How to Make Laws that Actually Work for the New Economy

Dispatches_JanelleOrsi-Homepage_1.png"The rules for the new economy haven't been written yet. Well, they have...it's just that they were written 50+ years ago when the 9-to-5, 30-years-and-a-gold-watch career path was the rule, not the exception. They haven't kept up with the changing economy or the new workforce."

Read the whole interview with Sara Horowitz of the Freelancer's Union

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How to Make Laws that Actually Work for the New Economy

An interview with SELC Executive Director Janelle Orsi on the laws and regulations laws guiding the new economy, and what needs to come next. 

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Cooperatives and Education

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), Project Equity, and the Green Collar Communities Clinic (GC3) invited cooperative members, developers, and supporters to join us in a brainstorming discussion about ways to help Californians learn about cooperatives. The questions we used to prompt the discussion were:

  • How might K-12 schools, colleges, and graduate schools begin to incorporate education about cooperatives into their curricula?
  • What skills and knowledge should be included in a program to learn about cooperatives?
  • What policies might promote greater infusion of cooperative education into various levels of education?

We took notes (below) so we could share the insights that were brought forth during the discussion. We will integrate these and future ideas into the East Bay's very first Worker Cooperative Academy!

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The shareable city: building a better legal foundation for urban sustainability

An interview with SELC's City Policies Program Director, Yassi Eskandari, on the legal foundations of more sustainable cities.

 

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Does the Sharing Economy Need Lawyers?

By Bronwen Morgan, Post Growth Institute

Ordinary people, perhaps frustrated with the inertia of government policies and large-scale corporate routines and practices, are experimenting with different ways of moving around, powering themselves, securing food and making a living, with as little waste as possible. [...] Much more rarely explored is the question: what kind of legal and regulatory support structures will help such experimental initiatives to flourish? We think four things will matter most.

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Public Feedback Forums

The Worker Cooperative Policy Coalition held two public feedback forums to solicit feedback on the proposed provisions of the worker cooperative policy that will be (hopefully) going to the California legislature in February 2014. Below are the notes of the feedback forums, one held on December 2nd at the Sudo Room in Oakland and the other held on December 7th in San Francisco at the Main Public Library.

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The Sustainable Economies Law Center Files Reply Comments on PG&E and SDG&E's Revised Testimony

Overall, the Sustainable Economies Law Center advocates for a more in-depth community-based renewable energy proposal from both PG&E and SDG&E as well as clear guidelines for implementation.  In doing so, SELC defines true community-based renewable projects to include the following attributes:

  • (1) The majority of the project is owned by individual residents of the community or by a local organization or cooperative that is managed and controlled by individual residents of the community;
  • (2) The project's generating capacity does not exceed 1 MW and is located in or near the community; and
  • (3) The majority of the project's economic benefits are distributed locally.

 

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Sustainable Economies Law Center Files Reply Comments on the Revised Testimonies of PG&E and SDG&E

On December 20, 2013, the Sustainable Economies Law Center filed its Reply Comments in the CPUC proceeding.  The CPUC is reviewing how California's three investor-owned utilities propose to implement the newly enacted SB 43, which established a 600 MW distributed renewable energy pilot program.

Overall, SELC advocates for a more in-depth community-based renewable energy proposal from both PG&E and SDG&E as well as clear guidelines for implementation.  In doing so, SELC defines true community-based renewable energy projects to include the following attributes:
  • (1) The majority of the project is owned by individual residents of the community or by a local organization or cooperative that is managed and controlled by individual residents of the community;
  • (2) The project's generating capacity does not exceed 1 MW and is located in or near the community; and
  • (3) The majority of the project's economic benefits are distributed locally.
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Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) Comments on Proposed Rules under Food Safety Modernization Act

As you may have heard, the FDA released proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) earlier this year and the deadline to submit comments is this Friday, November 15. Many small-scale farmers, food processors and good food advocates have expressed concerns about how some of the language in the proposed rule is too vague and how some parts may be excessively burdensome on small food businesses.

Click here for a guide on how to submit comments produced by our friends at the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). Note: the website where you can submit comments online has been malfunctioning this week so don't wait until the last minute to submit your comments. If you aren't able to access the site, keep trying, or if you hurry, you can mail your comments in time for them to arrive this Friday (see instructions at the link above).

Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) submitted the following comments:

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Sustainable Economies Law Center Intervenes in CA Proceeding for Shared Renewable Energy

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On November 12, the Sustainable Economies Law Center became an official party to a proceeding at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Our intention is to help implement Senate Bill (SB) 43, the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program, which was signed into law last month.  SB 43 establishes a 600 MW pilot program – the largest distributed generation goal in the nation – and allows customers of California’s three investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to subscribe to a shared renewable energy facility in their service territory and receive a credit in their monthly utility bill.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.

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Sustainable Economies Law Center Intervenes in CA Proceeding for Shared Renewable Energy

On November 12, the Sustainable Economies Law Center became an official party to a proceeding at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Our intention is to help implement Senate Bill (SB) 43, the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program, which was signed into law in October of 2013.  SB 43 establishes a 600 MW pilot program – the largest distributed generation goal in the nation – and allows customers of California’s three investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to subscribe to a shared renewable energy facility in their service territory and receive a credit in their monthly utility bill.

But the devil is in the details.

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Annual Fall Celebration & Showcase

The Annual Fall Celebration

SELC's annual Fall Celebration & Showcase is coming soon! We hold this event every year to celebrate the year's successes, connect with our friends, and thank our supporters in person. As we move into Fall, this is our opportunity to harvest the fruits of our work supporting the transition to more just and resilient local economies - so come on out and give thanks with us!

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Meet Us at the Legal Cafe: Interview with Chris Tittle, Director of Organizational Resilience

"The concept of resilience is about learning from the natural world how to adapt and respond to change. In a time of so many converging transitions – in the regenerative capacity of the Earth, in the ways we meet our individual and collective needs, in how we relate to the larger web of life around us – how can we build our collective capacity to adjust and co-evolve in response to changing conditions around us? In the social and economic context, resilience is about creating more culturally appropriate and community-determined ways of meeting our needs, and re-embedding our economies in real human relationships."

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RELEASED TODAY – First-Ever Sharing Economy City Policy Brief

Share this with every urban leader, mayor, city planner, or council member you know.

Today, the Sustainable Economies Law Center and Shareable released the first ever policy brief of its kind, called Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders. It details 32 specific policy steps that local leaders can take to benefit from the growing sharing economy and support innovations such as carsharing, ridesharing, cohousing, cooperatives, and urban agriculture.  Click here for the press release. Click here for PDF.

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Press Release - Policies for Shareable Cities: A Policy Primer for Urban Leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Yassi Eskandari-Qajar / yassi@theselc.org

New report details what cities can do now to benefit from a sharing economy

San Francisco, CA (September 9, 2013) — A new report released today by the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) and Shareable details policy steps that city governments can take to benefit from the growing sharing economy by supporting innovations such as ridesharing, carsharing, cohousing, cooperatives, and urban agriculture.

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