Cooperatives (Co-ops)

City Halls Help Plant Seeds for Community Co-ops

What do Austin, New York City and Denver have in common? All three cities voted to support the development of cooperatives for the first time this year.

Crossposted from Rooflines, The Shelterforce blog.

What do Austin, New York City and Denver have in common? All three cities voted to support the development of cooperatives for the first time this year. The amounts are modest, but the trend is clear—mayors and economic development leaders are beginning to add cooperatives and community wealth building to the economic development toolbox. Read more about City Halls Help Plant Seeds for Community Co-ops...

People’s Books Cooperative

When the owner of a local bookstore announced his retirement in 2007, dedicated customers, fearing the loss of a community institution, banded together to transform the store into a community-owned and cooperatively-run company, People’s Books Cooperative. Today, the co-op has hundreds of members and volunteers, and carries over 18,000 books. Read more about People’s Books Cooperative...

Riverwest Investment Cooperative

Founded in 2003 by several Riverwest residents hoping to create an investment vehicle through which people could participate in the development of their community, the Riverwest Investment Cooperative was the first cooperative of its kind in the nation. Read more about Riverwest Investment Cooperative...

Riverwest Co-op

Founded in 2001 with a mission to provide “food for people, not for profits,” Riverwest Co-op is a natural food store featuring nutritious, affordable food and organic, local and fair-trade products. In 2004, it added a café that sells vegetarian and vegan fare made with the co-op’s local, organic ingredients. Today, the Co-op has expanded to include over 3,000 members and over a hundred active volunteers. Read more about Riverwest Co-op...

Riverwest Public House Cooperative

Situated in Milwaukee’s Riverwest Neighborhood, the Riverwest Public House Cooperative is Wisconsin’s only co-op bar. Its mission is three-fold: to provide a welcoming social meeting place; to offer patrons a variety of affordable local, organic drinks; and to raise funds to propagate other cooperatives. The Cooperative has four decision-making bodies, including membership (patrons and neighbors), a Board of Directors, a Workers Collective (paid staff and volunteers), and Standing Committees, which each rely on a Consensus decision-making process. Read more about Riverwest Public House Cooperative...

Riverwest Cooperative Alliance

The Riverwest Cooperative Alliance is an alliance of cooperatives dedicated to fostering an equitable and democratic economy in Milwaukee’s Riverwest Neighborhood. Aiming to propagate and promote co-ops and cooperative values, the Alliance offers professional and consulting services and a range of classes, workshops, and networking opportunities. Read more about Riverwest Cooperative Alliance...

Outpost Natural Foods

Established in the early 1970s by a group of Milwaukee residents looking for a way to purchase wholesome food, Outpost Natural Foods is a natural foods cooperative that strives to sell organic, local, fair-trade certified, and GMO-free products. Outpost has grown to be the fourth largest natural foods cooperative by sales in the country, with 4 stores and 2 cafes, nearly 500 workers, and over 20,000 member owners. Committed to sustainability and the community, Outpost supports numerous charitable causes and aims to ensure its operations meet the needs of future generations. Read more about Outpost Natural Foods...

Dill Pickle Coop

Dill Pickle Food Co-op offers healthy food choices and the benefits of cooperative practice to build a vibrant local community and more sustainable world—meeting community needs and strengthen area diversity through products, services, and education. 

The Dill Pickle is an Illinois for-profit co-operative corporation incorporated under Illinois Cooperative Law. Dill Pickle is owned and governed by its member-owners who annually elect a nine-member board of directors to oversee activity and set policy. Read more about Dill Pickle Coop...

Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movement

Marissa Mommaerts , Ken White and Ben Roberts
Post Carbon Institute

The Post Carbon Institute and Collective Conversations interviewed 18 leaders, including Democracy Collaborative Communications Coordinator John Duda, for a new report on the possibilities for a new, more equitable and democratized economy. Building off of conversations from the Community Resilience and New Economy Network, the collected interviews help to connect different social movements and present creative solutions and alternatives to our current extractive economy. Full transcripts of each interview are also available online.

Sustainable Communities: Creating a Durable Economy

Bruce Seifer
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Communities & Banking Journal

In the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Communities & Banking Journal, localist Bruce Seifer presents an excerpt from his new book that describes the shift in Burlington, Vermont's economic development strategy from one that seeks corporate subsidies to one based on building local entrepreneurship. Seifer gives an overview of the city's long-term economic vision and describes the city's efforts to convert business into employee-owned companies and to provide technical assistance to locally owned firms.

Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP)

Founded in 1980, Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP) is a nonprofit that provides resources and support to cooperative and ecological neighborhoods, eco-villages, and intentional communities.  In 1993, it created the Los Angeles Eco-Village (LAEV), an intentional community with about 40 residents committed to living more ecologically and cooperatively.  Today, it continues to support LAEV, in part through its Ecological Revolving Loan Fund, which helps finance the acquisition and ecological retrofitting of property within the LAEV and provides loans to small, green, cooperatively-oriented businesses started by LAEV members or those affiliated with other CRSP initiatives.

When Workers Own Their Companies, Everyone Wins

Sean McElwee

This New Republic article explores how cooperatives can support a green and democratic economy.

Building the Case for Racial Equity in the Food System

Anthony Giancatarino and Simran Noor
The Center for Social Inclusion

This report from The Center for Social Inclusion examines the effects of housing, school, land, and wage policies on access to healthy food in communities of color. It offers recommendations to surmount these challenges, such as investing in cooperatively owned food enterprises and leveraging dollars from the Affordable Care Act’s community benefit requirements for nonprofit hospitals. The report also includes several reference guides to help community groups identify and confront the particular institutions, policies, and practices that promote structural racial inequity in their food systems. 

Community Wealth Building Conference

September 27th, 2014
Aurora, Colorado

Breakout session topics fall under the following themes:   Read more about Community Wealth Building Conference...

Worker Co-ops Gain Foothold in Cuba

Delegation of cooperative leaders become acquainted with Cuba's new non-agricultural co-ops

At the end of 2012, the Cuban government approved a law that permitted for the first time the formation of non-agricultural co-ops. Read more about Worker Co-ops Gain Foothold in Cuba...

MoBo Bicycle Cooperative

Founded in 2007, the MoBo Bicycle Cooperative is a nonprofit, volunteer-run cooperative dedicated to making cycling accessible and practical to everyone in the greater Cincinnati area. The co-op provides a central place for people to come to rescue bicycles and learn how to fix and maintain them. Members have access to the shop, tools, cleaners, and the knowledge of volunteer mechanics and can “adopt” donated bicycles, parts, and accessories at very modest prices. The co-op also advocates around bicycling, and organizes rides and other social events. Read more about MoBo Bicycle Cooperative...