New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

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Annual Shareholder Meeting inclusiveness and accessJul 14, 2021

The purpose of this correspondence is to request how to provide an opportunity for all co-op shareholders to be included in the annual meeting.
The problem is many of our shareholders do not have access to technology nor the skills and therefore will not be able to participate in the voting process.
The meeting is virtual and reasonable accommodations have not been made to resolve this situation.
Most importantly, I would like to know if there is any liability for the cooperative not to provide accessibility for its shareholders.
If you have encountered a similar situation please share how it was resolved.

Thank you.

Join the Conversation Comments (2)
Inclusiveness - Pooh Jul 14, 2021

We just had our virtual zoom annual meeting .

So your management company should supply all the shareholders with the zoom info and/or dial in number to participate. They can also slip that info under shareholders doors. If anyone doesn’t have a computer or know how to work Zoom they can just call in and listen.

The Zoom will be recorded and notes/mini will be sent out a few days afterwards.

Also what about having shareholders who know how to work zoom have maybe a few in their apartment if they want to view it too but calling in is good too without viewing.

Regarding voting… have all shareholders send their bios to the management company if they want to run and give a deadline and no one will be nominated the day of. Have all proxies sent to the management company via email or fax or there can be a box in the basement near the super (locked) and your managing agent comes and collects those. So your management company has multiple ways of getting proxies.


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Accessibility Issues in Virtual Annual Meeting - Carl Tait Jul 14, 2021

We accommodated everyone in our annual meeting via Zoom last month in the following way:

(1) Zoom has an option to dial in by phone, which allows both listening and talking during the meeting. This avoids any use of technology beyond a simple telephone, if that's all the shareholder is comfortable with.

(2) We required that all ballots be submitted in advance, no later than 30 minutes before the start of the meeting. To assist people, we put together a Voter Guide with short write-ups by each candidate. The guide and all the meeting materials were sent to all shareholders both by email and by regular mail - again ensuring that even low-tech residents had access to everything.

(3) Ballots could be submitted by email to our managing agent, either scanned or photographed. The managing agent also came by the building one day before the meeting to pick up paper ballots from those who wanted to do it that way.

All of this went over well with the shareholders. Everyone was fully aware of what was going on, and could vote and participate in a convenient manner, regardless of their technical skills.

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