Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library

Founded in 1974 by a group of parents who saw the need for an organization that could lend out toys, educate the community about the importance of play, and provide a place for children and their caregivers to play together, the Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library is an all-volunteer cooperative play place and toy library focused on children aged 6 and younger.  The cooperative currently has over 150 member families and 400 toys.

Farmers' Market Cooperative of East Liberty

Established in 1941, Farmers' Market Cooperative of East Liberty is the oldest continuously operating market in western Pennsylvania.  Owned by the participating farmers, the Cooperative is a permanent indoor market, the only year-round market in the city, and one of the only sources of local, fresh meat and produce in winter months.

Energy Democracy: Namasté Solar, a profile in cooperative ownership

Jarrid Green
Center for Social Inclusion

Our Research Associate Jarrid Green authored this report, highlighting the successes of Namasté Solar in democratizing energy in Colorado:

Energy Democracy: Co-op Power, a profile in cooperative ownership

Jarrid Green
Center for Social Inclusion

Our Research Associate Jarrid Green explores how a consumer-owned cooperative approach can support multiple strategies to build energy democracy in this report.

U1 Credit Union

Founded in 1937, U1 Credit Union aims to create personal, community, and financial wellbeing.  As of 2015, it had over 50,000 members, nearly 100 employees, and over $391 million in total assets.  Based in Dayton, U1 also has 10 other branches across the region.

Fifth Street Brewpub

Fifth Street Brewpub is a member-owned brewery serving a wide range of beers as well as pub food made from fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients.  Incorporated in 2012 with 850 charter members, the co-op now has over 2,700 member-owners.  The co-op’s future plans include assisting with community development projects in its surrounding neighborhoods.

Can Worker-Owned Cooperatives Compete?

Sheilah Kast and Andrea Appleton
WYPR Baltimore

John Duda, Communications Director for the Democracy Collaborative and co-founder of Red Emma’s, a worker-owned coffee shop in Baltimore, joins Sheilah Kast and Andrea Appleton of Baltimore's WYPR Radio to discuss worker ownership in today's economy.

Workers to Owners 1-Day Seminar

April 11th, 2016
Hilton Minneapolis - 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

On April 11, our Executive Vice President & Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly will speak at this one day event hosted by Workers to Owners "to move the needle forward on an exciting trend in sustainable economic development: converting existing businesses to worker ownership." Read more about Workers to Owners 1-Day Seminar...

Intervale Community Farm (ICF)

Founded in 1990 to provide the greater Burlington community with affordable, high-quality, organic produce, the Intervale Community Farm (ICF) is a member-owned, CSA farm that serves around 500 member households.  In contrast to typical CSA farms, ICF is owned by interested CSA members through a consumer cooperative, and its farmers are hired workers.  While the farm now produces 9 months out of the year, it is in the process of repurposing a former compost site to extend its operations across all four seasons.  Its expansion will include a new greenhouse complex, expanded pick-your-own fields, and new storage and distribution facilities that can support a 12-month CSA share option.

City Market, Onion River Co-op

Burlington’s only downtown grocery store, City Market, Onion River Co-op is a 16,000 square-foot food cooperative that provides affordable conventional, organic, and local products.  Established as a buying club in 1973, the co-op currently has over 11,000 members and more than 4,000 customers a day.  Committed to the environment, City Market has a solar-paneled roof and runs numerous initiatives to help reduce its carbon footprint, including offering a 5 percent discount to bicyclists.

Impact to Last: Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Enterprise

Ben Thornley, Jacquelyn Anderson and Lauren Dixon

In these eight case studies, REDF (a California-based nonprofit, has led the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work) highlights the work of social enterprise leaders around the country. By surveying groups such as the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, REDF showcases the principal drivers of achieving scale and success, and paving the way towards a more inclusive economy.

“Coopify”: a new platform bringing broad-based ownership to your smartphone

Although worker cooperatives are gaining traction in many cities nationwide, one challenge they face as a movement is their ability to operate on large scales. Some argue that cooperatives can’t extend their benefits to larger audiences because of their focus on democratic participation and involvement of all individuals in proceedings of the organization. In other words, the famous cooperative tagline of “one worker, one vote” might seem to be a barrier to cooperative expansion. Read more about “Coopify”: a new platform bringing broad-based ownership to your smartphone...

Broad-Based Ownership Models as Tools for Job Creation and Community Development

Marjorie Kelly, Steve Dubb and Violeta Duncan

As cities wrestle with the growing challenge of wealth inequality, more and more leaders are looking to broad-based ownership models as tools to create jobs and build community wealth. These models are highly effective, with a positive impact for low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. This report looks at six such models—ESOPs, Worker Cooperatives, CDFIs, Social Enterprises, Municipal Ownership, and Emerging Hybrids—with examples of best practices, and explores how these models can be used in community economic development.

KOOP

KOOP is a member owned and operated community radio station that strives to feature programs that focus on local issues or meet the needs of communities underserved by mainstream media.  All members can apply to produce a radio program and KOOP provides the training and facilities needed to help members interested in doing so.  KOOP currently has more than 60 unique, locally-produced programs that air each week.

A St. Louis organization goes above and beyond providing homes for communities

An interview with Chris Krehmeyer, President and CEO of St. Louis' Beyond Housing

The killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Fergsuon, Missouri, and the subsequent wave of protests illuminated for a national public the deep racial inequities in greater St. Louis. We sat down with Chris Krehmeyer, head of Beyond Housing, a local community development corporation founded in 1975, to learn about how they've been building a comprehensive approach blending affordable housing, community land trusts, public health, and business development aimed at changing the systems that perperuate disinvestment in African-American communities in the St. Read more about A St. Louis organization goes above and beyond providing homes for communities...

How Economic Development Can Build 'Community Wealth'

Anne Field
Forbes

Journalist Anne Field unpacts the Democracy Collaborative publication Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth, highlighting the eleven case studies from the original report.