Upcoming Events

Be part of the movement for more just and resilient economies!We're always cooking up pay-it-forward legal advice, action-oriented workshops, and happy hours with engaging conversations on how to build just and resilient local economies. And we don't only provide in-person events for you to connect with us, we provide online trainings and travel across the country to support grassroots economic empowerment. Don't miss out!

Please, help us get the word out about our upcoming events. Share with your friends or networks on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn! If you're interested in an event, someone you know will probably be interested too. Share the love!

Find Sustainable Economies Law Center's events below!

  • Monday, September 27, 2021 at 11:00 AM PDT · $1.00 USD · 80 rsvps

    How to Pay Ourselves Equitably

    How to Pay Ourselves Equitably Banner

    At the Law Center, we base our wages and bonuses on a calculator that takes into account a staffer’s location, dependents, and socioeconomic background. Is it legal to do this? How can we pay ourselves equitably without violating employment laws, anti discrimination laws, and nonprofit laws? If you’re interested in building a salary calculator for your collective, join us!

    At this webinar, we will discuss:
    ☑️ examples of salary calculators
    ☑️ corporate and nonprofit laws
    ☑️ employment and civil rights laws
    ☑️ Q&A

    About the Speakers:

    alejandraAlejandra Cruz is a staff attorney at the Sustainable Economies Law Center. Her areas of focus include the Law Center’s Food & Farm and Community Renewable Energy Programs. She is passionate about racial justice, immigrant rights, and health equity, and comes to the Law Center motivated to work towards achieving economic justice for the communities that are close to her heart. She has worked for various legal services organizations serving low-income communities of color. Her practice areas include consumer law, medical-legal partnership, and immigration law. Throughout her career, Alejandra has taken great care to provide compassionate counsel to people living with disabilities, including mental health and substance use disorders, chronic illness, and intellectual disabilities.

    hopeHope Wiliams is a legal apprentice at the Sustainable Economies Law Center! She is excited to finally begin her path to becoming an attorney advocate that helps black and brown marginalized communities. Devoted to housing rights and organizing people power to fight the oppressive white supremacist regime, Hope spends most of her time making sure that the law is accessible to the people. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelors in Political Science. As the Assistant Director of their legal center, she organized events that revolved around housing, immigration, and mass incarceration. 

    KikiKiki Council is a lawyer and activist. She is currently an active member of the Colorado legal community, including the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the Sam Cary Bar Association (Colorado’s Black and African American bar association), the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, and Colorado Attorneys Against Police Violence. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Cobalt, a Colorado nonprofit dedicated to furthering reproductive rights and abortion access for all.

    Before joining The Forefront Project, Kiki practiced labor and employment litigation at Campbell Litigation, P.C. in Denver. Prior to that, she obtained a JD from the University of Colorado Law School, clerked for Judge Allison Eid on the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and practiced commercial litigation at Holland & Hart LLP in Denver. Kiki has also honed a pro bono practice focused on immigrant rights and judicial bypass hearings for minors. In 2020, Kiki was honored to receive the Attorney of the Year award from the Colorado LGBT Bar Association for her efforts in the racial justice movement.

    As a mixed Black, bisexual woman, Kiki is passionate about social justice, particularly reproductive rights, health, and justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and racial justice. In her work, she strives to secure every human’s legal and social rights to autonomy over their choices for their bodies.

    shirley

    Shirley McLaughlin is an Associate Attorney at Adler & Colvin. She specializes in Formation and Tax-Exempt Status, Public Charities, Private Foundations, Grantmaking and Social Investing, Social Enterprise, Nonprofit Structures, Relationships and Affiliations, and International Charitable Transactions and Operations. 

    Ms. McLaughlin is a member of the American Bar Association, the California State Bar Association, and the Bar Association of San Francisco.  She is also the Chair of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the California Lawyers Association Taxation Section.

    TiaTia Katrina Taruc-Myers is the Sustainable Economies Law Center’s Director of Legal Education. She organizes the Law Center's teach-ins, webinars, legal cafes, policy cafes, legal beehives, MCLE seminars, online resources, and more! She co-founded the Radical Real Estate Law School and leads the Law Center's Legal Cafe Program. Passionate about redistributing power and wealth, Tia spends her time promoting participatory budgeting and community control of everything.

    We will have an ASL interpreter working at this event. 

    If you need Spanish Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

    This activity has been approved for 1 MCLE credit by the California Bar.

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  • Monday, September 27, 2021 at 12:15 PM PDT · $1.00 USD · 10 rsvps

    Immigrant Rights and Worker Coops

    #Coopalooza Week - Immigrant Rights & Worker COops

    Find out why worker coops are an important tool to defend immigrants’ right to a sustainable livelihood that supports self, family and community. Learn about challenges unique to immigrant-led coops as well as helpful resources.

