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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Community Renewable Energy Webinar Tuesday 4/30

It’s time for a new kind of energy. Community renewable energy is clean, small-scale, and owned or sponsored by communities. That's why it creates democratic, resilient energy grids with distributed economic benefits. Join the Sustainable Economies Law Center's expert panelists for a conversation about the legal barriers, policy opportunities, and steps to creating this new energy future.

11:30am - 12:30pm PDT / 2:30pm - 3:30pm EDT

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The Care and Feeding of Your Sharing Economy Lawyer

If you’re starting (or thinking of starting) a sharing economy company, there’s a very good chance you’ll wonder at some point: ”Is this actually legal?”

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Share and Share Alike: A Profile of Janelle Orsi

When it comes to sharing with others, Janelle Orsi practices what she preaches. Orsi, an Oakland solo practitioner, specializes in a new niche: “sharing law.” She even wrote the book on it: Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy (ABA Books, 2012).

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Share Everything: Why the Way We Consume Has Changed Forever

The so-called sharing economy has been described as being about many things: Millennials rejecting car ownership, the environmentally conscious glomming onto the latest eco-trend, broke urbanites who will want all their own stuff again as soon as the economy recovers...

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SELC proposes CA Community Currencies Act

We believe that a resilient and just economy includes many diverse forms of exchange, allowing all members of a community to meaningfully participate in the economy and have their gifts valued appropriately. Community currencies are one way of strengthening both local economies and our national economy as a whole, by giving more people access to a means of exchange and thus increasing economic activity in ways that support, rather than destroy, local communities and the natural world.

California Corporation Code Section 107

Currently, California is one of only three states (alongside Virginia and Arkansas) in the USA that potentially prohibit the creation and circulation of local currencies. Dating back to 1849, this law is outdated, vague, and serves little purpose in the complex and dynamic economy of the 21st century.

California’s Corporations Code Section 107 reads:

“No corporation, flexible purpose corporation, association or individual shall issue or put in circulation, as money, anything but the lawful money of the United States.”

Along with our many friends and supporters across California, SELC is proposing a bill that would remove CA Corporation Code Section 107 because:

  • this law is outdated and if actually enforced, would significantly restrict economic activity in our state
  • there is a growing movement within California, across the country, and around the world to develop more democratic and inclusive means of exchange that will both stabilize and improve our local economies, and
  • community currencies have the potential to provide many underserved communities with access to capital and meaningful opportunities for work that could increase economic activity (and thus tax revenue) in socially and ecologically responsible ways.
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The Legal Roots of Resilience

Watch SELC’s new video on the legal roots of just and resilient local communities:

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