Building a Cooperative Community

CoMinnesota General Assembly Meeting

Discussion of Membership Structure Proposal

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
3:30 P.M. - 5-00 P.M.

Shared Capital/Triangle Park Creative Offices
2600 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55406

CoMingle Happy Hour to follow meeting across the street at the
Seward Co-op Creamery Cafe (more info below)

Any CoMN enthusiast is welcome to attend.
Our main agenda item will be discussing the draft proposal for creating a membership structure for CoMinnesota. No action is proposed at this meeting, but the Steering Committee is seeking input in anticipation of proposed action at the next General Assembly in December.

Please give us feedback at this short survey.

Proposed Agenda
1.    Introductions and brief announcements (15 minutes)
2.    Updates from Committees (15 minutes)

  • a.  Steering Committee
  • b.  CoMingle Committee

3.    Discussion of proposal to create membership structure (60 minutes)

Membership Structure Proposal    

CoMinnesota started in late 2011 as a response to the question: Why, in the land of 10,000 cooperatives, isn't there more cross sector collaboration?

Since its inaugural event in late October of 2011 to kick off the International Year of the Cooperative, CoMinnesota has depended upon a fluid network of volunteers to maintain skeletal infrastructure and produce some impressive programming ranging from special events to regular brown bag topic lunches and happy hour Comingles.

Now, in 2016, it seems time to recognize we have enough going to explore a more formal structure that defines our governance structure, helps us gain steadier financial and volunteer support from our supporters, and work more strategically toward goals that we've developed in during our strategic meetings.

Since we are promoting the cooperative model, the CoMN Steering Committee is proposing we use its structure to help define our organization:

  1. Anyone welcome to join.
  2. One member, one vote (elects board of directors/steering committee)
  3. Financial participation. Affordable $25-$50 membership share (+ annual fund drives?). Scholarship or membership fund to cover folk without means.
  4. Autonomous - Currently CDS provides fiscal agency - would like to evolve to independent 501(c)(3), or other optimal structure in the next year or two.
  5. Programming that concentrates on education
  6. Facilitate the comingling of people involved in cooperatives and strategic allies.
  7. Concern for community - CoMinnesota Value Statement: We value actions that contribute to greater social and economic justice, and that advance racial equity!

Initially, we will continue to use CDS as our fiscal agent. The main goal is to define the membership body that elects the steering committee and help fund the organization.

We will BEGIN our discussion of this proposal at the CoMinnesota General Assembly on Wed. Sept 28, 3:30-5:00. We plan a to have one or series of online listening sessions over the next two months with a goal of voting on the proposal at the December 2015 General Assembly.