    At this webinar, we will discuss:
    ☑️ Political education
    ☑️ Why immigrant-led worker cooperatives?
    ☑️ Challenges
    ☑️ Resources
    ☑️ Interactive Q&A

    RSVP here if you don't have a credit card or need a scholarship. Otherwise, please RSVP below.

     

    About the Presenters:

    Itzel Nuño is the Sustainable Economies Law Center’s new Workplace Democracy Project Coordinator.

    Itzel is a first generation Mexican American who was born and raised in San Diego, California along with her two sisters. Prior to her work at the Law Center, Itzel was the Rapid Response Network Coordinator for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ). Itzel coordinated emergency legal and community led responses to Immigration and Customs Enforcement across the state of California.

    Tobias Damm-Luhr is a Staff Attorney at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, focusing on community-owned real estate and worker-cooperatives. Tobias is passionate about racial and economic justice and working with immigrant communities. Through his work at the Law Center, Tobias aims to strengthen anti-displacement efforts, particularly for communities of color, and to help facilitate democratic ownership of workplaces to enable workers to gain the full benefit of their labor. In addition, Tobias is excited to be part of a worker self-directed non-profit. 

    Damon

    Damon Terrell is an intern at the Law Center. "I like teaching. I enjoy listening to others describe their passions, and games of strategy and skill. My legal interests include (non-profit and cooperative) Business law, Constitutional law, and legal approaches to securing freedom and sovereignty for the people I love; often those deemed most expendable in our society. I am interested in supporting my community. I am not interested in entertaining myths about justified violence or our society’s inexorable progress toward accepting my right to breathe. I can not breathe."

    We will have an ASL interpreter working at this event. 

    If you need Spanish Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

    This activity has been approved for 1 MCLE credit by the California Bar.

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    RSVP here

  • Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 01:30 PM PDT · 128 rsvps

    You’re (not) the boss of me: A panel discussion on different approaches to democratic governance

    You’re (not) the boss of me: A panel discussion on different approaches to shared leadership

    So you want to abolish the traditional hierarchy...but what does that actually mean? There are as many ways to practice shared leadership as there are groups of people! Come learn from several organizations who are practicing shared leadership in a variety of ways -- from worker self-directed nonprofits, to co-directorships, to  member leadership and beyond. We’ll share stories, challenges, and insights into different models of sharing power and cultivating leader-full organizations.

    About the Hosts

    Shannon

    Shannon Ellis is Co-Executive director at CompassPoint. In the context of shared leadership across our practice, the Co-Executive Director role takes on the highest level of accountability in ensuring that CompassPoint is values-driven, sustainable, and ultimately impactful in supporting leaders, organizations, and movements committed to social justice realize their full power. 

    Shannon has played key design and delivery roles in some of CompassPoint's cohort leadership development programs, including the HIVE (Healing, Inspiration, Voice, and Equity) program for reproductive justice leaders in Louisiana, and The Strong Field Project to End Domestic Violence. She's also a facilitator in our training program. 

    Liz

    Liz Derias is Co-Executive director at CompassPoint. In the context of shared leadership across our practice, the Co-Exectuive Director role takes on the highest level of accountability in ensuring that CompassPoint is values-driven, sustainable, and ultimately impactful in supporting leaders, organizations, and movements committed to social justice realize their full power. 

    Liz is committed to economic and racial justice for all communities. She has over 20 years of national and international social justice, youth and community organizing, popular education training, and policy and advocacy experience. Liz has served as the Senior Manager of Health Policy with the Greenlining Institute leading advocacy efforts for affordable and accessible healthcare for California's communities of color.  She served as a National Training Director with the Praxis Project; a Washington, DC-based intermediary organization focused on economic and racial justice.  Liz fought for educational justice and finance reform for California’s public school students through the Kids Count campaign of Youth Together.  She led the very first West Oakland Youth Center Planning and Development Project in collaboration with Leadership Excellence and the City of Oakland and returned to serve as its inaugural full-time Executive Director. As the Educational Program Coordinator for SOUL, she led national training programs in popular education and youth and community organizing. She is an alum of the Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program of the Center for Third World Organizing.

    Sue Bennett is Director of Operations and Miscellaneous Stuff, ensuring the organization's office space and internal operations contribute to the wellbeing of staff, and the effectiveness of Sustainable Economies Law Center’s programs. Sue has spent 25 years working in the nonprofit sector in a variety of program and administrative roles.  

    Sue feels it's her professional destiny to advance The Law Center’s mission of supporting community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. This feeling is fostered by her personal/political value alignment with The Law Center’s structure. Sue’s community activism is rooted in understanding and minimizing the impact of class and classism and is based on the principles of feminism and anti-racism.

    Chris

    Chris Tittle is a facilitator, organizer, and attorney focused on land and housing justice, participatory governance, and co-creating post capitalist / post white supremacist futures. He is Director of Land and Housing Justice at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a democratically-run nonprofit supporting communities to create and control their own sustainable sources of land, labor, and capital. At the Law Center, he co-leads or contributes to the Law Center’s Housing, Worker Self-Directed Nonprofits, Farmland, and Money & Finance Programs.

