At the November General Meeting, a member introduced a proposal to enforce new rules for committees in order to “improve the way these committees function.” As a member of the Coop’s International Trade Education Squad (ITES), I would like to respond on behalf of my fellow committee members.
ITES was formed through a democratic process. At the January 2015 GM, a majority of voters approved the creation of the committee for a two-year “trial” period. After two years, members once again voted to authorize the committee on a permanent basis. The committee presented membership with a charter, laying out how it would function and specifying its responsibilities. Those responsibilities included holding quarterly public forums, or information sessions; publishing articles in the Gazette; and providing committee reports at general meetings. ITES has also worked on other projects that are not part of our charter, but that Coop members might find valuable. As part of our recent work on vaccine access, for example, we asked the Coop in November to carry at-home COVID-19 tests, which it did.
I am proud to say that for nearly seven years now, the squad has dutifully fulfilled all parts of its mission. Our public forums and Gazette articles have covered topics from trade agreements to food safety to vaccine access, one of our members is a familiar face at monthly general meetings, other members maintain a blog at coopites.wordpress.com that contains a trove of articles related to international trade issues. As the squad’s liaison with the Coop, I can assure readers that our work hours are being logged in an honest and transparent way.
ITES currently has openings for two new members. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining us.