Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-op

201 Ethan Allen Ave., Takoma Park MD 20912

301-891-COOP (2667)

Open 8 AM - 10 PM, 7 Days a Week

Takoma Park Letterhead

June 15, 2018

Dear Terry,

Thank you for attending the Co-op’s outreach meeting on June 5, when four Co-op representatives spoke with residents of Essex House about the benefits of Co-op membership, the Co-op’s involvement in the community, and our concerns about the potentially harmful effects of the proposed Junction development on our operations. We appreciate the time you took to attend and listen to the discussion. Thank you also for your follow-up letter, which you recently posted on your blog.

I write now to address three concerns you expressed in your letter. First, the meeting at Essex House was organized and presented by the Co-op, not the community group “Community Vision for Takoma Junction.” That community group appears to be involved in a larger discussion about the entire Junction project; the Co-op is focused on our needs to ensure that we can continue to serve the community and offer employment for our diverse workforce. Our outreach to the community -- through the meeting at Essex House and other meetings we plan to hold in the future -- is purely our initiative and responsibility. And this is indeed a particularly important time to do outreach, to answer our shoppers’ concerns and make sure they understand what is at stake for our business at the Junction.

Second, as I noted above, the focus of our meeting was not intended to be a broader discussion of the Junction development; and in fact, most of our time was spent discussing the benefits of Co-op membership, describing the Co-op’s involvement in the community through charitable activities, and answering questions. One of the topics we discussed, for example, was how the Co-op can continue to support the Lunch and Learn program for Takoma Park children during the summer, which was originated at Essex House. The Co-op has provided food and conversation with the children about healthy food for several years. (See Attachment A for additional TPSS Co-op outreach efforts.)

Finally, we would like to emphasize that we remain strongly committed to the mediation, just as we know the City and NDC are committed. We are hopeful that an open and transparent mediation process will best serve all stakeholders, but we also believe that it is important to continue to communicate with the public about our concerns regarding the potential impacts of the development on our operations, and to seek their support in the Council’s decision-making process.

As you suggest, we would be happy to meet with you to discuss our views and concerns.

Sincerely,

Rachel Hardwick

Attachment A

  1. Our annual outreach events are:

    • National Night Out – An event to promote police-community partnerships and camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer and more caring places to live

    • Real Food for MoCo Kids – At the Real Food Fest we teamed up with TPSS Community Kitchen to sponsor one of their graduates, Diva Fresh. We competed in a children’s lunch menu cook-off with a team of children. We won.

    • Monster Bash – The annual seasonal event that starts in our parking lot with over a hundred attendees in costumes. We provide free face painting.

    • Shephard’s Table Fall Event – We were sponsors by providing food and were a member of their planning committee.

    • Alternative Gift Fair – A Takoma Park holiday tradition where gifts are purchased to pay forward for those in need. We donated a basket of local vendor items and another one with fair trade products from Haiti Projects.

    • Earth Day Festival – This gathering is in our parking lot with various participants joining us to promote a sustainable environment for Takoma Park and the world.


  2. Members and other shoppers contributed to the wellbeing of others through participating in the following programs:

    • The Round-Up program whereby funds were raised for hurricane relief for Texas ($4,139) and Puerto Rico ($960), and for feeding those in daily need through Spring Spring’s Shephard’s Table ($261). The Texas Round-Up was the first one and TPSS contributed $2,000 out of the $4,139.

    • Box Tops-Goodness Gives Back

    • Pay it Forward – Customers purchase products from a list; TPSS takes donated product(s) to Manna's Choice Pantry

    • Poker Chips – TPSS donates $0.05 to charity for every shopping bag a customer brings in

    • Crossroads Farmers Market Re-Useable Bag Drive

    • Future Organic Farmers Fund

Continue reading our most recent letters to the Council
about the proposed Junction development here



TPSS Co-op

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