    Itzel Nuño is the Sustainable Economies Law Center’s new Workplace Democracy Project Coordinator. Itzel is a first generation Mexican American who was born and raised in San Diego, California along with her two sisters. Being raised by an immigrant single mother near a national border, has made her acutely aware of the many systemic injustices in our country and the people power required to fight back. Itzel received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz.

    Prior to her work at the Law Center, Itzel was the Rapid Response Network Coordinator for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ). Itzel coordinated emergency legal and community led responses to Immigration and Customs Enforcement across the state of California. Before she joined CCIJ, Itzel worked at a social impact strategy firm called Third Plateau as their Community Manager. As the Community Manager, Itzel was responsible for growing, strengthening, and leveraging the firm’s network of social impact leaders.

    Itzel previously taught video production to youth in San Diego and Guatemala. She currently lives in a small but warm apartment in Oakland with her partner, cat, and plants. She enjoys dancing, backpacking and sewing in her free time.

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    We will have an ASL interpreter working at this event. 

    If you need Spanish Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

     

  • Tuesday, September 28, 2021 at 05:00 PM PDT
    Online via Zoom in Oakland, CA

    Online Legal Cafe

    The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides sliding-scale donation-based legal advice, via Zoom, by appointment. 

    This is a special Legal Cafe. Appointments are reserved for Worker Cooperatives and Worker Self Directed Nonprofits ONLY.

    If you need advice about starting a worker-owned cooperative, converting an existing business into a cooperative, founding a worker self directed nonprofit or other social enterprise, please RSVP below! Here are some questions we will be prepared to answer:

    ❖ Legal formation for small businesses: What are the regulations and requirements to have your organization legally function?
     Legal entity choice: Should your org be a for profit, non-profit, and which legal entity fits best with your vision?
     Employment law: Whether you're an employer, employee, or a cooperative, we can answer questions on how to prevent or resolve issues?
     Tax law: What are the ways to receive tax exemption for your org?
     Contracts: Contract review, drafting, and negotiation
     Liability issues: What are your governance requirements to avoid liability?
    ❖ Worker Self Directed Nonprofits:  How can you run your nonprofit organization more like a worker-owned cooperative?

    Note: We especially encourage Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities to RSVP. We focus on cooperatives, participatory or democratic nonprofits, land trusts, and mutual aid groups. If you need Spanish Language or American Sign Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

    Keep an eye out for an e-mail when you RSVP. The e-mail will have your appointment slot, instructions on how to attend our Legal Cafe remotely, and an intake form that we need you and your partners to fill out. 

    Format: You and/or your group will be paired with a lawyer for 30-45 minutes to get answers to questions about entity formation, contracts, governance, and more! Since we're based in Oakland, our event times are listed as Pacific Standard Time.

    Got any questions? E-mail [email protected]!

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  • Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 03:30 PM PDT · 35 rsvps

    Interdependence: Worker Cooperative Advocacy and the Movements for the Environment, Immigrant Rights, Racial Justice, and Labor Unions in the US

    Worker Coops and Policy

    We will have ASL and Spanish Language interpretation at this event. / Tendremos interpretación en ASL y en español en este evento. 

    Join us for an interactive conversation on how policy efforts to build worker power through worker-owned cooperatives support and are supported by the movements for organized labor, immigrant rights, gender justice, the movement to fight climate change, and the Movement for Black Lives. We will consider questions including: 

    ☑️ How does the worker cooperative community’s policy advocacy support social justice and environmental stewardship?
    ☑️ How does policy advocacy help build a future in which labor is both worker-controlled and liberatory?
    ☑️ Now that the worker cooperative community has moved in from the margins and is effectively contesting for power, resources, and government support, what new opportunities and threats lie ahead? 
    ☑️ There will also be space for your questions about the intersections of policy, worker cooperatives, and current social and environmental movements!

     

    About the Panelists

    Esteban Kelly is the Executive Director for the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) and is a worker-owner and co-founder of AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance), a worker co-op that builds capacity for social justice projects through intersectional training and consulting. Esteban is a compassionate leader and visionary strategist who inspires organizers by drawing on science fiction, social theory, and collective liberation. He is an advisor to the Movement for Black Lives Policy Table, and he represents the US on the board of the international worker co-op association known as “CICOPA.”

    FlequerFlequer Vera is a worker-owner and director of Sustainergy Cooperative as well as co-founder of Coop Cincy and a community organizer. He works in the implementation of the Mondragon and Steel Workers Union (SWU) agreement of 2010 to build an economy that works for all through the creation of a network of Mondragon style coops into the US in partnership with organized labor, Coop Cincy, Sustainergy among others. Flequer developed many of his skills around working class community organizing and business incuvation through having been an undocumented immigrant himself and having a degree in finance. In his free time, Flequer loves to spend time with his family and loved ones; and loves to support progressive intitiative for immigrants, environment, gay, BLM, workers, and coops.

