Community Wealth Blog

In January, we wrote about how B-Corp (benefit corporation) legislation is catching momentum at the state level, when New York became the seventh state to allow new businesses to incorporate as one. Now B-Corps are catching the attention of the mainstream media – both PBS Newshour and CBS Evening News recently ran informative pieces about the possibilities and potential impact of benefit corporations. 

new 64-page dossier by freelance author Enrico Massetti provides an interesting introduction to worker-owned and consumer co-ops in the United States. Drawing in his readers with a compilation of interesting back stories for multiple co-ops across the nation, Massetti also provides a useful toolkit - credit of and based on the Arizmendi Bakeriesin San Francisco, CA - for those interested in starting a worker co-op or expanding their current one into a larger system of collectives.

new 64-page dossier by freelance author Enrico Massetti provides an interesting introduction to worker-owned and consumer co-ops in the United States.  Drawing in his readers with a compilation of interesting back stories for multiple co-ops across the nation, Massetti also provides a useful toolkit - credit of and based on the Arizmendi Bakeries in San Francisco, CA - for those interested in starting a worker co-op or expanding their current one into a larger system of collectives. 

We are pleased to announce a new intern position at the Democracy Collaborative that will focus on the C-W.org newsletter, adding web content, and social media outreach. For further details, please see the position description below. Remember to submit your applications by March 1st!

Although separated by more than 3,000 miles, rural communities on both sides of the Atlantic are facing a similar issue – lack of quality broadband networks.  Individuals and local businesses in 23 towns across Vermont and 8 parishes in rural Lancaster in northwest England, frustrated with traditional companies limited investment in broadband, have turned to community solutions to finance these networks.

Yesterday the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation and the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St. Louis released the fourth report in a series collectively titled “Creating a Financial Stake in College.” This report, titled “Ideas for Refining Children’s Saving Account Proposals,” offers specific policy recommendations to help create a national children’s savings account system.

Meet Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative (SF2T). Formed in 2009 and located in Moore County, North Carolina, this is the first cooperative in the nation where all parties to the transactions are owners. The co-op is owned and controlled by the producers (farmers), distributors (workers), and consumers (customers).

In December 2011, New York became the seventh state to pass bi-partisan legislation to create a new type of corporation that is quickly becoming a household name – a Benefit Corporation. A B-Corp, for short, is required to do what other corporations cannot - consider its impact on equal ground with its bottom line.  B Corporations must make a material positive impact on society and the environment and must meet higher standards of accountability and transparency than traditional corporations.

The belief in economic mobility – or the ability to climb the economic ladder from rags to riches - is at the core of the American Dream. However, as Jason DeParle, author of American Dream, explains in a January 4th New York Times editorial and as Angela Glover Blackwell founder and chief executive of PolicyLink, elaborates on in a Letter to the Editor a week later, if “American exceptionalism” is taken to mean a society with a high level of class mobility, then the phrase may actually be more applicable to Canada and Europe than the United States.

Gar Alperovitz, Democracy Collaborative co-founder, made the case for a transition to a new economy, characterized by more democratic forms of ownership, in an op-ed which appeared in the New York Times on December 14th. 

Grist recently featured Democracy Collaborative co-founder Ted Howard as part of The Change Gang series that presents profiles of people who are leading the way to a more sustainable society and planet through practical solutions. The Evergreen Cooperatives is highlighted as it provides an opportunity for the low-income communities of Cleveland, Ohio to take part in the environmental movement, but more importantly by taking ownership of their workplace.

Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of The Democracy Collaborative (the host of Community-Wealth.org) and author of the newly reissued America Beyond Capitalism, will be joined by author and Public Citizen founder Ralph Nader; Democracy Collaborative Co-Founder and Executive Director Ted Howard; and John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies, at a free forum and book launch event, which will take place Wednesday, December 7th, at 7pm at the 14th & V Streets (NW) location of Bus Boys and Poets.