Your co-op, October 2003

This article was originally published in October 2003

Semi-annual meeting

Sunday, October 12
Scottish Rite Masonic Center
1155 Broadway East, Seattle
2 to 4 p.m.

This meeting is a regularly scheduled event each year designed to get feedback from members on the direction of the co-op. This year’s semi-annual meeting will be at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 1155 Broadway East, Seattle from 2 to 4 p.m. Parking is free and the Center is served by Metro Transit route #7. Refreshments will be provided!

Special election

Voting on proposed PCC Bylaws amendments will continue through Sunday, October 12 at the semi-annual meeting. The specifics of the Bylaws proposal are available at all stores and on our Web site. All currently active members are urged to review the proposal and cast their votes.

Results of the election will be posted in all stores and online by October 15, and in the November Sound Consumer.

Talk to the board

PCC board members will visit and be available to talk with members at the following locations and dates:

  • Tuesday, November 18 • PCC View Ridge, 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 9 • PCC Seward Park, 5 to 7 p.m.

Next board meeting

The September 30 board meeting falls after this Sound Consumer’s publication date. Therefore, the September board meeting report will appear in the November issue. The next board meeting is Tuesday, November 25 at 5 p.m. at the PCC offices at 4201 Roosevelt Way N.E., Seattle. As usual, there is time allowed for member comments at 7 p.m.

Sustainability report: Solutions for the future

As circumstances warrant, PCC sends letters to legislators or other decision-makers to make our voice heard on matters involving our food systems and agriculture. Following are some of the issues we’ve recently taken a position on.
— Tracy Wolpert, CEO and Randy Lee, CFO

1. Endorsed “The Preservation of Antibiotics for Human Treatment Act” — a bill to phase out routine, non-therapeutic feeding of medically important antibiotics to livestock in two years.

Rationale: An estimated 70 percent of antibiotics produced in this country are fed to animals for non-therapeutic purposes, to promote slightly faster growth and to prevent diseases that would otherwise result from raising animals under stressful, crowded and unsanitary conditions. Experience in Europe and with some U.S. producers demonstrates that it is possible to produce safe, affordable meat without overuse of antibiotics.

2. Sent letters to all members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development opposing deep cuts in the Value-Added Producer Grants Program (VAPG) and the Conservation Security Program (CSP). These cuts would take effect in the House fiscal year 2004 agriculture appropriations.

Rationale: Although it’s a new program, the VAPG has helped farmers and ranchers develop new markets, products and cooperatives, and returned a greater share of the food dollar to farmers and their communities. In Washington State, it provided critical support for a dairy cooperative to compete against foreign imports of milk protein concentrate. It expanded the market for Omega-3 eggs and for renewable energy projects involving wind turbines, grain and grass straw.

While the projects have merit on their own, collectively they also contribute to our national security. Strong regional producer cooperatives make the United States less vulnerable to outside forces that can affect food supplies and energy sources alike.

The CSP has provided financial assistance to farmers who are trying to solve resource and environmental problems affecting soil, water, air and wildlife by adopting sustainable practices. The CSP serves all regions of the country and all types of crop and livestock agriculture. In strengthening agricultural sustainability, CSP also enhances our food security.

Severe cuts to these programs may address a short-term funding problem. In the long-term, however, they’ll increase pressures on rural areas and hurt the ability of farmers to create new opportunities that allow them to remain in business. We urged the Senate to maintain funding for the Value-Added Producer Grants program at $40 million for fiscal year 2004.

3. Sent thank you letter to U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee for co-sponsoring the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, H.R. 2916.

PCC at Town Hall forum

PCC member Frank Jones called to let us know that the August Sound Consumer cover story “Water, a clearer perspective” will be used at the United Nations Activity Day here in Seattle. Frank is a volunteer with the U.N. Association’s local chapter; there are 150 chapters across the country. They hold forums at Town Hall and publish a newsletter. The topic for this year’s U.N. Activity Day is water. Frank will distribute and use the Sound Consumer as an educational tool. This year’s chapter will host a speaker from UNICEF, based in New York. That speech will be about … you guessed it … water.

Public involvement and education (PIE) fund

Have an innovative idea for a project that encourages people to take actions in their daily lives to protect and restore Puget Sound? Submit a proposal for funding!

The Public Involvement and Education Fund (PIE) supports projects that protect and improve Puget Sound’s water quality and marine resources. Up to $45,000 per project may be requested.

Any Washington state resident, business, organization, watershed or salmon restoration group, tribal or local government, school or educator may apply. Proposals are due October 13, 2003. Projects begin January 2004 and must be complete by May 15, 2005.

Download the Request for Proposal or find out more information about the PIE Fund at the Puget Sound Action Team’s Web site or call 800-54-SOUND to request a printed copy.

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