    ElizabethElizabeth Ruiz is a member of the Progressive Cleaning Solutions cooperative and the NYCNoWC Advocacy Council. She is an activist supporting the immigrant community as well as the wellbeing of cooperatives in New York City.

     

    About the Hosts

    Yassi

    Yassi Eskandari uses worker-owned cooperatives as a strategy to build a more fulfilling, equitable, and ecologically resilient economic system. She led the campaign that established groundbreaking worker cooperative development policies in the City of Berkeley and has advised countless advocates on how to establish similar programs. Yassi also convened and coordinates the statewide Worker Owned Recovery California (WORC) coalition, is co-chair of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives Policy & Advocacy Council, legal counsel to the law center's incubated renewable energy projects, and sits on the board of the Bay Area Network of Worker Cooperatives (NoBAWC).

    ricardoRicardo Samir Nuñez is a worker cooperative ecosystem development specialist supporting cultural practices, policies, organizations, and systemic changes that allow communities to build beyond the interlocking systems of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. He is currently the Director of Economic Democracy at the Sustainable Economies Law Center where he co-coordinates educational programs, legal services, policy advocacy, and regional and national ecosystem development to restore human labor to right relationship with people and the planet. He is board president of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and at-large board member at the California Center for Cooperative Development and the Southern California Focus on Cooperation. He is also becoming a lawyer without going to law school through California’s Law Office Study Program (likelincoln.org). Check out Ricardo's Favorite Cooperative Resources here

     

    Interdependencia: defensa de las cooperativas de trabajadores y los movimientos por el medio ambiente, los derechos de los inmigrantes, la justicia racial y los sindicatos en los EE. UU.

    Tendremos interpretación en ASL y en español en este evento.

    CUANDO

    Septiembre 29, 2021 de 3:30pm - 4:30pm Pacifico, 6:30pm - 7:30pm Oriental

    CONTACTO

    Ricardo Nuñez · [email protected]

    Únase a nosotros para una conversación interactiva sobre cómo los esfuerzos políticos para construir el poder de los trabajadores a través de las cooperativas propiedad de los trabajadores apoyan y son apoyados por los movimientos laboral, los derechos de los inmigrantes, la justicia de género, el movimiento para luchar contra el cambio climático y el Movimiento por Vidas Negras. Consideraremos preguntas que incluyen:

    ☑️ Cómo son apoyadas la lucha por justicia social y la administración ambiental a través de la defensa de las políticas de la comunidad cooperativa de trabajadores? 
    ☑️ ¿Cómo ayuda la promoción de políticas a construir un futuro en el que el trabajo esté controlado por los trabajadores y sea liberador?
    ☑️ 
    Ahora que la comunidad cooperativa de trabajadores se ha movido desde los márgenes y está disputando de manera efectiva el poder, los recursos y el apoyo del gobierno, ¿qué nuevas oportunidades y amenazas se avecinan?

    ☑️ ¡También habrá espacio para sus preguntas sobre las intersecciones de las políticas, las cooperativas de trabajadores y los movimientos sociales y ambientales actuales!

     

    Panelistas

    Elizabeth Ruiz es miembro de la cooperativa Progressive Cleaning Solutions y del NYCNoWC Advocacy Council. Ella es una activista que apoya a la comunidad de inmigrantes y al bienestar de las cooperativas en la ciudad de Nueva York.

    FlequerFlequer Vera es trabajador-propietario y director de Sustainergy Cooperative, además de cofundador de Coop Cincy y organizador comunitario. Trabaja en la implementación del acuerdo del Sindicato de Trabajadores del Acero y Mondragón (SWU) de 2010 para construir una economía que funcione para todos a través de la creación de una red de cooperativas estilo Mondragón en los EE. UU. En asociación con los sindicatos, Coop Cincy, Sustainergy entre otros. Flequer desarrolló muchas de sus habilidades en torno a la organización comunitaria de la clase trabajadora y la incubación de negocios al haber sido él mismo un inmigrante indocumentado y tener un título en finanzas. En su tiempo libre, a Flequer le encanta pasar tiempo con su familia y seres queridos; y le encanta apoyar iniciativas progresistas para inmigrantes, medio ambiente, homosexuales, BLM, trabajadores y cooperativas..

    Esteban Kelly es el Director Ejecutivo de la Federación Estadounidense de Cooperativas de Trabajadores (USFWC) y es trabajador-propietario y cofundador de AORTA (Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance), una cooperativa de trabajadores que desarrolla la capacidad para proyectos de justicia social. a través de capacitación y consultoría interseccional. Esteban es un líder compasivo y un estratega visionario que inspira a los organizadores basándose en la ciencia ficción, la teoría social y la liberación colectiva. Es asesor de la Mesa de Políticas del Movimiento por las Vidas Negras y representa a los EE. UU. En la junta de la asociación internacional de cooperativas de trabajadores conocida como "CICOPA".

