The Epic Live-Tweeting Of Last Night's Park Slope Coop Meeting

Last night Park Slope Food Coop held its monthly members meeting. At 7:26 p.m., senior Reuters Opinion editor Chadwick Matlin began live-tweeting the proceedings; two hours and 14 minutes later, “meeting is adjourned.” It’s difficult to pick a favorite here but “In europe I have been using the biodegradable, and they degrade so fast by the time you’re at checkout you don’t know where the bag is,” “‘but my collards won’t fit!’ — one of the actresses in the silent film PSA,” and “”My name is Robert Dow. No relation to Dow Chemical.” have to be contenders.

I wasn’t going to, but it’s too good not to tweet. The park slope food coop meeting has begun.
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Despite not being on the agenda until next month, was canvassed with Israel food boycott materials before even entering meeting.
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The room is tense with passive aggression. Israeli food referendum dominates. Free Oreos given out, but not free hummus.
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7:31 pm: First mention of “fascist food.”
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Man gets up, says coop should ban Israeli food only if it bans american food because of native American occupation. He’s wearing yarmulke.
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Coop spending $4,000 to rent high school for Israeli vote. And ppl say Israeli boycott would be bad for economy.
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Coordinator reports that since inception, coop has sold more than 400 mil in goods.
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Food coordinator admits that even though clemntines are coming from Morocco, they’re really delicious.
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Goes on to say “everything is coconut these days.” in related news, she went birding in Sri Lanka and had some great coconut water there.
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Discussion about whether coop should post directions to next months meeting. Woman: “there’s a huge antennae in the sky, just look for that”
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Member! These are my people. I am them. They are me. RT @irincarmon: @ChadwickMatlin are you a member or are you just lurking?
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Have now moved on to tonight’s business: whether to eliminate plastic produce bags at coop. No vote tonight. Just discussion.
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moorehn Heidi N. Moore
in reply to @moorehn

@moorehn technically no hummus vote tonight. That’s next month. Whether to eliminate plastic bags is tonight.
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Plastic produce bag rollout would take 3 months. Follow in footsteps of plastic shopping bag ban already in place.
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irincarmon Irin Carmon
marcatracy marc tracy
in reply to @marcatracy

@marcatracy no Israel stuff tonight! No vote at least. Not on agenda til next month.
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Slide: “plastic bags + fracking?”
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Coop plastic produce bag stats: 383 bags used per hour. $22k per year spent on providing bags.
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Proponent saying one reason to ban plastic bags because they go into trash that goes through low income community in South Bronx.
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Proponent says one option to replace plastic bags is that members can make their own cloth replacements.
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Anti plastic bag PSA being played. Called “The Shopper”. Spoof of “The Artist”
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“but my collards won’t fit!” — one of the actresses in the silent film PSA.
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Point of order for non members out there: every speaking member must introduce selves and what shift they work. Receiving, Shopping, etc.
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Also, coop newspaper is called “linewaiter’s gazette”
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Lengthy speech abt cost of cloth bags compred to plastic bags on scale. Half cent on a scale, not factoring in cost of water to clean them.
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Board member tried to cut speech off. “it’s going somewhere!” man protests.
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“The true objective here is to get international media attention for booting out roll bags.” Success!
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Woman next to me has finished her squeeze pack of Almond Milk/Butter/Thingie.
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Woman proposing that coop could have muslin (sp?) bag donation drive.
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Actually, every speaker so far RT @ChadwickMatlin: Board member tried to cut speech off. “it’s going somewhere!” man protests.
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Counterpoint! “Bio bags have their own sustainability issues. A lot of them are made from corn.” Proposes group bag share w mutual cleaning.
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“Most ppl have a bag of bags. I used to have a bag of bags that took up half the closet.”
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“I do checkout, you know, so that’s why I’m speaking. I’m right on the firing line, you know?”
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Potential corruption scandal: Woman on checkout committee proposes taring scale purposefully high to account for bag weight.
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ChadwickMatlin Chadwick Matlin
jgperras Justin Perras
in reply to @jgperras

