Jay Tarlecki

2011 Board Elections Candidate Statement:

1.Tell us about yourself, work, beliefs and values and include your experiences and accomplishments with any of the SPFC organizing committees.
As an engineer and builder of universally accessible tree houses, I challenged myself when I chose the Legal and Finance Committee last year. Even without a background applicable to the committee, my construction experience has molded me into a careful, efficient, and community-minded planner. My committee related accomplishments include helping develop our Sources & Uses budget and geocoding our survey results into some maps and charts for steering.

My only transportation is bicycle, so I am quite interested in establishing local, healthy and accessible food in our community. I aim to live simply. I believe in creating the world we want to live in, rather than waiting for that world to come to us. Having been a member-owner of two food co-ops in my lifetime, I see a perfect opportunity to begin one our neighborhood now.

2. Why do you value Cooperatives?
Cooperatives empower people. When people gather and share their skills and resources, grandiose ideas become a reality. I have experienced it while helping organize a cooperative community bike shop in Montpelier, VT. The value of a cooperative is its ability to reach ambitious goals by simply working together.

3. What is your definition of a Cooperative?
A cooperative is truly democratic organization whereby the members share their time and energy, with the prime directive being the mutual benefit of the group.

4. What is your vision of growth for a South Philly Food Cooperative?
A glance at our budget makes the road ahead seem difficult; yet, it only takes membership investments to make this happen. In South Philly, we have the diversity and the population to support this co-op. I see us reaching a few hundred members this summer and doing our feasibility study this fall. By spring of next year, that feasibility study will help guide us to a location and develop a formal business plan. It is an exciting time and a privilege to work with such a dedicated and enthusiastic group!

The rest of the candidate statements are available here.