     

    Los Anfitriones

    ricardoRicardo Samir Nuñez es un especialista en desarrollo de ecosistemas cooperativos de trabajadores que apoya prácticas culturales, políticas, organizaciones y cambios sistémicos que permiten a las comunidades construir más allá de los sistemas interconectados del patriarcado capitalista supremacista blanco imperialista. Actualmente es el Director de Democracia Económica en el Centro Jurídico de Economías Sostenibles, donde co-coordina programas educativos, servicios legales, promoción de políticas y desarrollo de ecosistemas regionales y nacionales para restaurar el trabajo humano a una relación correcta con las personas y el planeta. Es presidente de la junta de la Federación Estadounidense de Cooperativas de Trabajadores y miembro general de la junta del Centro Para el Desarrollo Cooperativo en California y el Enfoque de Cooperación del Sur de California. También se está convirtiendo en abogado sin haber asistido a la Facultad de Derecho a través del Programa de estudios de bufetes de abogados de California (likelincoln.org). ¡Vea los recursos cooperativos favoritos de Ricardo aquí!

    YassiYassi Eskandari utiliza las cooperativas propiedad de los trabajadores como estrategia para construir un sistema económico más satisfactorio, equitativo y ecológicamente resistente. Ella dirigió la campaña que estableció políticas innovadoras de desarrollo cooperativo de trabajadores en la ciudad de Berkeley y ha asesorado a innumerables defensores sobre cómo establecer programas similares. Yassi también convocó y coordina la coalición estatal de Recuperación a través de Trabajadores en California (WORC), es copresidente del Consejo de Política y Defensa de la Federación Estadounidense de Cooperativas de Trabajadores,es asesora legal de los proyectos de energía renovable incubados del centro legal y es miembra de la junta de la Red de Cooperativas de Trabajadores del Área de la Bahía (NoBAWC).

     

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  • Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 12:00 PM PDT · 9 rsvps

    It’s Published!! Come meet the amazing Authors who wrote the CA Worker Co-op Law Practice Guide

    It’s Published!! Come meet the amazing Authors who wrote the CA Worker Co-op Law Practice Guide.

    Lawyers advising worker cooperatives have been asking for it for years! A Practice Guide, written by practicing attorneys with experience and expertise, to help lawyers confidently give expert and nuanced legal advice to worker cooperatives. Let’s meet some of the authors and applaud them for co-creating this Guide!

    We will have an ASL interpreter working at this event. 

    If you need Spanish Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

    RSVP HERE

     

    About the Authors

    Allison Curtis

    Allison is a Senior Social Enterprise Consultant with The ICA Group. Allison works with business owners across ICA’s industries and geographies who are pursuing transitions to employee ownership. This involves guiding business owners through the exit planning process, conducting financial and operational analysis on the feasibility of an employee ownership transition, and supporting owners and workers through the entire transition process. Allison is passionate about cooperative ownership as a tool to increase worker power and create access to well-paying jobs.

    Alex Glancy

    Alex is an attorney at Gundzik Gundzik Heeger LLP, where she practices transactional law for startups, social enterprises, impact-oriented companies, and individuals. She advises both new founders and established companies on corporate structure and governance, investment fundraising, and contracts of all types. Alex is experienced with the formation of business entities including LLCs, corporations, benefit corporations, non-profits, and cooperative corporations. As companies bring on investors, she counsels on fundraising strategies and handles securities compliance at the federal and state levels. Alex also practices intellectual property law for entrepreneurs and creatives. She drafts and negotiates license agreements, NDAs, and work-for-hire agreements. She has represented graphic designers, visual artists, and producers in these areas.

    Alex graduated from Harvard Law School, where she participated in the Community Enterprise Project. She holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Northwestern University in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) and Anthropology. Prior to joining GGH LLP, she worked at the Arts Law Centre of Australia, the Office of the General Counsel of New York University, and at a global law firm.

    Born and raised in Los Angeles, Alex prides herself on being a community lawyer of service to her city and wider community. She is passionate about legal innovations to promote community wealth-building and sustainability. She has presented to groups at UCLA, California Institute of the Arts, Collective REMAKE, and Suffolk University School of Law.

    Sam Gray

    Sam (J.D., Cardozo School of Law 2013; New York Bar) is an attorney based in New York City, where he represents small businesses and worker cooperatives. He loves working with mission oriented companies, creative types, and businesses that are interested in operating more democratically. Much of his work involves providing legal support to existing businesses that are converting into worker cooperatives, and he regularly works alongside the ICA Group as a legal advisor to their cooperative clients. His clients have ranged from natural builders, yogis, therapists, programmers, coworking companies, graphic designers, and educators seeking to operate on a cooperative basis. Outside of his private practice, he has worked with Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A’s Community Economic Development program, supporting community health centers, nonprofits, affordable housing developments, and a budding community land trust in New York City. He has been a fellow with the Sustainable Economies Law Center since 2015, and he is committed to supporting people and organizations that are building resilient local economies. Outside of work, Sam enjoys writing, music, spending time with family and friends, and being outdoors as much as possible.

