2015 Archived Posts

April 17, 2015

“Own The Change” Documentary Film Screening & Teach-In

“Own the Change: Building Economic Democracy One Worker Co-op at a Time” (22 Minutes) is a short documentary meant to give an overview of what a worker co-op is, how it can transform lives and communities, and the realities of starting one. Watch as we go through concrete steps for building economic alternatives by creating worker-owned cooperatives. Featuring conversations with worker-owners from Union Cab; Ginger Moon; Arizmendi Bakery, Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance (AORTA); New Era Windows; and more.

Following the film, we’ll have a teach-in including:

> Facilitated discussion using the guide from the the film’s producers Toolbox for Education and Social Action
> Worker Co-op Walkaround Activity: A participatory way to get a group thinking about what a worker cooperative could look like in your community
> Co-op Readiness Activity: Is your co-op idea ready for action? Evaluate using this rubric and find out!
> Co-op Resource Mapping Activity: Who can you turn to in your community to get started and stay successful?

WHEN: Thursday May 14, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM  WHERE: Cooperative Federal C.U. 1st Floor Lobby, 800 North Salina ST, SYracuse, NY 13208

RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/915802201803500/

Co-Sponsored by:

Onondaga Small Business Development Center
Cooperative Federal
Workers’ Center of CNY
Green Party of Onondaga County
Urban Jobs Task Force
Independent Media CNY
Alchemical Nursery
Transition Syracuse
Bread and Roses Collective
Bitternut Homestead on Otisco Street

April 3, 2015

Notes From Mobilizing the Cooperative Economy Lunch Meeting

A facilitated conversation among cooperative leaders:

Affiliated members in attendance included Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Onondaga Small Business Development Center, GreenStar Cooperative Market; Alternatives Federal Credit Union; Groundswell Agricultural Co-op Group; NY Cooperative Network; Energy Co-op of America, A Writer’s Alchemy, Cornell University, CoLab Coop, Buffalo Street Books, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Alternatives Fund, Alternatives Impact, Genesee Co-op FCU, SolidarityNYC, Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC, GEO

What’s been tried? What works, what doesn’t.

Chris: From where does the money come? A new organization Cooperative Vermont started, and in-process identifying member cooperatives. Noemi: Data Commons Cooperative, purposed to gather and maintain cooperatively and share a database of cooperative. Brian: Management and administration factors hugely in an alliance, especially in a volunteer capacity, where the paid responsibilities come first. Patrice: would like to bring together of roundtable of divergent communities to discuss and solve mutual issues. In the process, they set aside preconceived notions and understand cooperation. 12th Moon: Joining food coops for buying power worked. Krys: In 1971 a cooperative housing alliance put Ithaca on the map as a center for intentional communities, centered on a marketing genius. An Alternatives Fund helped seed new cooperatives, including a Cooperative Federal Credit Union. Melissa: The Genesee Coop began as a food coop and then a credit union, but finance cooperatives include insurance. The Worker Owner Resource Center grew from desires to network upstate cooperatives, with funding from the Catholic Diocese. Asha: The narrow focus of food coops (and coops within a economic sector) allows them success and to cooperate and learn regionally. The burdens of collaborating wider become prohibitive. A regional cooperative alliance helps consumers in that region learn of each other. Ron: a cooperative credit union could look to Des Jardin Credit Union and other Canadian models for a number of financial products. See the National Cooperative Bank. From food coops grew the New York State Federation of Cooperatives. Noemi: Money mismanagement hampered an early food coop. Cooperative Life produced an intersector coop magazine worked for a while, but failed. Karl: all credit unions are financial cooperatives, and could better work together. Joe: The Bay Area Worker Cooperatives had a self-imposed tax too low to do much. Brian: Cooperative Life. In 1944 P&C began as Producers and Cooperatives, before becoming a food store later acquired by Tops. Cornell has one of the largest libraries about cooperatives.

