United Automobile Workers President Emeritus on Everything Co-op

Tune-in to WOL 1450 AM Thursday at 10:30am, for Everything Co-op. This week Vernon interviews Bob King, President Emeritus, United Automobile  Workers, (UAW). Vernon and Bob will discuss his experience with 1worker1vote, and CB2E; and his involvement in the cooperative movement.

Bob King retired from the United Automobile Workers in June 2014, after completing a four-year term as president of the union. Prior to his term as President, King served three terms as vice president. In his last term as vice president, he directed the Ford, Severstal, and Competitive Shops/Independents, Parts and Suppliers Departments. King was first elected as a UAW vice president in 1998, and assigned to lead the union’s National Organizing Department. During King’s leadership the National Organizing Department assisted more than 80,000 workers in their efforts to join the UAW.

Known for his activism and passionate belief in social and economic justice, since retiring, King has remained very active in social justice causes in his community and globally. He was a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley for the spring 2015 semester, and co-taught a seminar for both undergraduate and graduate students on “Labor and the Global Economy.” He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the 1Worker 1Vote organization, which is a joint effort of the United Steelworkers and Mondragon Corporation, to create and support worker cooperatives in the United States. King also serves on the board of CB2E, a Detroit organization also dedicated to creating and maintaining worker cooperatives locally.

To listen live online Click Here!

or Click Here! to Listen on your cell phone with Tune-in Radio

How To Convert a Business into a Worker-owned Cooperative

Cooperatives represent a growing segment of the economy with an estimated 30,000 enterprises and 100 million members in the U.S. alone. A great way to bring democracy into the workplace, coops can be built from scratch, but they can also be created by converting existing businesses into worker-owned cooperatives. For retiring business owners as well as entrepreneurs, selling a business to employees is a way to strengthen the business while getting a return on investment.

Melissa Hoover, executive director of the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), says that coop conversions are one of the most promising sources of new cooperatives as they already have customers, assets and employees, which makes it less risky than a startup. She also notes that those coops created from conversions are among the most passionate members of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Read more here.

The New Deal Cafe — A Co-op and a lot more

The New Deal Cafe, in Historic Greenbelt, MD is more than just a “Volunteer Cooperative”. It is an award-winning music venue (WTOP’s Top-10 2012 best music venue in the DC region) featuring live music six nights each week (Tuesday through Sunday), with special nights for Open Mic and Comedy, Wine and Beer bar, Middle East food restaurant, and gallery showcase for local artists. And a lot more…

Vernon Oakes Interviews Judy Ziewacz, Interim President of NCBA, today

Tune in to WOL 1450 AM tomorrow for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Ms. Judy Ziewacz, Interim President of the National Cooperative Business Association. Vernon and Ms. Ziewacz will discuss her involvement in the cooperative movement, and initiatives of NCBA CLUSA..

For over 40 years, Judy has been a champion for cooperative development, articulating a steady and unswerving vision about the power of cooperation, and persistently reminding cooperatives and cooperative institutions that they exist to empower people. Her incredible capacity as a strategist has resulted in cross-sectoral coalitions that have created critical infrastructure for the co-op community domestically and internationally.

Ziewacz was instrumental in launching the nation’s first statewide cooperative development center – now known as Cooperative Development Services. She also played a key role in establishing CooperationWorks!, a national cooperative development network, which is responsible for the creation of hundreds of co-ops, thousands of jobs, and serving hundreds of thousands of members. As the Executive Director of the Cooperative Development Foundation, she led the charge for the creation of dotCoop, an important branding tool for cooperatives in the internet age.

The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector advocacy, education and technical assistance that helps cooperative businesses thrive.

To listen live online Click Here!
or Click Here! to Listen on your cell phone with Tune-in Radio

Steps to Starting a Cooperative webinar

As CooperationWorks continues to revamp their co-op developer training program, CW will be partnering with USDA to offer a webinar on steps to starting a new cooperative.

Are you interested in helping organize cooperatives? Not sure how to get started? Looking for a guide on what to do and in what order? Join Margaret Bau, Cooperative Development Specialist with the USDA Rural Development, to learn the steps to organizing a co-op. We will examine the steps from the perspective of a start-up co-op business initiated by a community group. Next we will discuss how the organizing process differs for a co-op incubated by a sponsoring organization. Finally we will outline the steps of converting an existing business to cooperative ownership. This free USDA webinar is presented in partnership with Cooperation Works, the national association of co-op development centers and professionals. The intended audience includes newly hired staff of co-op development centers and those engaged in community economic development.

Steps to Starting a Cooperative

Where: https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/registrations/new?cid=t4fs0gilj8tf
When: Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm EST
If using a phone: Dial: (303) 248-0285; conference ID: 20240324

If possible, please use your computer’s audio and “chat” feature instead of phone lines.

Exciting Worker Cooperative Developments in DC

From Allison:

Coop IA group of us — Jennifer Bryant, Eva Seidelman, Tracy McCurty, Adwoa Masozi, Silvia Salazar, Melody Webb, and a few others — have been meeting over the last year to create a worker cooperative incubator called Cooperation DC. It will be housed in and fiscally sponsored by ONE DC, and will kick off with a training in November.

November events
On Thursday November 5th from 6:30-8:30pm, there will be a community event where we’ll hear from our new and existing coops, make the connection with the national movement, and share ways everyone can support economic democracy in DC. Please RSVP here and spread the word!

Coop IIOn Friday November 6th, we’ll host two convenings — one is a training for small business support organizations so they’re able to include worker cooperatives in their offerings. Another is a convening with government and funders to get the national worker coop movement and our asks on their radar. If you have any suggestions for folks who should be at either of those, please reach out.

On Saturday November 7th, there will be a training for current and potential worker owners. It’ll include financial planning, governance, management structures, financing, and legal. If you know of worker cooperatives in formation who may be interested in attending, please reach out to DCWorkerCoops@gmail.com with details. This one is not a worker coop 101 space — we’ll cover that base at the Thursday event!

We’re raising funds over the coming months to pay for the training and the follow up technical assistance. If you have suggestions for potential funders or donors, or if you can chip in a little yourself, it would make a huge difference in us being able to do this work!

the website
Since the website for Cooperation DC would include many of the same resources on the Coop DC website, we’d like to merge the sites. That would mean that our web developer (Adwoa) would take what’s on the Coop DC page, put it on a fancy wordpress template, add information about the upcoming training, and change the domain to cooperationdc.org/com. Cooperation Jackson isn’t strictly worker coops, and likewise, it would be great to keep our other solidarity economy (housing coops, for instance) resources on there. Johanna, who’s been doing most of the blog updating, offered to continue doing what she’s doing on the new site, which is wonderful.



A multi-racial, values-driven organization dedicated to practicing democracy; race, gender, and economic equity; and solidarity with communities most affected by the ravages of the current economic system.

We are connectors and co-builders committed to being on the ground in communities and in policy spaces with the goal of greater policy alignment with communities’ experiences.

We are dedicated to working in multi- and interdisciplinary ways, thinking creatively, learning from one another, and sharing our experiences.

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