    Brett Heeger

    Brett is a founding partner of Gundzik Gundzik Heeger LLP, where his practice focuses on transactional corporate and securities matters with a passion for social enterprise and economic democracy. He supports a wide range of client companies, leveraging legal tools to support all of their goals: from profit and growth, to impact and inclusion. 

    Brett has substantial experience leading clients through the process of planning for and bringing investment into their companies. From designing and managing friends and family rounds, direct public offerings (DPOs), navigating Regulation A+ and public company compliance, to negotiating venture investments and exit opportunities, Brett prides himself on his ability to work with clients to find the right investment tools and opportunities to position their business for success. Brett also leads the firm's social enterprise and worker-owned cooperative efforts in Southern California. He has represented multiple cooperatives and members, and regularly presents and advises on legal matters for new and existing co-ops and social-impact minded businesses in Los Angeles.

    Brett is a Legal Fellow of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, and a member of the California Center for Cooperative Development and National Coalition for Community Capital. His work was recently recognized as a finalist for the 2021 Grunin Prize by NYU Law School’s Grunin Center for Law and Entrepreneurship for its contribution to the impact investing space. Brett received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, cum laude.

    Neil Aaron Helfman

    Neil lives and practices law in Richmond, California. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History, and from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1985. Since 1987 he has been a practicing attorney in the State of California, in both state and federal courts, and has appeared before administrative, trial, and appellate courts. His primary practice has been construction law, labor law, and business torts.  He has also formed, advised, and represented worker cooperatives. In addition to legal services, he has written a number of published legal articles for Am Jur’s Proof of Facts (3rd series) about independent contractors, piercing the corporate veil, and unfair business practices, among other subjects, that have been cited in both state and federal court reported cases. He also wrote Choosing A Workers’ Cooperative- Another Way of Doing Business in California, 5 CEB Business Law Practitioner 28 (Winter 1990) and The Application Of Labor Law To Worker Cooperatives. University of California at Davis, Center For Cooperatives (1992).  Prior to being an attorney he was a member of three AFL-CIO unions and the Teamsters, and worked as a carpenter on commercial construction projects,  a farm labor, a drill rig operator in a copper mine, and an in-the-stands beer vendor during San Francisco 49ers games when Joe Montana was quarterback.  He continues to be involved in the building trades and design, and seeks to form a cooperative Bauhaus that will be based on the building trades as well other industrial arts. If you are interested and have something  to contribute to this venture please contact him at [email protected]

    Jennie Msall

    Jennie joined the ICA Group because she believes that worker cooperatives are a means to create an equitable economy. Jennie currently leads ICA’s business conversions work, assisting dozens of companies with their transitions to worker cooperatives. In this role she works on owner exit planning, business valuation, financial and operational feasibility, governance design, and completing transactions. Jennie also supports ICA’s team of cross-program consultants working on cooperative conversions across ICA’s target industries and geographies, and aims to create a community of practice that’s focused on continual learning and process improvement. She also creates and delivers client service strategies and tools to simplify and scale worker cooperative conversions.

    Kelsey Jae Nuñez

    Kelsey Jae is an attorney licensed in Idaho and Oregon who supports social entrepreneurs and people committed to cooperation and collaborative culture. This includes business transactions and guidance, amicable divorce, modest estate planning, cannabis compliance, and almost anything that will help her clients sustain meaningful livelihoods in a more resilient economy. She frequently authors publications and gives presentations about issues relating to her broad yet niche practice, which can be summarized as "helping awesome people do awesome things." In 2016, she became a Fellow with the Sustainable Economies Law Center and launched her solo practice, Law for Conscious Leadership

    Her years of service in groups such as Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, Idaho Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Idaho Energy Collaborative, Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance, and Sustainable Community Connections of Idaho sharpened her expertise in Idaho’s energy and environmental issues while building relationships with diverse leaders in various fields. From 2013-2016 Kelsey ran the Idaho Green Fest, a festival celebrating Earth Day and Idaho’s growing sustainable economy. From 2014-2015, Kelsey managed a well-established non-profit organization providing group decision making, organizational budgeting and fundraising, strategic planning, community outreach, and policy development. In that role, she collaborated with the Public Utilities Commission, environmental organizations, and energy companies to elevate the commitment to renewable energy at the state and city level. Kelsey began her legal career at a large law firm with a focus on environmental and land use law. Kelsey has a JD/Master of Public Policy from Pepperdine University and a BS in Biology from the University of Idaho. In addition to lawyering, she co-owns The Vervain Collective, a plant-based apothecary with a natural health care consultation space and classroom in Garden City, Idaho. Kelsey characterizes herself as a "high performing lady of leisure" who works a lot while also being firmly committed to joy, relaxation, dancing, taking road trips to music festivals, and pondering the meaning of life.

