A New Homemade Food Act

In late February of this year California State Assemblymember Cheryl Brown introduced AB 2593, a bill to legalize the sales of homemade food, including hot meals, within certain limits. The bill would provide a dramatic expansion of California citizens’ ability to legally sell homemade food. Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) was heavily involved in advocating for the California Homemade Food Act of 2012, a.k.a the cottage food law, authored by Assemblymember Mike Gatto. So we wanted to post about this new bill, although SELC is not sponsoring or supporting it at this time.

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SELC Policy Director Interviewed about Grassroots Finance and Farmland Programs

Christina_Oatfield_profile_picture.jpgIn anticipation of the Community Capital Conference coming up in Portland, Oregon, movers and shakers in the local economy and community investing realms are being interviewed about what they are looking forward to discussing and learning.

SELC's Policy Director Christina Oatfield spoke with Hatch Oregon's Hatch the Future podcast about our Grassroots Finance and Farmland programs, our Local Economies Securities Act legislation, the early development of SELC, and her own path to becoming a lawyer without going to law school.

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Party Like It's 990!

By Simon Mont, Legal Intern

On February 11, staff and volunteers of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) gathered to see just how much fun we could have engaging with IRS Form 990—a required filing for nonprofits. Below are 7 things we've learned about the 990, particularly for worker self-directed nonprofits. Read on!

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NEW REPORT RELEASED: How to equitably regulate Airbnb-style short-term rentals

San_Francisco_featured_image_SELC.pngIf you live in a fairly populous city, or you like to travel off the beaten path, you've probably heard of Airbnb-style short-term rentals (STRs). Residential housing that is rented for short periods of time, STRs were once a niche way to travel, but are now available for rent all over the world. 

The evolution of STRs is a success story for the many STR platforms that broker transactions between STR hosts and guests, but for cities and communities dealing with the adverse social and economic impacts of the activity, STRs pose a unique new challenge. 

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Resilient Communities Legal Cafe advises 500th Changemaker!

Our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe has been running since 2013, and last month, we served our 500th client! That means we’ve currently provided legal support for over 500 cooperatives, cottage food businesses, nonprofits, urban farms, social enterprises, and individuals working to build just and resilient economies. 

The People of Color Sustainable Housing Network came to a recent Legal Cafe, and shared their thoughts on the Cafe and their consultation:

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Resilient Economy Lawyers Need Community Too

By Cameron Rhudy, Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) Staff Attorney

 

As a resilient economy lawyer, I focus on my community. I use legal tools to support the local production of food, energy, housing, and jobs in an effort to strengthen the local economy. And I help clients navigate the roadblocks local enterprises face when raising capital from the community. But just as my clients need a community of support to succeed, I as their lawyer also need a community of support - a community of other lawyers.

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Berkeley Votes to Boost Co-op Economy In the Face of Gentrification

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 of Yes! Magazine covers the passing of a co-op resolution in Berkeley, CA which requires the city to create an ordinance that supports worker owned cooperatives. Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) Policy Director, Yassi Eskandari-Qajar, is quoted extensively about how worker cooperatives benefit cities and communities.

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4 Updates from the Seed Sharing Movement

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Cat Johnson of Shareable outlines four new developments in the seed sharing movement, including the introduction of legislation protecting seed sharing in California. 

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Janelle Orsi interviewed on the Laura Flanders Show

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SELC's Executive Director, Janelle Orsi, was interviewed on The Laura Flanders show, which will air on LinkTV Friday, 2/26/16, at 9:00pm in CA. The episode "Pirates, Hackers, and the Sharing Economy." 

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Seed Libraries Featured in The Journal Gazette

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Rosa Salter Rodriguez highlighted seed libraries and our advocacy work on behalf of seed libraries for The Journal Gazette in Indiana.

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Community Development and the Commons

By Chris Tittle, Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) Director of Organizational Resilience

Last August, 200 people from across Oakland, California came together to envision and design a development plan for a small parcel of public land. For months leading up to that day, community members and neighborhood coalitions had been organizing against a controversial - and possibly illegal - plan to develop a luxury high-rise apartment complex on land owned by the City of Oakland, in a neighborhood where 75% of residents are low or very-low income and 75% are renters. Having succeeded in pressuring the City to back out of the initially proposed deal with UrbanCore Development through creative direct action and sophisticated community organizing, organizers with the E12th St Coalition wanted to create a visionary community-driven alternative - and the E12th WishList People’s Planning Forum was convened. On a sunny Sunday afternoon near Oakland’s Lake Merritt, hundreds of people shared their visions for what could be done with this public land - and not a single person envisioned a market-rate housing complex on that site.

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Berkeley Worker Cooperative Resolution Passes!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Berkeley Passes Resolution Supporting

Worker Cooperatives

 

BERKELEY, CA (February 9, 2016) — On Tuesday, the City of Berkeley made a bold proclamation in support of democratic and equitable workplaces, passing City Councilmember Jesse Arreguín’s “Resolution Supporting the Development and Growth of Worker Cooperatives.

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Berkeley worker co-op resolution could usher in equitable economic development

Berkeley_City_Council.jpgBy An-Li Herring --
Berkeley has the potential to become the first city in the nation to adopt an ordinance giving worker-owned businesses preference in city contracting and procurement.

On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Berkeley City Councilmember Jesse Arreguín (District 4) will introduce a resolution to draft the ordinance, which could also provide tax incentives and educational resources to worker cooperatives.

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Democratizing Seeds, Soil, and Sun: Our Year in Review & What's Next

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) got a lot done this year, and we couldn't have done it without supporters like you

Below is our 
2015 Annual Report to give you some highlights of the many ways we've helped create more just and resilient local economies across the country. (Click the image below to see a full-sized PDF with links!)

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SEC Finally Sets Rules for Investment Crowdfunding - A Perspective from the Sustainable Economies Law Center

As you may recall, there was much excitement in 2012 after President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law. This excitement was around Title III, also known as the Crowdfunding Title, which created certain exemptions from the requirement to obtain a permit from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before starting an investment crowdfunding campaign. No entrepreneur has been able to make use of the law, however, because we have been waiting for the SEC to promulgate rules, as required by the law passed by Congress. The SEC fell behind schedule and took until last Friday, October 30, 2015, to finalize the rules it was required to make per the JOBS Act. The rules are set to go into effect on January 29, 2016.1

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