Reclaiming the Commons

Reclaiming Democratic Control: The Role of Public Ownership in Resisting Corporate Domination

Thomas M. Hanna
Journal of World-Systems Research

After a brief overview of economic history in the United States, Thomas Hanna asserts how the public ownership model offers a more equal and secure economic future for the country. 

Ithaca Carshare

Ithaca Carshare increases community access to reliable transportation while reducing the negative environmental and economic impacts of car use.  To do so, the nonprofit provides its members with 24/7 self-serve access to fuel-efficient cars, a minivan, and a truck.  In 2017, Carshare had 1,416 members who accessed vehicles that averaged 33 miles per gallon, which is 29 percent above the national average.

Ithaca Freeskool

Aiming to equalize the distribution of knowledge and confidence and build community self-reliance, Ithaca Freeskool is a platform for free classes, discussion groups, skill shares, projects, and events.  In 2017, Ithaca Freeskool offered over 65 community member led classes, including Restaurant Startup Basics, Seed Saving 101, Starting a Triple Bottom Line B Corporation, and Beginner Belly Dancing.


Launched in 2012 from its broadcast studio in Ithaca, WRFI is a community-owned and operated radio station serving Tompkins and Schuyler Counties.  The station aims to cultivate and promote programs that share local and underrepresented perspectives and that reflect six core values:  peace, justice, sustainability, freedom of expression/cultural diversity, integrity, and joy.  As an organization primarily powered by volunteers, the station is also committed to training community members in the craft of radio, and its training has spurred several people into professional radio careers.

It’s Time for a Public Option in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Dana Brown and Thomas Hanna
In These Times

Dana Brown and Thomas Hanna of the Democracy Collaborative write for In These Times on "It’s Time for a Public Option in the Pharmaceutical Industry." In their article, Brown and Hanna highlight TDC work in public ownership and the need for "drugs for the public good:

Trump Is Handing Us the Weapon We Need to Avert Climate Catastrophe

Johanna Bozuwa and Carla Skandier

Democracy Collaborative staff, Johanna Bozuwa and Carla Skandier, write in Truthout about "Trump Is Handing Us the Weapon We Need to Avert Climate Catastrophe." In this article, Bozuwa and Skandier write about the research started about nationalization and climate change: 

Railroad Park

Built on Birmingham’s vacant Railroad Reservation—a large plot of land in the center of Birmingham set aside for the city’s railroads and related industries—Railroad Park is a free, 19-acre city-owned park featuring play areas, an outdoor gym, trails, three skate bowls, and numerous water features.  Although the idea to develop the park was conceived in the 1970s, construction only began in 2007, and the first phase finally opened in 2010.  The $25 million redevelopment project has been credited with restoring civic pride and serving as an economic catalyst for the surrounding area.

Radio Tacoma

Receiving its FCC license in October of 2017, Radio Tacoma is a low-power FM station developed to provide Tacoma residents with the opportunity for participatory democracy.  The station aims to offer a voice for Tacoma’s progressive groups, union members, minority groups, and local talent that might otherwise not be heard.

ForeverGreen Trails

ForeverGreen Trails aims to develop a safe, convenient, non-motorized trail system that connects all of the communities within Pierce County.  To do so, the group promotes coordinated policy, direction, and priorities for trail plan implementation and advocates for financial and technical resources to design and construct trails.  To nurture and celebrate residents’ use and support of area trails, ForeverGreen coordinates an annual Trails Day and has an awards program to recognize both people and organizations that have made significant, tangible contributions to trail development.