Leadership in Social Change: Janelle Orsi

By Vanessa Wakeman with The Wakeman LegacyJanelle_Orsi_Rebel_Lawyer


Excerpt: In 2010, The American Bar Association named Janelle Orsi a Legal Rebel, for being an attorney who is remaking the legal profession through the power of innovation...In this episode, Janelle shares examples of how her organization’s leadership practices create opportunities for every level of staff to be engaged in contributing to the organization. 

Read the full interview here.

(Originally published December 7, 2018.)

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In Oakland, a radical approach to housing shortage

By Erin Baldassari for the Mercury News


Excerpt: Noni Session, a third-generation Oakland resident, returned after five years to the city where she was raised only to find it growing increasingly unrecognizable. Session is now the director of the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, or EB PREC, a nascent cooperative corporation that last week launched its first campaign to purchase a four-unit apartment building in North Oakland. While housing cooperatives have long worked to purchase individual properties and retain them as affordable housing stock, EB PREC is hoping its model can grow into a network of properties that can begin to effect lasting change.

Read the full article here.

(Originally published December 11, 2018.)

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Things worth celebrating from 2018

As we reflect on the year that was and begin to prepare ourselves for the year ahead, we think it’s worth celebrating our collective accomplishments. From launching new movement cooperatives to training the next generation of immigrant entrepreneurs and community lawyers, here are a few things we’re celebrating as we ring in the new year!  

Please join us in making 2019 another year filled with transformative connections and people-powered solutions!

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Caregiving Businesses & Employment Laws: What's the Latest?

Who should read this blog: Caregiving registries or home care organizations in California

What major laws and regulations should caregiving registries know about?

The caregiving industry, which has historically operated in the shadows, has attracted increasing scrutiny in recent years. In 2016, California passed the Home Care Consumer Services Protection Act (HCSCPA), which imposed strict screening criteria on home care agencies working with caregivers. Two years later, in 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2018-4 (“FAB”)  for a specific subset within the home care industry: registry and matchmaking services for caregivers. The DOL bulletin from July 2018 is one of few guidelines that the DOL has issued for the caregiving industry.  

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Forming a Nonprofit? We Have a Primer on That!

Are you running a volunteer-run organization? Or are you part of a nonprofit that needs to formalize its legal structure?

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East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative Featured in Solidarity House Podcast

By Solidarity House Cooperative

In this episode of Solidarity House Cooperatives: Cowboys on the Commons, Noni Session and Greg Jackson introduce the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative.

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Building Grassroots-Led and Community Owned Energy Projects

Clean energy should be affordable and owned by everyone.

Energy is such a basic and important necessity that everyone should affordably access, own, and control it.

By now, you have probably seen the alarming headlines warning that we only have 12 years left to turn climate change around. That's not a lot of time! The problem is that we need energy to make stuff happen, and most energy is generated through polluting sources such as the burning of fossil fuels. Luckily, many groups have already figured out the solution: We need to democratize clean energy.

Check out our newest video!

Energy Democracy is pretty complicated... but we drew some cartoons to make the concept easier to understand. Check out this video of our Executive Director Janelle Orsi presenting at a day-long gathering of energy equity leaders. 

This presentation unpacks the concept of community-owned energy. Janelle also describes some basic legal concepts and offers some guiding principles for governance, financial structure, and long-term community control.

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10 Reasons for Lawyers to Draw Pictures

What's the point if your clients can't understand your advice?

As you probably know by now, our Executive Director Janelle Orsi, loves drawing cartoons. For our Fellows Week, Janelle drew this to inspire lawyers to be better communicators. 

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Filipino American History Month at the Law Center!

October is Filipino American History Month, Cooperative Month, and Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

This is Tia here, writing my first blog post for the Law Center! And you know I'm writing about Filipino American History Month for my Fil/Am fam. So here goes. 

Did you know that the Philippines has a strong history of cooperative economics, pre-dating Spanish colonization? For example, bayanihan is the practice of an entire town working together to build or move a house!

