Cooperative economies aren't created in a vacuum, nor do they take root without the participation of broader community involvement. Every year during the month of May, we ask our friends, families, and allies to become monthly contributing members of the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) and support the cultivation of the legal roots of just and resilient economies.
Last year, we were inspired by our comrades at Movement Generation to create a Solidarity Fund during our annual Membership Campaign. This fund was created to share the abundance that SELC raises from our generous community. That's why, when we asked you to join us last month in creating #PeoplePoweredEconomies, we let you know that 10% of everything we raised would support the incredible work of Cooperation Richmond and Planting Justice. Today, we are excited to send our allies their portions of the Solidarity Fund to support their inspiring and essential work.
We would like to thank our generous donors for contributing to SELC and supporting the work of our Solidarity Fund recipients. To build solidarity economies, we need to practice solidarity in our every day lives. We hope that this is one small step in that direction.
What else motivated us to create the Solidarity Fund? Because it's time to change the rules of an economy rooted in pollution, exploitation, and wealth concentration! We want an economy where communities everywhere control their own sustainable sources of housing, jobs, energy, and other vital aspects of a healthy and resilient community. It's time for #PeoplePoweredEconomies everywhere.
We want to live in a world where everyone can create and control the resources and relationships they need to live well. But right now, 0.1 percent of Americans own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of America combined. Over 25% of Bay Area residents are housing insecure, spending more than 50% of their income on housing. And the climate just keeps getting hotter and more unstable, disproportionately impacting already vulnerable communities.
That’s why we’re working with local communities to create community land trusts, housing cooperatives, and other innovative solutions that permanently preserve land and housing affordability.
That’s why we’re supporting community-based entrepreneurs to start and scale worker cooperatives, advocating for local governments to directly support worker coops, and cultivating regional cooperative networks to build a thriving cooperative economy.
And that’s why we’re developing new models of community-owned renewable energy that can help us transition to 100% renewable energy AND generate community wealth in the communities that have been most disproportionately impacted by pollution and disinvestment.
Only people-powered organizations can build a people-powered economies. We're glad you are with us.