Do Nonprofits Need Bosses?

By LUCAS MCGRANAHAN for Democracy at Work

Excerpt: The question is how far democracy can be embedded into a nonprofit organization. This question is now being taken up by Oakland’s Sustainable Economies Law Center, a self-described ‘worker self-directed nonprofit.’ Because the Law Center supports worker cooperatives, housing cooperatives, community renewable energy cooperatives, and other forms of economic democracy, they consider it important to practice workplace democracy themselves. In the words of staff member Chris Tittle, “distributing leadership throughout our organization has undoubtedly led to us to be more creative in our work, more inclusive in our perspectives, and more accountable to each other, our communities, and our partners.”

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SF Deals Major Blow to Airbnb with Tough Short-Term Rental Law

Excerpt: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed one of the most stringent restrictions on short-term rentals in the country Tuesday, barring hosts from having paying guests in a room, house or entire apartment for more than 60 days a year.

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Agrarian Trust: Finding Land for the Next Generation of Farmers

By John Collins for In These Times

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(Photo Credit: FPG / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Excerpt: 

“The local regional food economy we want, needs territory,” says farmer, activist and grassroots organizer Severine von Tscharner Fleming. “Global demands and pressures have lengthened supply chains and concentrated control—water pumped from our aquifers irrigates low-value crops destined for distant markets. Cattle raised in family operations are sold at auction to be fattened on feedlots controlled by the beef monopolies.”

These larger structural issues are shaping our national landscape, says von Tscharner Fleming, and her latest startup, a collaborative effort called Agrarian Trust, aims to secure alternative land access arrangements for new farmers.

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A Better Way to Address the Housing Crisis

By Christina Oatfield for Berkeleyside

ExcerptNot all housing is created equal. To solve the housing crisis we may need some taller buildings so we can accommodate everyone, but we definitely need more nuanced solutions than just simply letting the developers build on their own terms. So what to do?

We should insist that more housing and other real estate be owned by its occupants or by nonprofit community land trusts. Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit organizations that hold onto real estate to ensure its permanent affordability and benefit to the community.

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California Seed Sharing Bill Signed into Law

By Cat Johnson for Shareable

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Photo credit: Christian Joudrey (CC 0)

Excerpt: Seed sharing in California took a major step forward on Friday when Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Seed Exchange Democracy Act, an amendment to the California Seed Law. It’s the latest victory in a global movement to support and protect seed sharing and saving.

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What Does the Real Sharing Economy Look Like?

In this episode of Next Economy Now, Erin Axelrod, a Partner at LIFT Economy, interviews Janelle Orsi, founder of The Sustainable Economies Law Center.

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Can the ‘new economy’ and labor movements come together again?

By Erin Dirnbach, republished from Waging Nonviolence

Excerpt: Activists in Oakland have been campaigning for new city policies that would assist worker cooperative development. After successfully winning passage of a city resolution in support of cooperatives last fall, they are now pushing for a new law, the Oakland Worker Cooperative Incentives for Growth Ordinance. Supporters will speak in support at the upcoming hearing at City Hall on September 27, and the ordinance is likely to pass in October. It would grant a variety of benefits for registered worker cooperatives including procurement preferences, development funding, tax incentives, streamlined permitting and promotion of business conversion to cooperatives. The Sustainable Economies Law Center, one of the key promoters of the ordinance, says that it will be the first of its kind to offer this level of assistance for cooperatives.

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Farmers, Chefs & Lawyers: Building an Ecology of One

By Patrick Lydon, republished from The Nature of Cities

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Photo: Natural Farmer Yoshikazu Kawaguchi at his Akame Farm in Nara, Japan. (Patrick Lydon) 

Patrick Lydon, Founder and Director of SocieCity.org, a socially-engaged network of artists, writers, and sustainability practitioners, writes about the the concept of an "Ecology of One" and why farmers, chefs and lawyers need to work together to build a resilient economic system. 

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The Food-Sharing Economy Is Delicious And Illegal—Will It Survive?

Sarah Kessler of Fast Company covers the obstacles facing home-cooks and the online platforms they use. She follows the story of the start up Josephine, and what they're doing to change the laws of homemade food regulation so that they can resume operations. Sustainable Economies Law Center and our Resilient Communities Legal Cafe is mentioned briefly. 

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What will it take to Build a Local Food Movement?

Photo: chicagopatchworkfarms.com

Lauren Gurley of In These Times writes about what's needed to build a local, sustainable food movement in Chicago and Illinois. A Sustainable Economies Law Center event in Chicago that brought together a stakeholders in the local food movement is mentioned. 

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