Reporting from Quebec

Reporting from the Historical Materialism conference “The Great Transition” in Montreal. There are several panels on cooperatives and radical cities. Montreal and Quebec more generally are hotbeds of cooperatives, the social economy, and solidarity economies. This panel looked especially interesting. Martin Zibeau of Horizons Gaspésiens (Saint-Siméon, Canada) will be talking about:

How can a community of individuals hope to regain some control over its economy, without being “controlling” in turn? In Gaspésie, some concrete examples on the ground have been under test for a few years. The examples presented will be those of Horizons Gaspésiens, a solidarity cooperative created to serve as administrative support for a variety of self-managed projects. Among these, Loco Local is a self-managed citizen’s area open to everyone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and where trust is at the heart of the experience. Le Demi, an alternative currency created from the Canadian dollar by cutting it in half with a pair of scissors and the Gaspésie Paths (Chemins gaspésiens), a self-managed living repertoire that wants to help bring out of the shadows the fact that the social economy and collaborative is a strong pillar of the Gaspésie economy.

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Carving out the Commons: Thurs, 3/22

Amanda Huron will talk about her new book, Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, DC, at The Potter’s House, 1658 Columbia Road, NW, Thursday, March 22, 6:30pm! You can find more info about the event here. Her book is an investigation of the practice of “commoning” in urban housing and its necessity for challenging economic injustice in our rapidly gentrifying cities. Amanda Huron is assistant professor of interdisciplinary social sciences at the University of the District of Columbia.

Provoked by mass evictions and the onset of gentrification in the 1970s, tenants in Washington, D.C. began forming cooperative organizations to collectively purchase and manage their apartment buildings. These tenants were creating a commons, taking a resource—housing—that had been used to extract profit from them, and reshaping it as a resource that was collectively owned and governed by them. In Carving Out the Commons, Amanda Huron theorizes the practice of urban commoning through a close investigation of the city’s limited-equity housing cooperatives. Drawing on feminist and anticapitalist perspectives, Huron asks whether a commons can work in a city where land and other resources are scarce, and how strangers who may not share a past or future come together to create and maintain commonly-held spaces in the midst of capitalism. Arguing against the romanticization of the commons, she instead positions the urban commons as a pragmatic practice. Through the practice of commoning, she contends, we can learn to build communities to challenge capitalism’s totalizing claims over life.

Cooperation DC event on Thurs, 3/22

ONE DC would like to invite you to this month’s People’s Platform eventCooperation DC: A path to decent, dignified and sustainable work.” This month, they will focus on principle number 2 of our People’s Platform manifesto, decent, dignified, & sustainable work for everyone who wants it. They will discuss cooperatives as an alternative to the current economic system of capitalism, as well as discuss startups and the challenges of worker coops while having fun! Free food and local cooperatives featured!

It will take place on Thursday, March 22nd from 6pm to 8:00pm at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (641 D St NW, Washington DC 20004Click here to RSVP

Worker Cooperative Jumpstart this Saturday

The Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy (BRED) will be hosting its second Worker Cooperative Jumpstart this Saturday! It will be a day long series of workshops focused on establishing and running worker cooperatives. So whether you’ve been a worker-owner for years, are thinking about starting a co-op, or just want to learn more this event is for you! Organizations and individuals welcome! More info here.

Click here to register

WC jumpstart

Gordon Nembhard on Everything Co-op

Tune in to WOL 1450 AM, tomorrow, at 10:30 a.m. for Everything Co-op, hosted by Vernon Oakes. This week Vernon interviews Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Ph.D., Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development, and author of Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice.

During February, Everything Co-op celebrates Black History Month by focusing on the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s Theme. This year’s theme is “African Americans in Times of War.” Given the extensive research that Dr. Gordon Nembhard has conducted on the involvement of African Americans in Cooperatives in the Post Civil War Era, it is quite appropriate to have her return to Everything Co-op to discuss her findings.

Dr. Gordon is a cooperative ambassador, economist and community economic development expert. After 15 years of careful research, she published “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice”. Her book argues that co-ops not only should be, but have historically been a social justice tool within African American communities.

Her research has focused on community and asset-based economic development and democratic community economics; cooperative economics and worker ownership; racial and economic wealth inequality and wealth accumulation in communities of color, and alternative urban economic and youth educational development strategies. Her future research and policy analyses will connect community-based economic development, asset building, and economic justice strategies with community-based approaches to justice.

Don’t miss what promises to be an informative, lively conversation!

Next Meeting of the DC Cooperative Stakeholders Group is October 27th

The next meeting of the DC Cooperative Stakeholders Group will be on October 27th, from 1 PM to 2:30 PM. It will be held at the offices of the Dept. of Small and Local Business Development (aka DSLBD) – 441 4th Street, NW, Suite 805S, Washington, DC 20020.

If you are interested in attending please RSVP at this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/october-cooperatives-stakeholders-tickets-36990322049?aff=erelexpmlt

Hope you can join us.

~ Rodney North

Who’s participating in the Stakeholders Group?

The Stakeholders Group first met on December 19, 2016. Since then we have met every month, sometimes in the offices of the DSLBD, sometimes at the Impact Hub, and sometimes at The Hive 2.0 in Anacostia.

Here’s a partial (but interesting) list of organizations who have been represented at one or more meetings of the Stakeholders Group:

CO-OPS

CPA Co-op (Community Purchasing Alliance) 

Tightshift co-op 

Northwest Childcare Cooperative

DC Growers Co-op

A Few Cool Hardware Stores (part of the Ace Hardware co-op)

 

DC CITY GOVERNMENT

Dept of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)

Deputy Mayor’s Office of Planning and Economic Development

My Brother’s Keeper

 

ALLIED ORGANIZATIONS

The National Cooperative Business Association

Credit Union National Association

National Association of Housing Cooperatives

US Association of Overseas Cooperative Development Council

Democracy At Work Network (technical assistance)

Network for Developing Conscious Communities

Alliance For Regional Co-operation (ARC)

Good Food Markets

The Democracy Collaborative

NDCC (Network for Developing Conscious Communities)

Dreaming Out Loud

 

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

WACIF (Wash. Area Community Investment Fund)

Capital Impact Partners

National Cooperative Bank (NCB)

 

LOCAL SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS

KDC Cooperative Solutions (Mid-Atlantic Co-op Development Centre)