Cooperation in Childcare

Last month researchers, developers, academics, and cooperators got together to discuss the following question: how can we use success stories to build out childcare cooperatives as a solution to the problems in NYC? The convening centered around a report done by the Federation of Protestant Welfare Communities, the Democracy at Work Institute, and the ICA Group. According to this research, 52% of low income families in NYC are in need of subsidized childcare, and only 1 out of every 4 of these families are actually accessing these programs (the most common of which are Early Learn, Universal Pre K, Head Start, and Family Child Care).   The problem? Some of these programs are seasonal; for example, Universal Pre K only runs until June. Costs remain between $16,000 and $21,00 per year per child; with inadequate government reimbursement, many New Yorkers (including childcare workers themselves) cannot afford childcare High worker turnover (25%-50%) in an industry that is part time for most workers Low wages, with the average childcare worker making $12 an hour in NYC, combined with lack of benefits Inadequate […]

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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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Real Estate Investment Cooperative General Meeting

The New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative—a group of over 400 individuals looking to secure permanently affordable space for civic, cultural, and cooperative uses—held it’s July member meeting on the 27th at the Brooklyn Public Library. The packed room first heard from 596 Acres about different pathways to community land access, and then heard from New York residents looking for support on real estate projects, including the preservation of a historic church and strong community programming in Brownsville as well as affordable housing in Inwood. There are many different pathways to community land access, including but not limited to: city owned land, land stewarded via a lease to trusty non-profit that leases it from the city, community land owned by an absentee owner, or eminent domain for good. In exploring this different modes of ownership, 596 acres’ Mara Kravitz offered examples of land in the city that has become publicly accessible through these means (like the Maple Street Community Garden or El Jardin del Paraiso) while also answering different questions from the membership. Fortunately, thanks to a play the REIC steering committee put […]

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Snapshot: Deborah Sanders

Volunteer, Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) Shareholders Forum How did you first get into this work? The Shareholders Forum (SF) consists of owners of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) housing units. HDFC is a program created in the 1970’s that provided a means for people living in decaying neighborhoods to purchase their apartments and thereby become more invested in their communities.  The program stipulated that the homes provide housing to people of low-to-moderate income (LTMI) in exchange for tax benefits and other means of support.  Today, many of the neighborhoods where HDFCs exists are being gentrified. An increasing number of HDFC owners are being swept into the whirlwind of change and facing the decision of whether sell their government sponsored apartment to wealthy people who are flocking to these neighborhoods. Many shareholders view selling these apartments to wealthy people as a betrayal of the mission of the program and as destructive to fabric of the community. We are working to expose the potential harm of the practice and to stop it from happening by appealing to both community members and to the […]

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