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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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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Support SELC's Spring Matching Grant Campaign

It’s almost that time of year again…

…green shoots of new growth are just emerging as the fragrant blossoms of fruit trees begin to burst forth. At SELC, our programs are also beginning to blossom in a variety of colorful ways. However, this wouldn’t be possible without the strong root system we have been cultivating over the years – our staff, fellows, interns, and volunteers. As our programs burst forth into spring, help us tend the roots of our growing organization – support our Spring Matching Grant Campaign!

Donate Now and Double Your Impact!

By contributing between now and May 1st, your donation will go toward meeting a generous $10,000 matching grant provided by the 11th hour project.

Your Support of The Spring Matching Grant Campaign Will Help Us Continue To:

Thanks for your support!

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The Un-Law School: An Interview with Christina Oatfield

Legal apprenticeships as another path to practicing law.

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California Homemade Food Act SIGNED by Governor Brown!

Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) introduces SELC's The California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616) to create a pathway for the legal sale of safe homemade food products -- helping micro food businesses throughout the state prosper, and ultimately foster the healthy/local food movement.

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‘Proudly made at home’

A new state law eases the way for culinary entrepreneurs to legally create and operate food-related businesses in their kitchens, producing homemade edibles for sale to businesses and to the public.

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A New Era of Crowdfunding?

An update on the JOBS Act which was signed into law in April of 2012 and has since been winding its way from general legislation to specific regulation. When finally implemented, the law should make it much easier and cheaper for small ventures to get funding-for-equity from the crowd.

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SELC Launches the Resilient Communitie Legal Cafe!

SELC is launching a six-month pilot project called the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe in winter 2013!

Find all Dates, Times, and Locations Here!

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The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies in Oakland, Berkeley, and the greater East Bay community. We're currently running the Legal Cafe as a 6-month pilot program between February and August 2013 as a joint effort of SELC and the Green-Collar Communities Clinic (a project of the East Bay Community Law Center).

Why The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe?

SELC believes that because our current economic systems prioritize corporate profits over community resilience, they destroy opportunities for satisfying and sustainable work, damage the environment that sustains us, and unravel our sense of connection to one another. That's why SELC is committed to providing reliable, affordable, and accessible legal information and advice to the people who are creating alternative economic systems. Through this work, we can help form the enterprises and entrepreneurs that will ring in the new economy.

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Thanks to our Partners and Collaborators: