By: Kris Maher
A crackdown by Pennsylvania regulators on a seed exchange at a small library has put gardeners and advocates of locally grown organic food on alert across the country.
In June, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture told a public library in Mechanicsburg, Pa., that it couldn't distribute homegrown seeds. The agency said a planned seed-exchange program would run afoul of a 2004 state law requiring anyone who distributes seeds to conduct certain quality tests, adhere to labeling and storage rules and acquire a license.Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Bill Promotes Food Security and Access Through Urban Agriculture
Sacramento, California – September 2, 2014 – On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, the California Legislature passed AB 2561, also known as the California Neighborhood Food Act. The Act guarantees tenants’ and members of homeowner’s associations’ rights to grow food for personal consumption by voiding contrary language in lease agreements or homeowner’s association agreements. Governor Jerry Brown must sign the bill in order for it to become law.Read more
"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.”Read more
By 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.
"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 more
California 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.Read more
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:
by David Bollier
news and perspectives on the commons
"Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy will be a landmark reference tool for law and the sharing economy for years to come. May it inspire more law students to enter this under-served field of law, and may it help catalyze changes in law and public policy to affirmatively support the new modes of sharing that are popping up all over..."Read more
On the face of it, Loconomics and Bring It Local sound like typical tech startups.
But behind the scenes, both companies are fomenting a quiet revolution in their business structures. They are organizing themselves as cooperatives - for-profit enterprises owned by the people who work for and use the services.