John McNamara 4 Willy Street Coop Board!

This just in on the Willy St. Grocery Coop board election:

From: John McNamara
To: John McNamara
Subject: Willy St. Coop Board Elections
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 2009 13:34:15 -0500

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you might know, I am running for the Willy St. Coop Board of Directors. The Cooperative faces a challenging year. In addition to the continued efforts to manage the explosive growth that has swelled the membership to 16,000 members, the coop will also be dealing the the slagging economy and road construction which promises to reduce sales by 30%!

I am one of 13 candidates running for 5 seats. I will be graduating Beta Gamma Sigma from the St. Mary’s University Masters of Management: Cooperative and Credit Union program in April of 2010. In addition, I have over 20 years of experience in the cooperative world including 8 years on the Union Cab board of directors, 6 years as a manager for Union Cab and 7 years on its strategic planning committee. I believe that my education and experience make me a great choice to serve on the Willy St. Board.

I promise to follow the values and principles of the cooperative movement: solidarity, equity, equality, caring for others, openness, honesty to name but a few.

Part of the difficulty with the unplanned growth of Willy St. is that we don’t know who the members are and have limited means to contact them. Last year, barely 2% of the membership voted in the election of a board that oversees an $18 million budget and has a constituency 25% larger than a Madison aldermanic district. This year, electronic voting is being introduced without any advances in educating voters on the candidates or the issues. It means that every vote counts.

I hope that I can count on your vote. If you are not a member (and even if you are), please forward this email to your friends who are members of the co-operative and support my candidacy. It is a very crucial year for the co-operative and they need directors who have a proven record of managing a social enterprise to make it both financially and socially sustainable. I believe that I am that candidate and I hope that you do too! Please feel free to email me with any questions, check out my blog (, my Facebook group ( and even my 12 second tv account ( If elected, I will continue to use these tools to keep the membership updated and informed on what their board is doing.

Thank you for your time,


John’s a good egg, and is very well-versed in all things coop management given his experience in helping make Union Cab a local favorite. In my mind (and only my mind!), he’s a member of a club I invented, the Crown Jewels of Madison–the folks who provide the intellectual and energetic heft to make Madison Madison, and not Rockford. They are the folks who tend to piss off the powers-that-be, whoever they may be, on behalf of the good & just. John and his family are recently–happily–carless. That is another club I’m starting in my mind: The Carless & Carefree by Choice! It is a club that keeps growing by the day.

Accordingly, he supports that the Jenifer Street entrance be reserved for safe bicycle and pedestrian access. His reasoning, especially in point #2, is sound. The my-hurry-is-more-important-than-your-neighborhood people have already created a disaster in front of the store. They shouldn’t be allowed to create yet another disaster where peds & bikes currently have the only safe and unblocked access to the store. The deathmobilers will just have to live with their own mess between the lot and Willy St.

Wooo-Hooo! Vote John!

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