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Negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement with Bryant/Central Community Now, Not Next Year!

This petition had 1,019 supporters

The Seward Co-op is expanding to the Bryant and Central neighborhoods of South Minneapolis on October 6, 2015 with the opening of the Friendship Store.

The residents of Bryant and Central neighborhoods have participated in a community engagement process over the past two years to identify ways to avoid the negative impact of gentrification that could come from this expansion. Unfortunately, Seward Co-op has rejected the neighborhoods’ proposed community benefits agreement and said it is unwilling to negotiate until next spring. Please stand with BNO (Bryant Neighborhood Organization) to tell Seward Co-op: Now is the time, not next year, to negotiate a community benefits agreement (CBA) with Bryant/Central community.

 We are committed to the co-operative movement because:

  • Communities have the power to solve our own issues: Co-ops can help facilitate these positive changes in our neighborhoods.
  • Seward’s mission statement reflects the values of our neighborhood: Seward Co-op’s ends state that "Seward Co-op will sustain a healthy community that has: equitable economic relationships; positive environmental impacts; and inclusive, socially responsible practices."

The Friendship Store has divided the community because:

  • It would be unaffordable to nearly half of the residents. These neighborhoods are home to low-income families facing substantial poverty and high unemployment. We are in need of an affordable supermarket.
  • Seward’s staff would not reflect our community.  Bryant and Central neighborhoods are over 75% people of color. As of November 2014 Seward’s staff was 86% White at the Franklin store. Our community is majority Black and Latino, two groups who are disproportionately impacted by employment discrimination in Minneapolis.
  • Seward refuses to negotiate with the community until spring 2016, long after the new store’s opening. Next year is too late to negotiate a CBA for concerned community members who could be displaced by then, due to rising rents.

Based on its core values, we believe the Seward Co-op has an obligation to make the new store accessible to all of the people living in Bryant/Central. The CBA will give our residents, who have been divided by this development, ownership over the new Seward expansion store.

Tell Seward: Don’t wait, negotiate! #CBANOW!

Please sign our petition, share it extensively with your social networks and get actively involved in our quest for a CBA NOW.



Affordability - Membership/Ownership

  • Provide needs-based ownerships for low-income residents through grants
  • Provide co-op owners with demonstrated financial need with a 20% everyday needs-based discount (instead of the current 10% discount)


  • Set hiring targets of 70% people of color (with an emphasis on African-Americans and Latinos which reflect Bryant/Central) for all levels of employment, from entry level to upper management positions
  • Adhere to $15 minimum wage for all employees
  • Support workers’ right to organize without interference or retaliation

Support for Community Development

  • Support development of more affordable housing initiatives through in-kind donations
  • Commit to using its rezoning votes to combat gentrification and support community driven development in line with BNO and CANDO positions
  • Support growth of businesses in Bryant/Central owned by African-Americans, Latinos, and other community members of color
  • Support equitable local food systems: Commit to sourcing 20% of Seward’s products from local* producers of color within a three year period in order to help reduce the income gap between white farmers and farmers of color (*prioritizing first growers from South Minneapolis, then the Metro Area, and then the 5-state area Seward defines as ‘local’)
  • Support neighborhood producers (and other producers of color) by offering capacity building grants and loans (so that they may scale up to meet Seward’s demand)
  • Support local communities to access land for urban agriculture and community gardening (by providing funding and training)


  • Provide non-English language in-store signage and information (Spanish, Somali, Hmong)
  • Actively recruit, hire, support and retain a diverse workforce of non-native English speakers

CLICK HERE TO READ ENTIRE Community Benefits Agreement Draft:

Thank you in advance,

 Bryant Neighborhood Organization

Today: Bryant Neighborhood Organization is counting on you

Bryant Neighborhood Organization needs your help with “Tell Seward Community Co-Op General Manager Sean Doyle: Don’t wait, negotiate! #cbaNOW!”. Join Bryant Neighborhood Organization and 1,018 supporters today.