. It’s the right of Durango Natural Foods Co-op members – indeed, our obligation – to take responsibility for our co-op in a democratic way to protect it from the impacts of board decisions not in the members’ interests.
“Whistle-blowing” is the courage to walk the path of truth and integrity. The DNF board fired our well-liked and competent co-general manager Kimberley Wiggins on Aug. 28 for doing just that. At the request of myself and Pat Blair – longtime DNF members – Kim sent out an email to all members, with our cover letter and links to our member-initiated petition to remove the board and a supporting analysis that debunks the board’s claims.
Kim was fired 24 hours after it went out. No reason was given to Kim or the staff.
Misrepresentations by the board are the core ethical justification for our petition. The board’s claim that merging with La Montañita Co-op is an “attractive opportunity” holding “many advantages” for DNF members was a ruse, not based on fact or analysis.
Our report is at: http://AlpineAnalytics.com/reports/dnf/DNF-PETITION-to-remove-Board-SUPPORTING-ANALYSIS-8-27-2014.pdf. A two-page document is also available at http://AlpineAnalytics.com/reports/dnf/Open-Communication-to-DNF-members-8-31-2014-Root-Routledge.pdf.
In the interest of stability, the petition contains a vote option for an interim board consisting of Blair and me until elections can be set up to bring other board members on. Neither of us is attached to being on the board for any other reason than to protect DNF and our members’ interests in the interim. Reinstating Kim would be our first decision; Kim has made a courageous ethical decision and has done nothing wrong. We call on co-op membership to stand in solidarity at this crucial time in DNF’s 40-year history by signing the petition. Our intent is nothing less than a management reset at DNF.
If enough member signatures on this petition, which is what it will take, bring things forward to where some collaborative engagement can ensue with integrity, nothing would please us more.