Marianne Baum


I believe in the power of – and need for – cooperatives. Humanity’s best traits are found in our moments of collective action and interdependence, and in how we confront challenges. Our humanity will be continuously tested for the foreseeable future, and Seward Co-op is positioned to demonstrate for another 50+ years how cooperatives promote sustainable, equitable relations among everyone involved in growing, distributing, and preparing food.

I have shopped at Seward Co-op for 15+ years, earning my membership as an employee (2017-2019). I have a background in community organizing and adult education going back to my first years of undergrad at the U of M, where I participated in anti-war activism and tutored immigrants in English language learning. I have worked in non-profits and canvassed for environmental justice. As Bike Library program coordinator for Cycles for Change, I learned the ins and outs of nonprofit development, was responsible for documenting/logging all data, and authored every newsletter. The Bike Library received federal funding, meaning we had to be extremely meticulous in our budgeting and reporting. These experiences will be invaluable to me if elected to the Board.

While employed at the co-op, I participated in union organizing, attending bargaining sessions and Board meetings. I am thankful that union contracts have addressed many workers’ concerns, and I know that some concerns have yet to be resolved. If elected, my co-op work experience would help inform my decision-making where appropriate.

I thrive in small group settings. Attunement and self-awareness make me an effective communicator. Good communication isn’t only knowing what to say – it’s knowing when to speak, when to listen. I look forward to working collaboratively with every Board member.

As a disabled, queer/trans community member, I view the world through a lens of accessibility not only for folks like myself but for everyone who struggles to navigate spaces not designed for us. I am committed to mutual aid and community care – interdependence. In the words of Mia Mingus, “Interdependence asks us to imagine new ways forward with intention and soulful commitment to each other. We need you. We need all of us.”