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Celebrating the 3rd Eastern Conference for workplace Democracy

EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION

By Frank Lindenfeld

This issue celebrates the third (and largest) annual meeting of the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy. The conference featured dozens of informative workshops, and an inspiring keynote address by William Greider. We include writeups from some of the workshops and presentations in this issue, as well as a summary of Greider's comments. Look for additional articles about the conference in our next issue, including a powerful 12 point agenda (Moving Forward, Nationally and Internationally) presented at one of the workshops by U.S. Federation board members Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo and Ajamu Nangwaya.

Over 100 persons attended the conference, including members of more than two dozen cooperative enterprises and numerous umbrella and support groups, as well as representatives from both the Canadian and French worker cooperative movements. Seven members of the GEO editorial collective were there. GEO editor Jessica Gordon Nembhard helped to plan and organize the event, along with conference staffer Mary Hoyer. Conference participants lodged at the university, which provided excellent meals. Auctioneer Loren Rogers, assisted by Ethan Miller, helped raise $2,000 at the scholarship auction to help low income folks to attend the next conference. Evening entertainment included films and Latin dance instruction.

Members of various support organizations attended Ethan Miller's impromptu outdoor presentation of GEO's plans to update and widen our cooperative directory, An Economy of Hope, and agreed to collaborate in this effort. (See, below). Also below are descriptions of two NYC area worker cooperatives, Long Island Home Enterprises and the upscale Rene' Pujol French restaurant in Manhattan bought out by its employees.

Also in this issue is staff member Melissa Hoover's annual report on the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives In addition, we print a plea by insurgent Argentinian workers now running their factories without the boss to help sponsor and host a North American speaking tour planned for November, 2005. On the back cover, we feature Jane Livingston's summary of the responses by grassroots and cooperative movement members to the devastation to New Orleans and Gulf areas by Hurricane Katrina. Importantly, we include recommendations by Chris Clamp and Charles Knight as to where to send money for relief and reconstruction efforts, especially directed to help Black victims of the disaster

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