Snapshot: Frank Cetera

Business Advisor, N Y Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College 1. What is your title/organization/job description? Certified Business Advisor, NY Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College.  The SBDC network is nationwide, with 23 regional centers in New York.  We provide free and confidential business mentoring, advisement, and analysis for the public, funded through the SUNY system and the SBA.  I implemented cooperative business development programming within the SBDC in 2012 with organizing and hosting the first Upstate Cooperative Summit day-long event in Syracuse, followed up with a second in 2013, and then embarked on the creation of the statewide NY Cooperative Network (NYCN) project with a steering committee formed out of the Summit events. I am fortunate in this employment position to also be a union steward for Professional Administrators on campus as part of the NYSUT OCCFTA Local 1845, plus delegate to the Greater Syracuse Area Labor Council. Unions and cooperatives are a natural mix.  I use my skills and experience to try and better local politics and create a dignified city for everyone too, […]

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On Saturday July 22, CEANYC participated in a day-long organizing training facilitated by members of NY Renews and People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) Buffalo at Judson Memorial Church. New to NY Renews? NY Renews is a New York statewide coalition of over 100 organizations—environmental justice organizations, housing rights groups, immigation activists, faith-based communities, and more—joined together to change climate legislation in New York State and hopefully across the country and around the world. How? Through two crucial legislations: The Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA) and a Carbon Equity Tax. In short, the CCPA would make some of the ‘most progressive climate equity’ commitments enforceable in writing, reinvest in the communities most negatively impacted by climate change (low income communities of color), attach Fair Labor Standards to projects receiving state funds, and make our state economy free from fossil fuels by 2050. Meanwhile, the Carbon Equity Tax would financially penalize corporations—not people (as is too often the case and impact of mainstream, small-scale environmentalist reform—and use that money to directly fund the state’s poor who suffer disproportionately in the wake of climate disaster. If you are interested […]

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Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy

From June 9-11, cooperators from around the country gathered at Fordham University Lincoln Center to attend the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD). The ECWD is a non-profit cooperative organization. It is managed by a coordination council elected by the ECWD general membership, and they work in close partnership with the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives. The conference, held every year in the Eastern United States, exposes people to the concept of worker-ownership, and develops relationships between cooperatives, labor institutions, and resource organizations. This year’s conference featured a variety of workshops, starting off with a day of pre-conference sessions which included a day-long workshop on “Advancing the Development of Worker Cooperatives,” facilitated by Jessica Gordon Nembhard. Participants discussed not only the practical aspects of building and sustaining a worker-owned business, but also the political and theoretical framework and future of the cooperative movement. Other Friday sessions included a legal intensive as well as a bookkeeping intensive. Saturday and Sunday were filled with different workshops, including some shining a spotlight on important aspects of the solidarity economy movement that get less […]

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Take Back the Fight

Content Warning: Sexual Violence Interference Archive’s most recent exhibit, “Take Back the Fight: Resisting Sexual Violence from the Ground Up,” casts a much needed spotlight on the anti-sexual violence organizing that has occurred throughout history and in different parts of the world. So much of the conversation and rhetoric around anti-sexual violence work posits rape and other acts of sexual violence as isolated and interpersonal exchanges or interactions. However, this exhibit emphasizes the ways in which womxn and allies have collectively worked to resist patriarchy in ways that undermine root causes of violence rather than retroactively respond to its specific iterations. This exhibit was done in collaboration with the Lesbian Herstory Archives and presents the work and documentation of groups advocating for transformative justice, radical self-defense education, a Black feminist response to sexual violence, queer and transgender/gender nonconforming justice, a strong critique of White Feminist responses to sexual violence,and holding universities accountable to violence that occurs on campus. The exhibit closes with a discussion of social media’s role in anti-sexual violence organizing, giving visitors the opportunity to write in relevant hashtags, which included #stopneoliberalsexeducation, #SurvivedandPunished, and #niunamenos. […]

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Board of Directors Training

On July 15th, people from different cooperatives in different sectors—Bushwick Food Cooperative, the New York Network of Worker Cooperatives, Central Brooklyn Food Cooperative, the Real Estate Investment Cooperative, and Westchester Food Cooperative (in Pennsylvania)—came out to Brooklyn Commons to learn about how to better serve as a cooperative Board member. Facilitators Jim Johnson and Lauryl Berger Chun—both seasoned cooperators and certified facilitators—went over a range of topics with participants, including but not limited to: fiduciary responsibility, cooperative principles, job descriptions, and fundraising. Participants were given time to break out and workshop issues they are facing in their particular cooperative while troubleshooting with other folks with different perspectives. This training, intended as an introductory survey workshop on being a Board member of a cooperative, served as a great entry point for those new to either cooperatives or Board seats. We are looking forward to developing this assistance further and continuing to utilize popular education methods and peer-to-peer learning in order to facilitate stronger conversation across cooperatives and across sectors. Thank you so much to Brooklyn Commons for offering the space and Bed Stuy Fresh […]

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