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create-iconAlong with direct action and other forms of resistance, a transformational movement must also have a constructive program that builds new institutions based on the values that the movement aspires to achieve. These may eventually replace the old systems. From small, worker-owned cooperatives to national advocacy groups, hundreds of thousands of people around the country are working to create democratic and sustainable systems that meet the basic needs of all people.

The US Worker Cooperative Movement Turns 20

These are examples of worker co-ops in the United States in the late 20th century. While doing great work, and with a wealth of cooperative experience between them, before 2000 these somewhat isolated islands of democratic work and community care stood alone on the U.S. economic landscape, operating separately, and independent of each other. Maybe they didn’t even know that each other existed, or what they were doing to solve similar problems – especially those on opposite coasts. And most people in the U.S. knew little to nothing about worker co-ops. Regional worker co-op conferences started to help bring co-ops like these together, not just locally but regionally - with the goal to form a national network.

NYC’s Independent Recyclers Emerged From Pandemic Stronger Than Ever

New York’s canners and lateros have acquired property, created a redemption facility and community hub – and begun to organize. Josefa Marin and her partner Pedro Galicia arrive at 6:30 a.m. most mornings outside the Sure We Can Redemption Center in Brooklyn’s trendy Bushwick neighborhood. The facility itself won’t open for another hour, but in the meantime they get a head start on sorting through the cans and bottles they’ve collected the previous night from apartment buildings, restaurants, bars, clubs or events where organizers have tabbed the couple to help out with recycling.

China’s ‘12345’ Government Service Hotline; Serving The People

Public service cuts are sweeping across Britain. Essential services are being cut to the bone and, in many areas, have disappeared altogether. A number of councils, including the largest, Birmingham, have even had to declare bankruptcy. In Britain, if there is no budget to meet the people’s needs then the services have to go. Meanwhile, in China, responding to the needs of the people rather than the needs of the budget is the priority. Some people will read what I have just said and shout: “That it’s just Chinese propaganda!” Not so.

A Unique Community Land Trust Making Homeownership Affordable

When Michael Haggins’ credit score disqualified him for a mortgage preapproval in 2021, he was crushed. A single father who grew up in Richmond, Haggins dreamed of owning a house in his hometown where his two sons could play freely. A shortage of just five credit score points — plus systemic inequities and a national housing crisis — left them all living with his mother. But today, Haggins is the proud owner of a home in Church Hill, thanks to Richmond’s Maggie Walker Community Land Trust (MWCLT) and its pioneering model for creating permanently affordable housing. “I don’t think I could’ve done it without their help, honestly,” says Haggins.

The Role Of The Labor Movement In Solidarity Economy

Enjoy this panel discussion on the role of the labor movement in solidarity economy hosted by the Solidarity Economy Club at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies from Friday, May 10 , 2024. Solidarity Economy is an internationalist framework that seeks to unify diverse community-based initiatives toward a values-centered alternative to capitalism. Some of these initiatives include cooperatives, community gardens, land trusts, tenant’s unions, care networks & more. There has been increasing attention on the role of the labor movement in solidarity economy as union leaders seek new ways to fight back against the increasing precarity caused by neoliberalism, automation and AI.

Liberation Economist, Part Two

The theme of software licensing is very interesting. One time Richard Stallman was in Curitiba and stayed at my house for a week. He and I had many conversations about this and in the end wrote a joint statement on the importance of linking free software and solidarity economy, developing solutions for the solidarity economy that are truly free, libre, etc. But I posed to him an ethical problem: free software, precisely because its license allows for its use for any purpose, can lead to its use for ends that are not liberating, purposes tied to exploitation, domination, ecological degradation, or what have you. To what extent does a totally unlimited freedom, with no ethical parameters, contribute to the real expansion of freedom for all and not just some?

Cooperatives In China And Prospects For Their Significant Growth

During my recent visit to China from April 14th to 24th, 2024, I had the opportunity to engage with seasoned members of the cooperative movement, among whom were British nationals who live in China. A highlight of my trip was spending a substantial part of a day, together with colleagues from ‘Friends of Socialist China’, exploring an agricultural cooperative in the north-eastern Jilin province. The law on Specialised Farmer Cooperatives was passed by the National People’s Congress, coming into effect on July 1 2007. As stated by Tim Zachernuk In his excellent study of cooperatives in China: “The law acknowledges international cooperative experience as codified in the cooperative principles formulated by the International Cooperative Alliance.