For access to the full notes from the strategic planning meeting contact us at newyorkcooperative@gmail.com

April 3, 2015

Join us For an Organizing and Strategic Planning Meeting in Binghamton

The New York Cooperative Network is having an Organizing and Strategic Planning Meeting, as part of the NYS Sustainable Business Conference.

Date: June 19th, 2014
Time: 10:30am-4:30pm
Location: Cornell Cooperative Extension – Broome County, in Binghamton.
Cost: FREE

Join us for strategic planning, and organizing the next steps, towards establishing a regional or statewide cooperative business association, coordinating with the National Cooperative Business Association, looking forward to another day-long Summit conference event in 2015, and determining how our resources and contacts can best be put to use in our goal of a solidarity social economy.

More about the event


January 15, 2015

Reminder about Saturday’s Mobilizing the Cooperative Economy lunch

I think Cheyenna was probably suggesting that if we knew what we wanted….either way, I agree with you Krys that we should not shop around a scope CDI prepares. It might make sense for us to over email, put together a bulleted list of some things we’d want in there? Or maybe that’s already been done. Anyway–I’m interested to know where the money might come from. Is this for us to ask for money from NCBA?

Thanks for pulling this together Noemi and Krys.

January 15, 2015

Reminder about Saturday’s Mobilizing the Cooperative Economy lunch

I also support a proposal from CDI and have been collaborating on the idea with Noemi. In my opinion, an organization just starting can either define a scope of work, and then seek contractors, or pick a trusted and experienced contractor or two, and have them outline a scope. Unless it is paid for (the scope), it would seem unfair to me to shop a scope CDI developed for us to other bidders.


January 14, 2015

Reminder about Saturday’s Mobilizing the Cooperative Economy lunch

I think it’s wonderful that Noemi is willing to do this. If the scope of work is clear to everyone you could shop it around to different orgs as Ron suggested, but unless there’s capacity to go through that process I’m OK with Noemi taking it on.

January 14, 2015

Reminder about Saturday’s Mobilizing the Cooperative Economy lunch

Ditto for support.


Gail Patrice Lockert Anthony


“The freedoms of democracy should never be mistaken for the free-for-all of anarchy. Freedom and Free-for-all do not have the same meanings. They are, at best, distant cousins . . . thrice removed.”
~ Gail Patrice Lockert Anthony

“In every life there are watershed moments and issues. When these moments and issues come our way, we must make decisions which define our character and demonstrate our truth. On which side of the divide will you reside? Will you court indecision? Or will you stand…United Against Hate?”
~ Gail Patrice Lockert Anthony

“The courage to pursue our dreams is in almost direct proportion to our belief that we deserve our dreams.” ~ Gail Patrice Lockert Anthony

January 14, 2015

Reminder about Saturday’s Mobilizing the Cooperative Economy lunch

I do support receiving a proposal from CDI, but is there some other person or organization that we should also solicit proposal(s) from?

January 14, 2015

Reminder about Saturday’s Mobilizing the Cooperative Economy lunch

I also support receiving a proposal from CDI.

Thanks all, 12th Moon

January 14, 2015

Reminder about Saturday’s Mobilizing the Cooperative Economy lunch

Please join the Google Group if you have not as of yet – https://groups.google.com/d/forum/newyorkcooperative, it will be helpful over time to keep communications simplified. I am in favor of receiving a proposal.

~ Frank


January 14, 2015

Hello, in case you are not on the newyorkcooperative google group and missed this, Noemi from CDI is inquiring about a proposal to support our planning process: Here is the text of her email:

On Jan 13, 2015, at 12:08 PM, Noemi Giszpenc wrote:

Hello all,

I had a good time attending the November 15 meeting in Ithaca (notes here). A suggestion came up at that meeting that perhaps the network could do with some paid staff time right now, to help put together a plan for outreach and participation and figuring out what the network would do for members in more detail…

Cooperative Development Institute would be happy to put together a proposal of what we could do for the NY Cooperative Network and what it would cost, and send it to this list to discuss and kick around. Would such a proposal be welcomed?

Thanks and happy new year,