Cooperative Takeover Video

Democracy Please

Recently, SELC hosted Mike Leung of Abolish Human Rentals, to give a talk about how employees of a business with publicly traded securities can convert it to a worker cooperative. Unlike other conversions methods this only requires action on the part of the workers, and does not require the consent of the owners. Watch the video of that discussion below!

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Video: Strategies for Democratizing Urban Land Use

Video recording of a teach-in and community conversation hosted at Sustainable Economies Law Center's Resilient Communities Legal Cafe, July 02, 2014 at LOL Makerspace, including 350 years of American land enclosures in 5 minutes!

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Mandela Food Coop is Hiring!

Mandela Foods Cooperative, a worker-owned, cooperative grocery store in West Oakland, is hiring a cashier/floor clerk. Mandela Food Coop's mission is to build community health and wealth through business ownership, nutrition education, and increased access to affordable, locally grown food. Read more below. 

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The Lawyer's Apprentice in the NY Times

NY_Times_Logo.jpgSELC's efforts to promote legal apprenticeships were written about in the New York Times! 

"When Chris Tittle meets new people and the topic turns to his work, he sometimes fishes in his pockets and produces a business card that reads “Abraham Lincoln.” Below the 16th president’s name in smaller type the card reads, “Just kidding, but I hope to follow in some of his footsteps.”

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GEO Weekly Newsletter 20140722

 Grassroots Economic Organizing Weekly Newsletter

(July 22, 2014)

This week, GEO takes a critical look at our movement.  With the New York City Council's recent awarding of $1.2 million to various co-op developers, and in the context of our ongoing economic malaise, co-ops (and worker co-ops in particular) have been on the receiving end of a lot of cheer-leading...

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Worker Coop Academy Launches Bay Area Pilot Program

shareable-logo_0_0.jpgBy Cat Johnson, Shareable

Worker-owned cooperatives, far from being relics of 1960s counter-culture, are re-emerging as powerful tools for creating a new economy based on equity. But how does one help grow the cooperative movement when the vast majority of jobs are still built on the often undemocratic private ownership model? The Worker Coop Academy aims to answer that question.

Read the full article on Shareable

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Gov. Brown Approves CA Alternative Currencies Act

rsz_1altcurrencyact.jpgOn June 28th, California took a significant step toward further legitimizing the creation and circulation of community currencies and other innovative means of exchange. Signed into law by Gov. Brown, the California Alternative Currencies Act (AB 129) repeals the outdated and vague Section 107 of the California Corporations Code, thus removing a significant legal barrier to the continued growth of the community currencies movement.

Read the chaptered bill here.

 

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Community Currencies Program July Newsletter

CommonBound2014_w-Janelle.jpgSustainable Economies Law Center has been on the money lately! Below is the latest news from our Community Currencies Program, including links to upcoming webinars, our online legal resource library, and information about our recent legislative advocacy!
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Gov. Brown approves CA Alternative Currencies Act

rsz_1altcurrencyact.jpg

On June 28th, California took a significant step toward further legitimizing the creation and circulation of community currencies and other innovative means of exchange. Signed into law by Gov. Brown, the California Alternative Currencies Act (AB 129) repeals the outdated and vague Section 107 of the California Corporations Code, thus removing a significant legal barrier to the continued growth of the community currencies movement.

Read the chaptered bill here.

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California legislature considers bill that would make farm employers jointly responsible for farm worker conditions

Assemblymember Roger Hernández has proposed legislation (AB 1897) that would make farm employers who use farm labor contractors (FLCs) jointly responsible with the FLCs to ensure (1) that farmworkers are paid proper wages, (2) that all contributions and deductions are reported, and (3) that the FLC obtains valid workers compensation coverage. If passed, employees working on the premises of a farm operator, regardless of whether they were directly hired or hired through an FLC, would be entitled to recourse from either the FLC or the farm operator for a violation of applicable laws.

