Cecil’s journey to Our Table began when he went to leadership training for the community-organizing group Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good. “During the training, I was asked what my legacy would be. This really affected me, as I realized that my legacy was my grandson. So most of my civic activity is to affect what the future will be like for my grandson.”
Cecil heard about Our Table from the consultant who had helped with the greenhouse idea, and subsequently visited the farm. He explained, “I realized that it was difficult to do things at a distance and have a significant impact on national policy. The real opportunity was local. I became the first Consumer Member of the Co-op. Later, I became an investor, more to support the innovative enterprise than for financial gain.”
“Our Table fits so well with me because the farm is committed to changing the culture around food. To beat environmental problems there have to be cultural shifts. Before I got involved with Our Table, I didn't know that soil is the best way to sequester carbon. Monoculture with heavy pesticide use kills the soil and adds to the climate issues. Our Table is building up the quality of the soil with the secondary benefit of quality organic food. I enjoy the food too — it is the icing on the cake! The farm is far-sighted in covering many important issues around the future, including food, climate, and how workers are treated.”
At Our Table, workers can become member/owners in the co-op as opposed to workers with bosses to direct them. Also, there is the added dimension of a commitment to Dynamic Governance, which is practiced by all worker members. Cecil feels that this inclusive and participative form of governance is superior to the typical top-down management, or even a democratic form where just slightly more than half can tell everyone else what to do. This makes Our Table very special in Cecil's eyes.
Cecil is retired and actively participates in many volunteer activities including the Sustainability Advisory Group for West Linn, outreach with his church, Eco Faith Recovery, support of the West Linn Food Pantry, and local and regional community organizing projects. He has done some painting, written a murder mystery, and enjoys designing and printing items such as toys and wind chimes with his 3D printer.