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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Fall 2013 Sharing Economy Law Workshop Series

This fall, SELC is offering an 11-part workshop series for attorneys and legal professionals seeking to build skills and knowledge to meet the legal needs of the sharing economy.  Click here for the full listing of workshops. This is the first workshop series of its kind!  The curriculum for the workshop expands upon SELC’s groundbreaking book, Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy (ABA Books 2012).

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Ask a Food Lawyer: Breaking Down Legal Barriers for Small-Scale Local Food

"If we are going to move from the current centralized food system to a local, diversified new food economy, sharing has to be part of the solution. Corporate control of our food system vests decision-making power with a very small group of people whose profit-maximizing goals often deplete resources from communities rather than strengthen them..."

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Raising a Nation of Lincolns: An Interview with Janelle Orsi, “The Sharing Lawyer”

That what a peer-to-peer economy needs is more attorneys might, in lay people, spark cognitive dissonance. The problem, according to Orsi, is how society thinks about lawyers. And to fix a modern problem, she and her colleagues are leaning on the model of that famous attorney of centuries past, Abraham Lincoln.

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The California Homemade Food Act

Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1616, the California Homemade Food Act, into law on September 21, 2012, and it went into effect on January 1, 2013. Now it is legal to produce some types of food for sale in a home kitchen. Next year, the California Neighborhood Food Act will likely become law, enabling citizens to legally sell produce grown on residential lots. The two laws will work together synergistically, such that tiny food artisans may source from tiny growers.

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So You Want to Start a Food Business

Food biz proprietors and other local experts offer their top tips for new food entrepreneurs.

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Profiles in Sharing: Janelle Orsi - The Sharing Economy Lawyer

As a sharing lawyer, Janelle Orsi thought she would write agreements and form organizations. She quickly realized however, that her clients were continually running up against legal barriers that were too high and too difficult for people to navigate. In go-getter fashion, Orsi co-founded, along with attorney Jenny Kassan, the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) to break down some of the legal barriers and help people navigate them.

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SELC Takes Advisory Role in Forming Groundbreaking Sustainable Living Research Ordinance

The Sustainable Living Research Ordinance (SLRO) provides Goleta local government with a regulatory pathway to enable residential sustainability projects and designs otherwise illegal under current law. The ordinance does so by designating a property as a "Sustainable Living Research Site," where practices including natural building, onsite wastewater treatment, and self-sustaining agricultural villages would be permitted uses.

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20 Ways SELC is Changing the World this Summer!

Legal CafeSELC has been working hard since our last newsletter and we want you, our friends and supporters, to know what we've been up to. Read below for 20 exciting ways that SELC has been leading the way towards more just and resilient economies!

1. Legal Cafes

SELC is providing one of the most innovative legal advice clinics in the country, the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe. It's 1/3 Legal Advice Clinic, 1/3 Living Classroom, 1/3 Community Building and Collaboration Space! SELC staff and volunteer attorneys provide pay-it-forward legal advice for projects and organizations that build the sharing economy.

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Terra Verde, KPFA: Special on the Legal Barriers to the Sharing Economy

SELC's Director of City Policies and Community Currencies, Yassi Eskandari-Qajar, discusses the sharing economy with host Michelle Chan.

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Top 10 Crusaders in the Food Movement -- Lawyer Edition

1) Janelle Orsi, executive director of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, which hosts regular "legal cafes" to offer free advice for small farmers, food entrepreneurs, and others creating positive alternatives. While their work is localized to California, it's a wonderful model to follow. (See her book, Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy.) @JanelleOrsi

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Does the Sharing Economy Have a Shadow Side?

Recent legal and regulatory troubles for companies like Airbnb, Lyft and Uber are alerting people to the fact that sharing isn't always rainbows and bunnies.

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California bill to facilitate cooperative ownership of housing passes Assembly Committee

SELC is supporting AB 1024, An Act to facilitate cooperative ownership of housing in California, along with several other organizations around the state. The bill passed unanimously out of the Committee on Housing and Community Development in the California State Assembly last month and is heading towards the Judiciary Committee. Click here to learn more.

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SELC has a new look!

SELC_symbol_colour_RGB(for_screen).jpgThe Sustainable Economies Law Center has been working with an international team (no joke!) to create our new logo that will help shape the look for our eResources websites like Co-opLaw.org, UrbanAgLaw.org, CommunityCurrenciesLaw.org, and more!

Our developer, Timo ten Feld, researched the Sustainable Economies Law Center's efforts, accomplishments, and vision and had this to say about how he came up with SELC's new look: The SELC logo is an "organically grown, vibrant little logo made with a little bit of help from Aotearoa’s beautiful South Island [New Zealand]."

 

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Faces of the Bay Area Cooperatives Movement

At our recent Think Outside The Boss Workshop in Berkeley, we asked participants to tell us what co-ops meant to them. Check out the slideshow above to see the diversity of faces and answers we received.

Cooperatives aren't some utopian, hair-brained, hippie scheme. They support an incredibly diverse range of people from all over our communities, from families (did you see the baby above?) to young entrepreneurs to faith-based communities to immigrants.

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