Gleanings

More than 100 people interested in how cooperative businesses can help move the Central Texas economy toward shared abundance and prosperity, came together at the second annual Austin Cooperative Summit brought by the Austin Cooperative Business Association and NCBA CLUSA.

Ann Arbor Public Schools custodians are pursuing an alternative solution in an attempt to save their jobs as district officials consider outsourcing their work to a private company.

Shareable is soliciting seed grant proposals to support the development [of] resource sharing and solidarity economy projects to be launched by Dec 2014. Along with 20-25 seed grants of $500-$1000, Shareable will offer a support package which includes training, project promotion, and peer support from the Sharing Cities Network.

When Farah Tanis began to meet with a group of low-income women to discuss their economic challenges, she found that nine out of ten were survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault.

"Most of us had grown up in poverty and we started looking at what were the systemic causes of poverty for us," she said. "We started looking at economic security as a human right and an extension of the Civil Rights."

Co-ops, time banks, lands banks, and community financing are all rooted in principles of solidarity, participation, and cooperation as opposed to competitive individualism. Join us to explore and celebrate Philadelphia’s Solidarity Economy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Christ Church Neighborhood House, 4th floor
20. N American St.
wheelchair accessible

I spent this last weekend in Boston at the CommonBound Conference  organized by the New Economy Coalition. They summarize the purpose of the conference as:

“Courage,” Ella Baker said, in 1931, to a phalanx of young African American co-operators gathered in Pittsburgh. They had come from across the country to organize for a radically democratic society – based on solidarity and justice – and to inspire their communities with a vision of a Black commonwealth.

While voter turnout in this primary season in the United States remains paltry (25% in Idaho’s recent primary), two Boise State researchers have found that participation — in the form of popular, participatory budgeting programs practiced for just over two decades in Brazil — does matter.

Despite difficult trading conditions, credit unions have done at least as well as the Irish banks in terms of managing their loan books – despite a membership that is likely to be suffering particularly badly from the recession. Most loans to members are being serviced, with 18.5% of issued loans in repayment arrears.

In an odd inversion of the usual circumstance in which a reporter is granted access to a private enterprise, I have been allowed in because Evergreen’s leaders want to open up about what’s really been happening here. They’ve realized that there is such a thing as too much good publicity, and the expectations have been set far too high.

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