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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Snapshot: Pamela Owens

Senior Vice President, Organizational Development and Capacity Building at the Federation of Community Development Credit Unions How did you first get into this work? I kind of fell into it by accident. I had worked at a university for ten years and I had done basically curriculum design. When I was at the very beginning stages of a PhD program and knew I wanted some more experience, the opportunity came up to deveop the Community Development Credit Union Training Institute which was to help CDCUs. It was supposed to be two years, it’s turned into eighteen. But it’s been a good eighteen years. This was the opportunity to work specifically with adults who were all experts but needed to fine-tune their skills, so I love that idea. What does ‘Solidarity Economy’ mean to you? It’s kind of a tricky question because I look at everything through the lens of community development. I would love to see, in an ideal world, all the cooperatives come together and work together promoting engagement, sustainability, independence, asset development in a way that doesn’t depend […]

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Snapshot: Alicia Portada

Director of Communications and Community Engagement at the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union How did you first get into this work? 12 years ago, I was a new immigrant looking for jobs but I lacked referrals and job history since they were all in Peru. I decided to try the AmeriCorps Program to build my network from scratch. The opportunity was to be a volunteer in a small credit union in East Harlem and what attracted me to it was the cooperative model. My dad always talked, very proudly, about his cooperative in Peru, his participation in it, and how they helped him in times of need. I volunteered through AmeriCorps for one year and after that, the CEO offered me a new position in marketing. I remember that as soon as I started I had a lot of things to do, and there were always more things to be done ASAP, and that never changed. I took that as a sign that this was the place where I belonged. What does ‘Solidarity Economy’ mean to you? It […]

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Snapshot: Joe Rivera and Carlos Martinez

Founding members of Sunset Scholars Tutoring Cooperative How did you first get into this work? I was actually the youngest member in Sunset Scholars. What motivated me the most was my drive to help others and I guess one of the big causes was when  Jia Lin was telling us about the actual education problems within Sunset Park and how some kids are falling behind. While she talked about the Asian community, I already had some input about what the expectation was of Hispanics in this kind of environment. I heard a lot of kids say that they weren’t really motivated to go to college or college wasn’t really an option for them. – Carlos My friend’s grandmother was a social worker at Center for Family Life and knew I was in education, so she suggested I go in. I liked the idea of unity and being my own boss and I am really into this old/new method of collaborative working. I just really liked it. – Joe What does ‘Solidarity Economy’ mean to you? Solidarity means all people working […]

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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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