We want to help communities take back land.
Do you want to shape our future?
Board Elections of the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative are coming up in Spring 2018. If you are considering running for the board, please read this packet, which includes a summary of what will be expected of candidates elected as Board members as well as some additional background. If you have decided you would like to be added to the ballot, please return this statement of intent and this completed conflict of interest form to the nominations committee. Read on:
We’re looking for people:
- From all five boroughs who are committed to their neighborhood and our city of New York;
- Who have been organizing to make their neighborhood strong in the face of disinvestment over the years (check out this interactive map to see if your neighborhood is historically redlined);
- Who will act in accordance with the cooperative principles;
- Who adhere to the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others;
- Who are interested in educating our members and the public on the benefits of cooperation and the co-operative movement; and
- Who are committed to working for the sustainable development of the communities of which they are a part!
Sound like you or someone you know? Contact the Nominating Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 316-6092 ext. 5! Get the word out by printing and posting our flyer in your local spots (PDF in color here, black and white here, and Version en Español here). Thanks for all you do!
Are we missing anything? We want to make sure we select candidates that fully reflect our values and needs as a co-operative. At the fall annual meeting, you will have an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates at a Q&A circle. We are also preparing questions that the nominations committee will ask, and would love your input. Please email email@example.com (And don’t worry if you can’t think of anything in time; you will be able to ask the candidates questions at the Q&A circle at the annual meeting in the fall.)
How does this work again? There are three ways to get on the board:
- First, a candidate can be nominated by the Nominating Committee, whose job it is to vet and select candidates.
- Second, any member may nominate another member (including themselves), which they can do simply by emailing the Nominating Committee; we will make sure their name is on the ballot. Please send us your nominations ASAP! We will send out the list of candidates two weeks before the election.
- Third, any member may nominate another member on the day of the election, so long as one other member seconds the nomination.
Why are we doing this? Like many co-ops, we elect representatives from among our members to coordinate and facilitate our activities, and to make sure all that is needed gets done. As we will explain in more detail in the forthcoming Summer Edition of the Newsletter, we are entering a new phase in our development, and to graduate from having a Steering Committee (elected in January 2016) to electing the First Board of Directors!
Why do we need a Board of Directors? As a real estate investment cooperative, our mission is to legally pool our money and resources to help small businesses and community groups purchase commercial real estate property and ensure that these properties remain permanently affordable. We ensure the permanent affordability of these properties by putting the land under them into public stewardship arrangements: we put people, not developers, in charge of land. A lot of coordination is needed to accomplish our mission, and electing a small group of us to take the lead on this time-consuming work helps us accomplish our goals. Think of it as circular accountability: our Board keeps us accountable to our goals, and we keep the Board accountable to the membership!
What is the difference between the Steering Committee and this new Board of Directors? The Steering Committee has a limited mandate. You elected us to establish the basic infrastructure of the cooperative’s business. We have incorporated a not-for-profit corporation to house our decision-making and administrative activities, and we have just about finished the planning and paperwork work necessary to legally pool our money.
The Board of Directors will replace the Steering Committee and will have a broader mandate. It will have general authority to lead the business, administrative and managerial work of the cooperative, including management of the pools of money we raise to invest in New York City. However, the Board does not lead us; it represents us. Important decisions, such as approval of projects, must be decided by the entire membership.
What if I am organizing a project with my neighbors that I want the NYC REIC to invest in? Does that disqualify me from running for the New Board of Directors? No! If you are involved with a project that is currently in discussions with members of the REIC or up for vote by the cooperative, you should disclose that fact to the Nominating Committee who will share your disclosure with the Steering Committee (technically the “Founding Board” for legal purposes). The Steering Committee may ask you some further questions, and will decide if an impermissible conflict of interest exists. Most likely any conflicts of interest can be worked through and won’t prevent you from being a candidate.
Who are we? The NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative (NYCREIC) is a group of over 500 New Yorkers pooling money and power to invest in real estate that preserves, restores and enhances local spaces for cultural, commercial and charitable uses in NYC. Consistent with the principles and spirit of the cooperative movement, we seek long-term, stabilizing and transformative investments for the mutual benefit of our member-investors and our communities. A volunteer nominations committee made up of member-investors has been tasked with organizing this election.