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Leveling the Playing Field for Worker Cooperatives

By Abby Scher, Truthout | News Analysis

(Photo: Jay Gorman, Shaking hands via Shutterstock; Edited: EL / TO)"A quiet revolution is rumbling through New York's municipal offices as they retool to support the creation of worker cooperatives as a way to fight poverty.

Spurred by the powerful example of immigrant-owned cleaning cooperatives and the longstanding example of Cooperative Home Care Associates in the Bronx - the largest worker cooperative in the country - progressive city council members are allying with a new network of worker cooperatives, community based organizations that incubated immigrant-owned coops and the influential Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies to figure out how the city can encourage this still-tiny economic sector. Once fully in place, New York City will be a national leader in providing municipal support for these democratic enterprises."

Read the full article on Truthout

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California Complementary Currencies bill approved by lawmakers, goes to Governor Brown's desk


al jazeera logoCalifornia lawmakers on Monday approved a measure making it easier to use alternative currencies [...].

The bill would repeal what backers said was an outdated law prohibiting commerce using anything but U.S. currency.

"This bill is intended to fine-tune current law to address Californians' payment habits in the mobile and digital fields," said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson in a press release.

He cited the popularity of bitcoin, and added that under the current law, even gift cards and reward points from retailers could be considered illegal.

"In an era of evolving payment methods, from Amazon coins to Starbucks Stars, it is impractical to ignore the growing use of cash alternatives," Dickinson said.

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Neighborhood Food Act Update - June 18, 2014

The Neighborhood Food Act is flying through the Senate, passing out of the Transportation and Housing Committee yesterday by a vote of 10-1. Though the opposition continues to push for narrowing the scope of the bill, we are grateful that Assemblymember Bradford is standing firm to maintain the important protections that exist for homeowners and tenants to grow their own food. We are also excited at the level of support AB 2561 is receiving in the Senate and are working to ensure this momentum stays with the bill as it continues through the legislative process.

Wasting no time, the bill will next be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, June 24th at 1:30pm in Room 112 at the State Capitol.

We continue to hear from legislator's offices that they are receiving calls in support of this bill so we know that all your calls are making a difference. You can keep the pressure on by calling in to the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee before June 24th to let them know they need to show support. We've created a list of the committee members with their contact information. Remember to be polite and sincere. You can use the phone script below when you make the call.

"Hi, my name is (your name),

I am a (renter, member of an HOA, gardener, homeowner, landlord, etc.) and I wish for the State Legislature to pass AB 2561, the California Neighborhood Food Act.

Assemblymember Steven Bradford introduced the California Neighborhood Food Act (AB 2561), to increase access to fresh food throughout California. Many Californians NEED more access to fresh food. What better way than to grow it on their own? As a California resident seeking increased access to fresh, local food, I'm calling to urge (Senator's name) to vote YES on AB 2561 at Tuesday's Judiciary Committee hearing. Thank you!"

If you live in the Sacramento area and are interested in attending the hearing, please email neil (at) theselc (dot) org, for more information on joining us to advocate for the Neighborhood Food Act in committee.

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SELC Co-Founder Named 2014 Ashoka Fellow

ashoka.png

The Sustainable Economies Law Center is proud to announce that our co-founder and Executive Director, Janelle Orsi, has just been named a 2014 Ashoka Fellow! Ashoka Fellows are leading social entrepreneurs who are recognized for their innovative solutions to social problems, and their potential to change patterns across society. According to Ashoka, Fellows "demonstrate unrivaled commitment to bold new ideas and prove that compassion, creativity, and collaboration are tremendous forces for change."

Watch Ashoka's three-minute video showcasing SELC's work and vision for a more just, compassionate, and resilient world:

See Janelle Orsi's full Ashoka profile here.

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ACTION ALERT! Neighborhood Food Act needs your support in the Senate!

As the sponsor of the Neighborhood Food Act, we are so glad the bill passed through the California Assembly!

Now, we need your help telling the Senate that they need to follow the Assembly's lead and vote YES on AB 2561, the Neighborhood Food Act!

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