Co-op principles

 

In summary, these principles dictate that equality, consensus, honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others are central to our business. We value the ideals of democracy and the use of business practices which are economically and socially just. Our aim is to create a healthy and supportive environment for ourselves so that we, in turn, can provide the same environment and the best care possible to our clients and our community.

Voluntary and open membership—Five point is a worker cooperative, which is different from a consumer co-op, so membership is not open to just anyone. We decided on parameters and limitations on our membership, such as only having 5 owners at a time and being a licensed acupuncturist and board certified herbalist in the state of Illinois. Should a member decide to leave the organization, a search for a replacement would be free of social or class discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, age, or disability.

Democratic member control—The members of Five Point were active participants in the writing of our business plan and operating agreement, setting of our policies, and making decisions, big and small. Each member has an equal vote on all issues. When making decisions, consensus voting is our primary objective, but an 80% majority is acceptable if a consensus cannot be reached.

Member economic participation—All members contributed an equal amount of capitol to the start-up and daily operating costs of the Five Point clinic. Profit is distributed equally among members after an adequate amount goes back into maintaining and developing the cooperative.

Autonomy and independence—Five Point is an autonomous organization. Any agreements we enter into with other organizations are only done if our members can maintain democratic control of our business

Education, training, and information—We value educating ourselves and our community about the nature and benefit of cooperatives.

Cooperation among cooperatives—We strive to collaborate with and support other cooperatives on a local and global level.

Concern for community—Five Point values community involvement by offering services that are accessible and affordable to a variety of consumers, supporting local businesses and organizations, and participating in community events.