At the Law Center, we have three Filipino Americans in our squad! To celebrate Filipino American History Month, we're highlighting our own work, which just so happens to be work that also commemorates Co-op Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Adrien Salazar

Charlotte Tsui

Tia Taruc-Myers (that's me!)

Adrien Salazar is one of our board members. He wrote a blog post about Filipino Americans and the cooperative movement back in 2016 when he was still interning with us. Read his blog post to learn about more examples of pre-colonial shared labor agreements in the Philippines as well as examples of current efforts by Filipino Americans to harness the energy of coops!

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Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.

Reflections on the 2018 Worker Cooperative National Conference

By Ricardo Samir Nuñez, Director of Economic Democracy

     This September we hit a milestone: the ten year anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis that crippled the global economy. Institutions of international capital crumbled while the housing market collapsed. We had come as close as ever to proving that “it has become easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.” The systems that extract wealth from our communities proved incredibly resilient. It is only now, ten years on, that people are starting to see what a world beyond capitalism could look like.

     That’s why spaces like the Worker Cooperative National Conference (WCNC) are so critical: they help expand the frontiers of our collective imagination and show us the future of work in action. These spaces show us the many paths being forged for a future where workers are compensated fairly and encouraged to show up as their fulls selves at work. The voices and stories I heard at the WCNC provided a radical vision of a future of de-commodified labor and comfort that we are a strong and growing movement.

NoBAWC members representing at the Conference!
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Berkeley Adopts New Urban Agriculture Ordinance

By Millicent Sampson, Law Center Summer Intern, and Christina Oatfield, Policy Director

As the popularity of urban agriculture and community gardens rises around the US, the need to acknowledge, define, and allow them in city ordinances has become apparent. Many other cities in California have passed very permissible urban agriculture ordinances within the last decade, however, people are often surprised to learn that Berkeley has haFarm_Stand.jpgd only a very limited gardening ordinance that applied only in residential areas until now.

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Senate Passes Homemade Food Bill on Big Tech's Terms

Own Our Food Coalition Stands for Community Ownership and Control of the Food System, Warns of Imminent Uberization of Food

Slide35.JPGOAKLAND, CA (August 29, 2018) — Yesterday the California Senate passed AB 626, a bill designed to uberize California’s homemade food sector. The bill has been backed by gig economy tech companies including Airbnb, Josephine, and DishDivvy. A coalition of community based organizations in the food movement and small food enterprises lobbied against the bill, proposing an alternative policy for expanding opportunities for home cooks in California while protecting them from the exploitation of Big Tech.

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Berkeley One Step Closer to Adopting Policy to Support Worker Cooperatives

BERKELEY, CA (August 6, 2018) — In a milestone moment, over a dozen Berkeley worker-owners gathered Monday to testify before Berkeley City Council members during a Small Business Subcommittee meeting.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, a champion for worker cooperative businesses, presided over the meeting. In 2016, Arreguin sponsored a City Council Resolution to support worker cooperatives, and is now sponsor of a proposed ordinance that would solidify Berkeley’s place as a national leader of grassroots economic development.

“Worker cooperatives present an opportunity for upward mobility at a time when our broader economic model creates broad disparity and inequality,” said Mayor Arreguin. “This is a progressive strategy that represents our values and will make Berkeley a model.”


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Resolution to support seed saving and sharing

By Neal Gorenflo for Shareable 

Seed saving and seed libraries are on the rise as communities deepen their commitment to healthy, delicious, local food. However, several U.S. states, including Minnesota and Pennsylvania, began applying regulation meant for commercial seed producers to small-scale, community seed libraries in 2014.

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How the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is pioneering a model for equitable housing

By Saki Bailey for Shareable

Excerpt: The East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is an impressive burgeoning commons legal institution that's aimed at the decommodification of housing. It is pioneering a new legal institution for how we can own homes more equitably, collaboratively, and in such a way that they're permanently off the speculative market.

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