@jgperras I am a sworn journalist. Ethics apply! All true.
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“I’ve been a member for 37 years, and I’ve never taken a plastic bag from the coop. I use bags until they disintegrate in my house.”
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Man comes up to speak and say that he heard on the news that somebody may have discovered a plastic-eating bacteria.
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“My name is Robert Dow. No relation to Dow Chemical.”
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“corn production contributes to dead zone on ocean, so that’s one thing to consider if we use corn bags”
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Clarification! Woman says this isn’t a ban on plastic bags. Just plastic bags the coop provides for free. We are all free to use our own.
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But she wants us to know that “plastic doesn’t really have a role to play in frugal living”
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“In europe I have been using the biodegradable, and they degrade do fast by the time you’re at checkout you don’t know where the bag is”
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“poop and pee and trash juice”
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Bag washing instructions: “you dump them in water with white vinegar. A week later it’s still smiling!”
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European woman on a role. Woman gets out camera, points it at her. “No picture. My face belongs to me, sweetheart.
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“I understand the applause. But please, no applause”–board member in response to our response to the European messiah.
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“the responsible thing for the coop to do is to remove the temptation”
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Advice from somebody for no bag advocates: “come armed with a flier…or a reusable flier”
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Man raises hand (and bag) to speak on issue. Wonder what he thinks. http://t.co/OrNOEWKO
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Opposition beginning to organize. Arguing ban would punish ppl doing right thing. “you’re not ordering takeout. You’re going home to cook!”
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Opposition beginning to organize. Arguing ban would punish ppl doing right thing. “you’re not ordering takeout. You’re going home to cook!”
Feb 29 via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

@kimseverson tonight your former compatriots are out in force, the linchpins for the plastic bag ban. On the self-described “firing line”
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Suggestion that the plastic bag PSA be played on endless loop on monitors at checkout line, TSA security check-style.
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Clear sentiment emerging to pass the ban. But it’ll have to wait until enviro committee hones proposal, brings back another month for vote.
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“If we were to frame this issue as ‘we’re giving away toxic sludge in the produce aisle’ there really would be no discussion”
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Nuanced point of civil liberty implications of ban raised (by my roommate.)
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Nuanced point of civil liberty implications of ban raised (by my roommate.)
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“If you go to trader Joe’s, that’s how they do it.” Boos from the crowd. “Terrible!”
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Plastic bag discussion now closed. Moving on now to whether all coop members should be required to shop with carts. (to prevent theft)
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In January, the coop had 14 shoplifters.
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Getting history lesson on coop theft history. At one point in 80s, someone installed in high chair to watch over cashiers. (no longer)
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“We had something called the no food zone.” In a grocery store.
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2 hours after beginning of meeting, sign in book still making the round. Yes, it’s in a composition notebook.
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“150 linear feet of vegetables. Most of which, organic. Just thrills me.”
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“what if we need two personal carts? What if I shop at union market before? Will my shopping be monitored In a corner?”
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“I come from a country where thieves are rewarded for creativity”
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“I come from a country where thieves are rewarded for creativity”
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“My name is Steven FTOP.” Everyone laughs. Inside jokes!
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Mandatory shopping cart usage far more controversial than plastic bag ban. Only at the coop.
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By the end, even the most hearty coop member goes supine. 15 mins left. http://t.co/WAiO885o
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New concerns about racial profiling being raised if we create a culture of “criminalization.”
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Point of order for non members: reason why everyone still here because you have to sign in at beginning AND end of meeting. To prevent abuse
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Board of directors meeting now happening, inside of the general meeting. Escher in the house!
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Final segment of meeting is time for questions about meeting. Man asks question about whthr discussion should be for comments…or questions
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Now, finally, time for ride share announcement.
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“Meeting is adjourned.” See you all next month for the Israel vote. (Or, rather the vote on whether to allow a vote)
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