Public Policy & Governance

In Detroit, many once thriving neighborhoods lay in ruins.  Most of the houses in many  city blocks can be in a state of severe disrepair, including some that have been completely gutted or burned, with perhaps one or two inhabitable homes that appear to still have people living in them.

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Converting to renewable energy sources will do nothing to stop the environmental destruction caused by mining, logging, and other industrial processes, nor will it address increasing wealth inequality. If activists are serious about saving the planet need to recognize the corporate-led economy as the root problem to be overcome.
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[Editor's note: This recent event at the United Nations represented a milestone for Black Women's Blueprint, a Brooklyn-based organization that works to "place Black women and girls’ lives as well as their particular struggles squarely within the context of the larger racial justice concerns of Black communities..."  Here is how BWB announced the event on their Facebook page.

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cross-posted from Shareable

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A growing number of cities are investing in co-ops to keep money local and neighborhoods affordable.
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Cuba’s renovation of its socialism is opening space for an expanding non-state sector of its economy. The growth of small private businesses and of cooperatives is invigorating Cuba’s civil society. Whether this will be a socialist civil society depends on whether socialist cooperatives or the non-socialist private businesses predominate.
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First, the Village

Yes, dear Readers, there is a place filled with Public Hope, a place in Spain far more tangible than Kris Kringle or Santa Claus.

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As worker-owners, we’re used to doing things ourselves. We start businesses, figure out democratic decision-making, and confront systemic issues that deny wealth to communities. We’re tenacious and self-governing, so why limit our influence to our workplaces? As our movement grows—and it is, rapidly—we’re innovating faster than the law can keep up, often operating in gray areas that can be as uncertain as they are productive.

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At the age of 19, Roberto Luis Rodriguez Rosario was serving a 125-year prison sentence in Puerto Rico.  The experience was devastating.  

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The challenges for 2015 are the same ones we've failed as a movement to find solutions to, or even act on, for a very long time: climate change and the neoliberal politics of austerity. The co-operative movement needs to work internationally to stop oil companies extracting, and governments and corporations burning fossil fuels for profit, and it should be a part of the international campaign against rich elites profiting from wrecking the climate.

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Worker assistance programs and government funded co-op incubators have a poor track record for creating worker co-ops. More effective methods of creating worker cooperatives include converting existing businesses to worker co-ops and leveraging the institutional capacity of already existing co-ops to create new worker-owned businesses. Keywords: ESOP, conversion, worker assistance, economic democracy
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Considers the difference between cooperative economics and economic democracy. The two viewpoints are not the same. The potential for collaboration between cooperators and proponents of economic democracy is explored as are methods for injecting economic democracy into consumer and producer co-ops. Keywords: cooperatives, co-ops, economic democracy, democracy, solidarity economy, governance.
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– Keynote Address, Good Economy Conference, Zagreb 2015

I want to speak today about a crisis that has gripped Europe, and the western democracies, over the last 30 years.

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[Editor's Note: later this month, GEO and Level Translation will release an English edition of the most recent report on Argentina's recovered businesses (of which there were 311 in 2013, employing over 13,400 people).  The inspiring successes of the recovered business co-ops in Argentina--their failure rate so far has been less than 5%--no doubt has much to teach us, in the North, about how to successfully transition from capitalist to worker control.]

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