Hosted by: Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange, The Summit Foundation, and The Democracy Collaborative
Creating climate resilient cities means more than investing in infrastructure—it means tackling economic and racial inequality that leaves disinvested communities on the frontlines of climate damage. Watch as a panel of practitioners explores how building green stormwater infrastructure (harnessing nature's innate ability to manage runoff) can be a key intervention point for also building community wealth, creating a vibrant economic system where democratic ownership and control creates more equitable outcomes.
Amongst developed nations, the U.S. is a leader in unequal income distribution. But according to a recent Century Foundation report on the role of worker-ownership models, this is a trend that can be changed. The author examines how a cohesive national regulatory framework, national tax incentives, a U.S. employee ownership bank, and increased support for employee-ownership technical assistance centers can bolster U.S. worker-buyout policy. In aligning regulatory, technical, and financial support for worker-cooperatives, the United States can bring scale to this key economic equalizer.
Exciting news from Jacksonville, Florida, New York City, Austin, Texas and Richmond, Virginia
The past few weeks have seen a flurry of impressive activity at the level of city government, all around policies designed to build community wealth and encourage the growth of cooperative local economies. It's encouraging to see that the work of grassroots developers, local foundations, community activists, and field builders (like ourselves here at the Democracy Collaborative) is beginning to gain a foothold in the world of municipal policy. Read more about City governments building community wealth and cooperative local economies ...
Jackson Rising conference brings together social justice and cooperative activists
While the words “co-op” and “civil rights” do not commonly appear in the same sentence, with more than 300 cooperative and social justice activists gathered in Jackson, Mississippi, last weekend, the question was hard to avoid.
Berkeley and the greater Bay Area demonstrate growing support for worker cooperatives.
A report by the Democracy Collaborative, a national organization promoting worker cooperatives, cites studies finding that worker-owned businesses had higher productivity and efficiency and lower worker turnover than conventional businesses, and were only one-third as likely to fail.
As more cooperatives crop up post-Great Recession, people are beginning to understand their viability and promise. Instead of allowing small local businesses to close their doors upon retirement of owners, organizations such as Evergreen Cooperatives are working to help these businesses convert to cooperatives.
As small-business owners retire, their employees may lose their jobs. New legislation, though, encourages that retiring small-business owners sell to their employees in the form of ESOPs or cooperatives. As Marjorie Kelly, Executive Vice-President and Senior Fellow at the Democracy Collaborative points out, many business owners would prefer to ensure that their employees remain secure.
The Fund for Employee Ownership, funded by the Democracy Collaborative, is jumpstarting employee ownership for employees of the Evergreen Cooperative.
Typically it can take many months, even a year or more, to train employees before they’re prepared to purchase a business from its existing owner. The Fund offers to buy-out owners when they’re ready to sell or retire, and then get to the hard work of converting to employee ownership.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to accelerate that process of developing more employee-owners,” Rose says.
The Evergreen Cooperative in Cleveland, OH is featured as an example of the benefits of employee ownership. The Democracy Collaborative's Jessica Bonanno Rose, also a strategy advisor for Evergreen Cooperative, discusses what the goals of the Cooperative are.
Marjorie Kelly is interviewed about the Fifty by Fifty Network, with the goal of reaching 50 million employee-owners by 2050. The aim of this Network is to expand democracy into the workplace in a way that will transform the economy.