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by James West on March 30, 2011 Utah is the first State to officially recognize gold as money, according to a CNN. “The Beehive State has a new measure on the books that eliminates state taxes on the exchange of gold and silver coins and directs the legislature to study an “alternative form of legal tender.” The law, signed by Gov. Gary Herbert last week, also recognizes gold and silver coins issued by the federal government as legal tender in the state. Of course, they already are. But people use them as investments, not pocket change.

The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund on August 19, 2010 honored Alice Walker in Birmingham, AL at its annual dinner attended by more than 400 people.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and self-proclaimed "daughter of the rural peasantry" was presented the Estelle Witherspoon Lifetime Achievement award by FSC Executive Director Ralph Paige. The largely black organization of farmer cooperatives works to save and preserve black-owned farmlands. 

 There was so many rich quotes from the national worker cooperative conference that took place in Berkeley last weekend.  Many got lost in my unreadable handwriting.

Here are only a few that I was able to capture: 

 

hilary abell

"This isn't for everyone.  Co-ops are awesome."

--Hilary Abell, WAGES Executive Director.

 

patricia Feraud Toxic soil busters

The Evergreen cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio was the story everyone wanted to hear at the opening session on Saturday Aug. 7, 2010 of the U.S. Federation for Worker Cooperatives conference in Berkeley. 

WAGES is being used as a model by Mexican and Central American immigrants to create their own jobs. Minsun Ji, El Centro Humanitario's executive director in Denver, CO, said when they contacted WAGES to be able to adapt the WAGES strategy locally: "We were so desperate. There were no jobs. We were really, really desperate."

At the opening gathering of the 4th bi-ennial conference of the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, it was clear that the movement has reached a significant milestone. 

Melissa HooverAudience raising hands to indicate where they're from

 Hightower holding up his book

Jim Hightower is a man of very colorful language. 

"We have to get the hogs out of the creek" was Hightower's parting message in his keynote address at the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives on Friday, Aug. 6 at the San Francisco Women's Building. 

I think the hogs was the metaphor for cleaning out those muddying up what democracy is supposed to be. We need a grassroots movement to make change, to clean the creek.

David Roach is doing incredibly important work in Oakland with Mo' Better Food, schools, intergenerational learning, farmer's markets, and other things.  He was our incredible improvisational tour guide of Oakland.

Call it the Oakland Improvizational Tour.  Or Oakland's Special Synchroncity Tour.  Or the Divine Flow of Oakland Tour.  Whatever you call it, you have got to call it Amazing!!

Evergreen Cooperative Laundry managers take ACE conference attendees on a tour of the facility. CEO Jim Anderson gives a workshop on the cooperatives.
Evergreen Cooperative Laundry Operations Manager Medrick Anderson and Technical Manager Keith Parkham led a tour of the laundry.
The Association of Cooperative Educators established the John Logue ACE award at its 58th annual conference in Cleveland July27-30, 2010. Ohio Employee Ownership Center staff members, Bill McIntyre and Logue's wife, Olga Klepikova, talk about Logue's work, vision, "moxie" and his impact on Ohio and the U.S. Other ACE awardees for 2010 are also mentioned.

One of the things that I loved at the Association of Cooperative Educators conference was the invocation that ACE administrator Bill Patrie opened the proceedings with.  It really impressed me because I had recently decided that I am going to bring more of my spiritual self forward in everything I do, especially on the cooperative front where I spend more of my time.  I am not religious, but I am greatly spiritual, and it truly informs what I do.

Asset Building for Cooperatives
Cooperation: Unique Prescription for Health
Mondragon and Steelworkers Union Alliance
Cooperatives and Peace
Overcoming Barriers
Ohio City Bike Cooperative tour

Today was another amazing day of presentations at the ACE conference!....

Unlike other conferences that I'm used to attending, you don't have to choose from workshops at the Association of Cooperative Educators. There is only one track, and everyone is on the same one.

One of the great things about the Association of Cooperative Educators conference is that I have been able to meet and talk with many people that I've known "online" for the very first time. 

 At Tuesday evening's reception, I met Anne Reynolds of the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives.  What a treasure! 

By David Korten

Presentation to Association of Cooperatives Educators

Cleveland, Ohio

July 28, 2010

I've been greatly looking forward to being with you here in Cleveland to be part of this redirection of ACE. Cleveland is a city with a national reputation for being both a symbol of the failures of the Old Economy and a beacon of hope and possibility for the just, sustainable cooperative New Economy we seek to create.

The future of humans and Planet Earth depend on replacing the "greed-driven" economic system of Wall Street with the "life-serving" system of Main Street.

That was the message that David Korten, author Agenda for a New Economy, and co-founder of Yes! magazine, brought to the 58th annual conference of the Association of Cooperative Educators in Cleveland on Wednesday.

John Curl's history of the Bay Area Cooperative movement is eye-opening.  It leaves you amazed that this country is so rich in cooperativism yet we only learn of it through John's heroic efforts.  It brings to mind the saying: You need to know where you've been to know where you're going.  My hope is that this history further opens up and extends our vision and our work.  Many thanks to John Curl for his work.   

Download Curl's History of the Bay Area Cooperative Movement here

 The U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives is offering an intensive training session for organizations who want to make their internal processes more democratic and participatory. 

Melissa Hoover's description follows:

 Intensive Training: Developing Democratic Capacity
Monday 8/9/2010

Anti-Racism in the Workplace two-day training, August 9th & 10th, 2010, UC Berkeley.

The U.S. Federation for Worker Cooperatives has organized an intensive 2-day workshop as part of the conference.  Here's how conference co-organizer, kiran nigam, bills it:    

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