As an Owner of Chicago Market – A Community Co-op, you have the following rights to a transparent, democratic governance process in which you can directly participate.
• To attend and be heard at board meetings. Meetings are held monthly, and publicized on our website and Facebook page. The agenda is posted on our website in advance, and minutes are posted on the blog. Meetings are open to all Owners, who are requested to RSVP and submit questions in advance for time-keeping purposes.
• To run for the Board. Our Board elections occur in July/August, and applications are accepted in June/July. Board terms are three years, and require a consistent weekly commitment of approximately 10-15 hours as a “working board” to lead our organization and serve our Owners, although as we transition to a Governing Board, the time commitment will likely decrease. To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
• To elect the Board. Elections follow every Annual Owners meeting, typically July/August. All Owners are emailed ballots for voting using household Owner numbers. In addition to email, instructions for voting are provided at the Owners meeting and are publicized in our newsletter.
• To vote on or introduce any bylaw changes. Bylaws are the rules that govern how the co-op runs legally, posted here. Bylaw changes may be adopted by a majority vote of the Owners using the voting process described in the Bylaws. Owners wishing to bring any issue to the annual Owners Meeting for vote must submit a petition signed by seven percent of Owners.
As an Owner of Chicago Market, you have the right to timely fiscal information about your Co-op.
• Fiscal Year financial report. Every year, we provide Owners a financial summary at the close of our fiscal year, at the Annual Owners’ Meeting.
• Monthly Board Meetings. The Board Treasurer provides an overview of financial condition, projected costs and recent expenses at the start of every monthly Board meeting.
By definition, a co-op is a participatory and communal endeavor. As a cooperative shareholder, Owners are liable under Illinois law only to the extent of the cost of their Ownership share. However, as an Owner, participation is expected in the following ways:
- Vote on key decisions,
- Communicate your feedback and ideas to elected leadership,
- Support the co-op through meeting/event attendance or volunteering,
- Once open, shop the store!