DC’s “anti-profit worker-run community film co-op”

Back around 1975 in DC, the Magic Lantern Cinema began and ran for at least six years. Here is a 1981 article discussing the lessons learned about this kind of film co-op:

“Radio City Music Hall it ain’t,” is how the Washington Star described the Magic Lantern Cinema. “An anti-profit worker-run community film co-op” was the first formulation that Magic Lantern organizers came up with for themselves back in the fall of 1975. Lately, the catchword has become “DC’s alternative film theater” — more vague but also more accurate. During its first five years, Magic Lantern has gone through a number of changes — in philosophy, politics, personnel and program. The general goals, however, have remained fairly constant. We seek to provide a showplace for independent and political films that do not receive theatrical distribution, and to do so in a setting that is “more than a movie house” and that supports and contributes to political education and activity in and around Washington, DC…

Five years ago, Washington DC’s worker-run cooperative community was still strong — a network of food coops, “anti-profit” bookstores, record stores, print shops, plant stores, etc.. At that time, two former film programmers at Catholic University who had become part of the network (one working at a food coop, Glut, and the other at the record shop, Bread and Roses) decided to set up an ongoing film series. Bread and Roses (bankrupted just twelve months ago by slumping sales and a whopping back tax bill) provided $100 as a loan for an experimental film series.

To read further: http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/JC24-25folder/MagicLanternCinema.html

Coop Housing Training

The next Mi Casa Coop Leadership Academy training will be held on Saturday, July 19, 2014 from 10 am – 12 pm at 2427 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE (Thurgood Marshall Academy). The topic is Coop Structure and Documents. We ask that Coop members bring their Coop Bylaws and House Rules. We will be reviewing them as we go over meeting structure, Robert’s Rules of Order, quorum, and exercises.
We will also set aside 15-20 minutes to talk about the September Coop Clinic and get your feedback on topics, exercises, or activities you would like to see incorporated into the day.
Should you need transportation, please let us know.
Attached is the English and Spanish flyer.
Have a great day!
Mi Casa Inc
Twitter: @MiCasaIncDC

Interview with Greenbelt Homes cooperative members

Tune in to WOL 1450 AM on Thursday, July 10, at 10:30 a.m. for Everything Coop, hosted by
Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Steve Skolnik and Eldon Ralph, President and General Manager of Greenbelt Homes Inc.  Click here to listen online.
Steve Skolnik moved to Greenbelt with his wife and 1-year old daughter in 1977, and has lived in the cooperative 37 years; he and his wife raised 3 children in Greenbelt, two of whom live in the coop as well, along with five grandchildren.  Educated in engineering, Steve worked much of his career as a master electrician, retiring four years ago as vice president of a local contracting firm. He volunteers as Chair of the City of Greenbelt Board of Appeals, as a member of the Greenbelt Homes Inc. Buildings Committee, and currently serves as President of the Greenbelt Homes Inc. Board of Directors.
Eldon Ralph was hired by Greenbelt Homes Inc. as Director of Physical Plant Operations in 1997 and became General Manager in December 2011. Mr. Ralph has expertise in the areas of administration, facilities management and financial management. He currently holds the Professional Community Association Manager Certification, which is the Community Association Institute’s highest professional designation.

Don’t miss this opportunity join what promises to be a lively informative conversation.

Cuba Co-op Tour

Visit this beautiful country and experience the emergence of co-operatives in a unique cultural and political environment. Based out of Havana, the tour will be an interactive week of dialogue, presentations, and site visits to a range of co-operatives within and outside of the city. Meet with Cuban co-operators, government representatives, researchers, and other key co-operative sector partners.  The tour will bring together a diverse, international group of co-operative sector employees and board members, researchers, students, and others interested in experiencing co-operatives in Cuba. The tour through St. Mary’s University will take place February 14-21, 2015. For more info:  http://www.smu.ca/webfiles/CubaPromo1pager.pdf

Research Associate Needed (July 15th deadline)


The Democracy Collaborative (Takoma Park, MD) is seeking a Research Associate to work on the Next System Project, an ambitious new initiative aimed at helping Americans think boldly about what is required to deal with the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Working with a broad group of theorists and activists, and using the best research, understanding and policy thinking, the Next System Project seeks to develop and refine comprehensive alternative political-economic system models and launch a national debate that will put the central idea of system change – and that there can be a “next system” – on the map in a serious way.

The Research Associate will provide administrative and research support for the project’s Executive Director, Joe Guinan, and Co-Chairs Gar Alperovitz and Gus Speth. Candidates for the position should possess strong administrative, organizational, research and writing skills and have a demonstrable interest in alternative political economy and a commitment to transformative political, economic, social and ecological change.

Responsibilities will include:

Providing administrative assistance for the planning and execution of day-to-day project activities, including setting up meetings and events, networking and partnership-building, and generally providing support for the development and expansion of the project;
Research, analysis and writing for broad audiences, including academic, policy-making, and lay audiences, and production of professional reports and memoranda;
Representing the project professionally in a variety of public settings;
Contributing as needed to other priority activities.
Additional Qualifications:

Strong knowledge of political economy issues and related fields;
Superior research skills, especially in qualitative analysis;
Ability to work independently and manage a complex workflow;
Ability to work as part of a collaborative team;
Excellence in both written and verbal communication.
Technical proficiency in working with spreadsheets, databases, and other project management software and tools.
Ability to build relationships with academics, practitioners, activist groups, and other project partners;
A track record of commitment to economic and social justice, diversity and inclusion;
A graduate degree in political science, economics, sociology, public policy or related field would be helpful, but is not required. Salary commensurate with work and academic experience. Job includes health and retirement benefits and three weeks’ vacation. The position is based at the Democracy Collaborative’s office in Takoma Park, MD.
Length of position: Two-year commitment (contingent on satisfactory 90-day and annual review) strongly preferred. Position can extend beyond two years by mutual agreement.

Start date: Summer 2014

To apply: Please email a cover letter, resume and writing sample to jobs@democracycollaborative.org by July 15, 2014. No phone calls please. http://community-wealth.org/jobs

VéloCity Bicycle Cooperative in Del Ray

VéloCity Bicycle Cooperative
2111 Mount Vernon Ave.

The friendly spirit of the neighborhood is in high gear at VéloCity, which takes donated bikes, then rehabs and sells them and their parts for a good price. You fix your own bike, with help from experienced volunteers, and use the shop’s tools and supplies for just $10 an hour. “Everyone helps out everyone here,” said volunteer Joe Brown. “I live near Skyline [neighborhood] and am over here all the time. I wish we had something like this.”

From the Washington Post Magazine.