Cooperatives (Co-ops)

What a Society Designed for Well-Being Looks Like

Tabita Green
Yes! Magazine

Tabita Green writes, for Yes! Magazine, "What a Society Designed for Well-Being Looks Like."  Green highlights the dozens of strategize to democratize wealth on the Community Wealth website: 

The worker cooperative is one of several ways to democratize wealth and create economic justice. The Democracy Collaborative lists dozens of strategies and models to bring wealth back to the people on the website The list includes municipal enterprise, community land trusts, reclaiming the commons, impact investing, and local food systems. All these pieces of the new economy puzzle play a role in contributing to economic justice, which is inextricably intertwined with mental and emotional well-being."

Read more at Yes! Magazine

Alternatives Federal Credit Union

Aiming to build wealth and create economic opportunity for underserved people and communities, Alternatives Federal Credit Union serves as a credit union and a nonprofit community development organization, providing traditional deposit and loan services as well as financial education, small business supports, incentivized savings programs, and free tax preparation for low-income people.  To promote youth savings, Alternatives operates 11 school-based, youth-focused branches and runs a College Savers Club, through which low-income students can open a 10 percent APR college savings account.  To help low-income members build assets, Alternatives’ IDA program provides a 2:1 match to participants for savings directed towards homeownership, post-secondary education, or business development.  Also committed to its employees, Alternatives pays all employees a living wage and is the only financial institution certified as a Living Wage Employer by the Tompkins County Workers’ Center.

CFCU Community Credit Union

Established in 1953 to serve Cornell University employees, CFCU Community Credit Union has grown into one of the largest credit unions in New York state with over $900 million in assets, 10 locations, and more than 60,000 members in Tompkins, Cortland, Cayuga, Ontario, and Seneca Counties.  Committed to the community, the credit union supports 100 area nonprofits and provided $40,000 in scholarships and awards to local high school graduates in 2017.

Ithaca Farmers Market

Started in 1973, the Ithaca Farmers Market is a year-round, owner-operated cooperative market focused on nurturing connections between producers and consumers, and promoting and strengthening local agriculture.  The Market currently has over 160 members selling a range of farm products, crafts, and prepared food, all produced within a 30-mile radius of the Market.  Committed to sustainability, the Market encourages shoppers to use their own bags, has given away hundreds of its own reusable totes, and requires vendors use fully compostable BioBags.  To help support youth entrepreneurship, the Market hosts monthly Youth Vending Nights in the summer.