Credit Union Sues Trump Administration

On December 5, the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union—a community development credit union and CEANYC member—filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and Michael Mulvaney for their takeover of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was created in 2010 with the Dodd-Frank Act and exists to make sure that citizens and consumers are treated fairly by banks, lenders, and other financial companies. It is the clearinghouse for complaints and allows for transparency amongst consumers around which companies exploit their consumer bases and how. The CFPB also provides answers to common questions consumers have, an essential service in an unnecessarily complicated structure. Confused about how your auto loan will effect your credit? Want tips on how to engage your children in learning about money and savings? Being called non-stop by a debt collector and curious about the legal limitations you have a right to? The CFPB can and does answer those questions for consumers. Despite all this, Michael Mulvaney, Trump’s illegally appointed new head of the CFPB has referred to the agency as a “sad, sick joke.” […]

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CEANYC Stands for Climate Justice

Five years ago, Superstorm Sandy blasted our city, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. As a result, communities—primarily those comprised of low income New Yorkers of color—were devastated. As we saw in Sandy and Katrina, and have seen again with Irma, Maria, and Harvey, institutional support fails to keep our cities safe and rebuild the lives of those on the frontlines. Cooperatives—like housing cooperatives and community land trusts, food cooperatives, worker-owned cooperatives, community gardens, and housing cooperatives—on the other hand, have a history of immense resilience and support. It is community-owned and community-governed land and property that will provide people (us) necessary relief in the wake of disaster We know that climate change makes storms like Sandy more violent and intense, and we know that fossil fuels and an economy rooted in extraction and environmental racism are to blame. Disasters like Sandy will get worse as long as our elected officials keep supporting profit over people, whether it happens through fossil fuel extraction or luxury development on our city’s waterfront, and our most vulnerable communities will be the ones […]

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Policy Plans

  On September 18th, we convened with representatives from worker cooperative, housing cooperative, and low-income credit union networks to discuss cross-sectoral policy and advocacy strategy moving forward. With city support for expanding worker ownership through initiatives like the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative, increased attention on housing cooperatives and community land trusts as a way to resist gentrification and climate displacement, and expanding participation in credit unions and public banks across the country, we believe it is crucial to work together to develop a cooperative platform for New York’s solidarity economy. In the past, CEANYC has supported sectoral advocacy in a variety of ways: supporting worker cooperative expansion, amplifying and participating in calls to action from: the New York City Community Garden Coalition to preserve endangered gardens,  Urban Homesteading Assistance Board on tenants rights campaigns, advocating for a community land trust on the contested Bedford-Union Armory site, and National Federation of Community Development Credit Unionsa federal push to preserve Community Development Financial Institutions,  and New Economy Project’s campaigns to protect low-income New Yorkers from predatory lending. We have also supported single issue […]

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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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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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