Sponge Cities Are The Future Of Urban Flood Mitigation

“When it rains, it pours” once was a metaphor for bad things happening in clusters. Now it’s becoming a statement of fact about rainfall in a changing climate. Across the continental U.S., intense single-day precipitation events are growing more frequent, fueled by warming air that can hold increasing levels of moisture. Most recently, areas north of Houston received 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 centimeters) of rain in several days in early May 2024, leading to swamped roads and evacuations. Earlier in the year, San Diego received 2.72 inches (7 centimeters) of rain on Jan. 22 that damaged nearly 600 homes and displaced about 1,200 people.

What If Non-Drivers Helped Plan Our Transportation Systems?

In the fall of 2021, I was invited by Roger Millar, the head of the Washington State Department of Transportation, to speak to the board of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials at its annual meeting. Before the meeting, Secretary Millar explained that I’d be presenting to the heads of each state department of transportation, and I started to get nervous. I am not a civil engineer. I don’t have a degree in urban planning. I have never worked for a transit agency or department of transportation. What I had was my lifetime of experience as a disabled nondriver and stories from the hundreds of other nondrivers from every corner of Washington State.

Detroit: $1,700 Duplex Is Now One Of The City’s Most Energy-Efficient Homes

In 2016, the home Kendal Kuneman’s grandmother grew up in sat abandoned in Detroit like so many others. Its doors and windows were gone, the roof was failing, part of a stairwell was missing, and scrappers had stripped the home of its metal. But the family connection drove Kuneman to buy the duplex for $1,700 from the Detroit Land Bank with the notion of transforming it into a green home. Seven years later, the Faust Street house is something else entirely: It is among the most energy-efficient homes in Detroit, fully electrified, and on the path to becoming net zero.

Vermont Could Become First State To Make Emitters Pay For Climate Damages

Vermont’s House of Representatives has passed S.259, a state bill aimed at collecting recovery costs for climate-related damages from the biggest emitters, such as fossil fuel companies. The bill, called the Climate Superfund Act, was introduced to create a Climate Superfund Cost Recovery Program, in which fossil fuel businesses would undergo an assessment to determine their share of costs for fossil fuel extraction or refinement actions that led to increased greenhouse gases and related costs in the state. As reported by NBC News, the agency would measure extreme weather linked to climate change in the state and the cost of damages from extreme weather events through attribution science.

The Refillery Is Coming For Your Grocery Store Routine

“This is slow shopping,” says Roque Rodriguez about his refillery grocery store, Seed and Oil, in Woodside, Queens. “It’s about slowing down, being more present, being more aware: What’s the impact of the choice I just made? We educate folks when they come in, we talk to them, and you see people getting into the rhythm of it.” I don’t think it’s that much slower to shop at package-free stores like Seed and Oil—you bring your own container and weigh it, then you fill it up with the amount of rice or walnuts or Peanut M&Ms that you want to take home. But I get what he means.

What Cities Can Learn From Seattle’s Racial And Social Justice Law

The right-wing political campaign against diversity, equity and inclusion policies taking place in several states across the U.S. has called into question the nation’s commitment to achieving racial equality. In this landscape, Seattle is marking a milestone of sorts – the first anniversary of adopting its Race and Social Justice Initiative ordinance. This ordinance, signed into law in April 2023, places the Race and Social Justice Initiative under the Seattle Office of Civil Rights and states that all departments in city government are responsible for “implementing change toward ending institutional racism,” which is defined in Seattle as “policies, practices, procedures, and culture of an institution or system that work better for white people and cause harm to people of color, often inadvertently or unintentionally.”

Sustainable Food Systems: Feeding Ourselves Across Europe

Brussels is currently not the most hopeful place for those wishing to see EU food systems in a fair, ecological transition. But hope is on the ground. Not waiting for the impetus to come from above, many communities, food policy councils, solidarity farming initiatives, food cooperatives, as well as rural and urban municipalities have already established their own democratic, economic and social frameworks in order to create sustainable food systems. At Feeding Ourselves 2024, a roundtable on Bottom-Up Approaches to Sustainable Food Systems was a chance to connect partners of two ARC2020 projects, Rural Resilience in France and Rural Europe Takes Action – Germany* with kindred spirits in Ireland.

How To Unite Local Initiatives For A More Sustainable Global Future

This article challenges the belief in high-tech solutions to solve socio-environmental crises, proposing a political vision beyond “green growth” and “ecomodernism.”. It advocates for a commons-based technology framework, promoting collective resource management for sustainability. We thus introduce “cosmolocal” production, a configuration that strives to connect communities around shared resources and serve their needs while minimizing ecological impact. Despite acknowledged tensions, we contend that the cosmolocal framework could foster institutional and social change, aiming to address environmental degradation and wealth inequality.
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