    Jonathan Ward

    Jonathan is the Director of Lending for the Fund for Jobs Worth Owning. The Fund supports the growth and development of employee-owned businesses, creating and sustaining jobs worth owning. Jonathan primarily manages the Fund’s lending and outreach work. He connects with borrowers, helping transform ideas into strong lending opportunities that develop cooperatives. Jonathan coordinates the day-to-day loan-processing work and the review process with the Fund’s Board of Directors.

    From 2014 through 2019, Jonathan led the employee ownership conversions program at the ICA Group, assisting dozens of companies with their ownership transitions. His work on conversions includes exit planning and business valuation, governance design and worker training.

    Sarah Kaplan

    Sarah Kaplan is an attorney licensed in California and Illinois, focusing on legal structuring, transactions, and capital-raising for cooperatives and other mission-driven enterprises. Sarah started a law practice serving cooperatives in 2012, and in 2021 she joined Cutting Edge Counsel, a California-based firm that plays a leading role in helping mission-driven enterprises to access non-traditional forms of capital-raising. Sarah has served a wide range of cooperatives, including worker, consumer, agricultural, cannabis, platform, investment, and multi-stakeholder co-ops. Sarah regularly guides clients through the design and compliance aspects of capital-raising, including fund formation.

    Sarah has been part of the Fellows program of the Sustainable Economies Law Center since 2013. Sarah graduated magna cum laude from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2010, and has an A.B. in Ecology from Princeton University. Sarah has previously lived in Chicago and the East Bay Area of California, and now lives in St. Louis, Missouri. You can reach Sarah at [email protected].

    Hasmik Geghamyan

    Hasmik Geghamyan is a community lawyer and educator.  She believes that a cross-functional model of activism, policy, organizing, and law  can be effectively used to bring about transformative post-capitalist social and economic change.  Hasmik’s law practice focuses on democratic transitions of land into various models of community ownership,  general labor law compliance and services for cooperatives, small businesses, and nonprofits. Her law office's active vision is to be part of a long-term, thriving community rooted in resilience and empowerment. 

    Hasmik has been organizing with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) since law school and currently sits on the Board of the National Lawyers Guild, Bay Area Chapter as well as on the Board of the Sustainable Economies Law Center. Hasmik can be reached at [email protected]

    Kim Arnone

    Kim is Managing Partner at Cutting Edge Capital. She specializes in developing community capital raising strategies for social enterprises, cooperatives and nonprofits. She works primarily on investment offerings that can be publicly offered and that are open broadly to community members. Kim has assisted a wide range of enterprises in successfully raising capital; from a worker-owned green waste recycling company to an organic farm, from a rural community development fund to an urban food coop. Kim has been with Cutting Edge for 6 years and has been practicing law for 20+ years. She has her Juris Doctorate from Hastings College of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Women’s Law Journal. Kim lives, works, and plays in Oakland.

     

    #Coopalooza Week SponsorsList of Coopalooza Sponsors

     

    RSVP Below:

  • Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 05:00 PM PDT · 5 rsvps

    Virtual Mix & Mingle

    Virtual mix and mingle

    After a rich week of #Coopalooza discussions, teach-ins, and panels, we’re decompressing with our community in a virtual mix & mingle. Meet us in this fun unstructured space to deepen connections you made during the week. Come and reconnect with Law Center staff, partners, and collaborators.

    Agenda

    ☑️ Intros & welcome from Itzel/Mwende
         - Music playing in the background & a fun ice breaker 

    ☑️ Ask the group, “Share something you learned during #Coopalooza you want to share now”
         - People can write in the chat or respond on video

    ☑️ Then we jump into breakout rooms
         - Main Room: Fun co-op trivia game featuring co-ops from around the world
         - Breakout Room #1: Debrief/Lingering thoughts & questions from #Coopalooza
         - Breakout Room #2: Missed Connections

    If you need Spanish Language or American Sign Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

    #Coopalooza Week SponsorsList of Coopalooza Sponsors

     

  • Tuesday, October 05, 2021 at 12:00 PM PDT
    Online via Zoom in Oakland, CA

    Online Legal Cafe

    The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides sliding-scale donation-based legal advice, via Zoom, by appointment. 

    If you need advice about starting a worker-owned cooperative, converting an existing business into a cooperative, organizing a housing cooperative, founding a nonprofit or other social enterprise, please RSVP below! Here are some questions we will be prepared to answer:

    ❖ Radical real estate law: How to form a housing cooperative, real estate cooperative, or nonprofit housing? 
    ❖ Legal formation for small businesses: What are the regulations and requirements to have your organization legally function?
     Legal entity choice: Should your org be a for profit, non-profit, and which legal entity fits best with your vision?
     Employment law: Whether you're an employer, employee, or a cooperative, we can answer questions on how to prevent or resolve issues?
     Tax law: What are the ways to receive tax exemption for your org?
     Contracts: Contract review, drafting, and negotiation
     Liability issues: What are your governance requirements to avoid liability?
     Environmental law: Do you have questions about how to create more green spaces for your community?
    ❖ Worker Self Directed Nonprofits:  How can you run your nonprofit organization more like a worker-owned cooperative?

