democracy |diˈmäkrəsē| noun - “A system of government in which all the people of a state ... are involved in making decisions about its affairs” (Oxford English Dictionary).
What if every one of us got involved in making decisions about our affairs by writing and passing ONE law? At SELC, we’re realizing that many laws need to be created and reformed if we are going to build just and resilient communities.
Our experience has taught us that anyone can become a citizen lawmaker! We've even developed a workshop to get you started! But first...
3 QUICK THINGS YOU CAN DO TO SUPPORT OUR POLICY WORK:
ADVOCACY CAMPAIGNS, POLICY UPDATES, AND CALLS TO ACTION:
SELC Weighs in on Airbnb and City Policies
- Between cracking down on abusive landlords and accommodating poster child Airbnb hosts, cities are facing a tough question: What role do short-term rentals play in our communities, and how should they be regulated? To help answer this question, SELC has drafted a comprehensive set of recommendations for equitable short-term rental regulations that balance concerns about affordable housing supply, health & safety, and neighborhood impacts. We've even included some ideas that are outside the box! Now we're asking for your feedback. READ AND COMMENT HERE >>
A City Ordinance to Prioritize Worker Cooperatives!
- What if every city in the U.S. adopts an ordinance that prioritizes the development of worker-owned cooperative businesses? That is what SELC wants to see, and we are starting with Oakland. We are drafting a model ordinance based on Oakland’s Municipal Code, collecting and incorporating feedback from a variety of organizations, and forming a strategy to make it happen. We'd like to hear your thoughts! READ THE ORDINANCE AND COMMENT HERE >>
Local Economies Securities Act
- SELC wrote a bill to facilitate local investing in California called the Local Economies Securities Act, and it was introduced last month in the State Legislature by Senator Ben Hueso! The bill would revise California’s securities law to enable small businesses, farmers, and locally-owned renewable energy projects to raise funds from their customers, friends, neighbors and supporters in the community instead of big financial institutions. We're giving everyone opportunities to invest in local, sustainable enterprises instead of Wall Street! But we definitely cannot pass this legislation alone. We need your help! READ MORE AND GET INVOLVED >>
California Worker Cooperatives Bill
- SELC and our friends at the Green Collar Communities Clinic, the Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives, and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives have been working to design a better legal structure for worker cooperatives in California in partnership with State Assemblymember Rob Bonta, who introduced AB 816 last month. READ MORE >>
Legalizing Seed Libraries Across the US
- SELC’s Save Seed Sharing campaign is building a full head of steam as we advocate to protect people’s rights to share seeds. So far, four city councils have passed resolutions in support of seed sharing and three state legislatures (Minnesota, Nebraska, and Illinois) are considering amendments to state seed laws exempting seed libraries from regulation. READ MORE AND GET INVOLVED >>
SELC Wants to Amend the California Legal Apprentice Law
- SELC is in conversation with California legislators about reducing barriers to participation in legal apprenticeships. National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Chapter even voted unanimously to support such a bill. Read about our proposal here, and track this and other apprenticeship advocacy efforts here. To get involved in our legislative efforts on this topic in California contact Christina@theselc.org.
Advancing Community-Owned Renewable Energy
- SELC is working to ensure that communities, nonprofits, and cooperatives, rather than large investor-owned companies, will own and control local the energy projects as society transitions to renewable energy. On February 2, the CA Public Utilities Commission issued a decision partially approving plans by California’s major utilities to implement the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program, a program mandated by SB 43 to increase access to solar electricity generated by small, local energy projects. SELC has been an official party to the proceeding, giving input on the proposed plans since 2013. SELC’s input was mentioned 20 times in the recent decision! SELC will continue to give input in the next phase of the proceeding and we’ll provide updates on our Community Renewable Energy Program webpage.
David and Goliath and the California Money Transmission Act
- SELC has been fighting hard and may now be able to take credit for small reforms to one of California’s most draconian and economically repressive laws, the Money Transmission Act (MTA). Read more about the CA Department of Business Oversight's latest draft of proposed regulations and SELC's proposed changes to the law on our Community Currencies Program page.
RECENT and UPCOMING EVENTS
DIY Policymaking for Resilient Communities
Webinar Edition: June 1, 12:00pm to 1:15pm Pacific Time
In-Person Edition: June 1, 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Impact Hub Oakland (Seating is limited)
What if every person takes charge of advocating for and passing just one law? To create economically resilient communities, we need to change or create millions of city, state, and federal laws. These new laws would remove barriers to and create incentives for local food production, renewable energy projects, local manufacture, worker-owned enterprise, shared housing, and other aspects of thriving communities. SELC’s Christina Oatfield, Yassi Eskandari, Neil Thapar, and Janelle Orsi will present a road-map to passing high-impact policies, share their experiences introducing and passing legislation, and lead the participants in developing their personal policymaking goals and plans.
RSVP FOR WEBINAR>>
RSVP FOR IN-PERSON>>
Resilient Communities Legal Cafe at Alchemy (Berkeley) - MARCH 17
Legalize Your Food Biz! at the Food Craft Institute
MARCH 24, 5:30PM-7:30PM
The Food Craft Institute
This workshop will walk you through both the legal pitfalls and opportunities at the city, state, and federal level for how to successfully launch and market your food business.
Legal Professionals for a New Economy Happy Hour (San Francisco) - MARCH 31
New Opportunities in Community Based Solar Energy
MAY 4, 6PM-8PM, Impact HUB Oakland
Join us for a presentation from our friends Andreas and Gavi from RE-volv, a nonprofit solar financing organization, whose mission is to empower individuals and communities to invest collectively in renewable energy.
Cooperation and Economic Democracy: Moving Towards Cooperation Silicon Valley
April 17th, 7PM-9PM & April 18th, 9AM-6PM
San Jose, CA
We appreciate your ongoing support!