Mary Beth Hertz

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?
I am a Technology Teacher at a K-6 elementary school in North Philadelphia. I have lived in South Philadelphia since 2002. I moved here directly after completing my studies at Oberlin College where I was very involved in the Oberlin Student Co-operative Association. After my experiences as a member of OSCA I was hooked on the co-op experience. When I heard about a co-op opening in South Philadelphia I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. I have been part of the Steering Committee since its inception in Spring 2010 and was elected as the Secretary. Along with taking minutes for our meetings, I also helped draft our vision and mission, helped plan our Spring Community Forum, volunteered at events, helped draft our bylaws, attended the MAFCA conference with other co-op committee members and co-wrote the member handbook.

2. Why do you value Cooperatives?
I value cooperatives because they foster community. Specifically, a food co-op can become the hub of a neighborhood. Co-operatives meet the needs and desires of the community they serve and they keep money and services in the community.

3. What is your definition of a Cooperative?
I define a co-operative as an organization that is member owned and operated and that follows the Rochdale Co-operative Principles in how it operates and works with other co-ops.

4. What is your vision of growth for a South Philly Food Cooperative?
I see the co-op starting small enough to build a solid foundation as a business but with enough space to accommodate a growing membership. I see the co-op becoming a gathering place for neighbors and people who value sustainability and quality food. I also see the co-op working with the community through workshops, classes and other outreach opportunities. I envision the membership growing as non-members are drawn into the store by the quality and diversity of products, experience the sense of community there and become members themselves.

The rest of the candidate statements are available here.