    Note: We especially encourage Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities to RSVP. We focus on cooperatives, participatory or democratic nonprofits, land trusts, and mutual aid groups. If you need Spanish Language or American Sign Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

    Keep an eye out for an e-mail when you RSVP. The e-mail will have your appointment slot, instructions on how to attend our Legal Cafe remotely, and an intake form that we need you and your partners to fill out. 

    Format: You and/or your group will be paired with a lawyer for 30-45 minutes to get answers to questions about entity formation, contracts, governance, and more! Since we're based in Oakland, our event times are listed as Pacific Standard Time.

    Got any questions? E-mail [email protected]!

     

    Only one person per group needs to RSVP.

  • Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 12:00 PM PDT
    Online via Zoom in Oakland, CA

    Online Legal Cafe

    The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides sliding-scale donation-based legal advice, via Zoom, by appointment. 

    If you need advice about starting a worker-owned cooperative, converting an existing business into a cooperative, organizing a housing cooperative, founding a nonprofit or other social enterprise, please RSVP below! Here are some questions we will be prepared to answer:

    ❖ Radical real estate law: How to form a housing cooperative, real estate cooperative, or nonprofit housing? 
    ❖ Legal formation for small businesses: What are the regulations and requirements to have your organization legally function?
     Legal entity choice: Should your org be a for profit, non-profit, and which legal entity fits best with your vision?
     Employment law: Whether you're an employer, employee, or a cooperative, we can answer questions on how to prevent or resolve issues?
     Tax law: What are the ways to receive tax exemption for your org?
     Contracts: Contract review, drafting, and negotiation
     Liability issues: What are your governance requirements to avoid liability?
     Environmental law: Do you have questions about how to create more green spaces for your community?
    ❖ Worker Self Directed Nonprofits:  How can you run your nonprofit organization more like a worker-owned cooperative?

    Note: We especially encourage Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities to RSVP. We focus on cooperatives, participatory or democratic nonprofits, land trusts, and mutual aid groups. If you need Spanish Language or American Sign Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

    Keep an eye out for an e-mail when you RSVP. The e-mail will have your appointment slot, instructions on how to attend our Legal Cafe remotely, and an intake form that we need you and your partners to fill out. 

    Format: You and/or your group will be paired with a lawyer for 30-45 minutes to get answers to questions about entity formation, contracts, governance, and more! Since we're based in Oakland, our event times are listed as Pacific Standard Time.

    Got any questions? E-mail [email protected]!

     

    Only one person per group needs to RSVP.

  • Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 12:00 PM PDT
    Online via Zoom in Oakland, CA

    Online Legal Cafe

    The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides direct legal support to individuals and groups who are working to create new solutions for resilient local economies. The Resilient Communities Legal Cafe provides sliding-scale donation-based legal advice, via Zoom, by appointment. 

    If you need advice about starting a worker-owned cooperative, converting an existing business into a cooperative, organizing a housing cooperative, founding a nonprofit or other social enterprise, please RSVP below! Here are some questions we will be prepared to answer:

    ❖ Radical real estate law: How to form a housing cooperative, real estate cooperative, or nonprofit housing? 
    ❖ Legal formation for small businesses: What are the regulations and requirements to have your organization legally function?
     Legal entity choice: Should your org be a for profit, non-profit, and which legal entity fits best with your vision?
     Employment law: Whether you're an employer, employee, or a cooperative, we can answer questions on how to prevent or resolve issues?
     Tax law: What are the ways to receive tax exemption for your org?
     Contracts: Contract review, drafting, and negotiation
     Liability issues: What are your governance requirements to avoid liability?
     Environmental law: Do you have questions about how to create more green spaces for your community?
    ❖ Worker Self Directed Nonprofits:  How can you run your nonprofit organization more like a worker-owned cooperative?

    Note: We especially encourage Black, Indigenous, people of color, and low-income communities to RSVP. We focus on cooperatives, participatory or democratic nonprofits, land trusts, and mutual aid groups. If you need Spanish Language or American Sign Language interpretation, please email Tia ([email protected]) with Subject Line "Interpretation Request - for [mm/dd/yyyy] event." We will do our best to accommodate your request.

    Keep an eye out for an e-mail when you RSVP. The e-mail will have your appointment slot, instructions on how to attend our Legal Cafe remotely, and an intake form that we need you and your partners to fill out. 

    Format: You and/or your group will be paired with a lawyer for 30-45 minutes to get answers to questions about entity formation, contracts, governance, and more! Since we're based in Oakland, our event times are listed as Pacific Standard Time.

    Got any questions? E-mail [email protected]!

     

    Only one person per group needs to RSVP.

Thanks to our Partners and Collaborators: