|Support us this holiday season!
Our annual holiday fundraisers have begun! Stop by one of these great local stores to buy your Slingshot Organizer or Peace Calendar. All proceeds support Kalamazoo Collective Housing. Don't forget — they make great gifts!
Slingshot Organizers at the People's Food Co-op
: 436 S. Burdick Street
Slingshot Organizers at the Corner Record Shop
: 1710 W. Main Street
Peace Calendars at Sangha Yoga: 157 S. Kalamazaoo Mall, Mall Plaza Suite 140
Congressman Chaka Fattah Spearheads Urban Cooperative Development Initiative
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus, will lead a new initiative to support urban cooperative business development throughout the United Sates.
Fattah, an eight term Congressman from Philadelphia, will partner with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), a Washington-based federation of cooperatives from all sectors of the economy, and CooperationWorks! (CW), a national trade association of cooperative development centers and individuals.
Rep. Fattah, Pennsylvania’s senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, said, “Cooperatives provide an excellent means for economic development and community enrichment."
“This new initiative is catching on in our cities and urban areas. The cooperative movement is a perfect fit with the agenda of the bipartisan Congressional Urban Caucus and I am pleased to provide this effort with a strong voice in Congress,” Fattah said. “These cooperatives will create jobs and wealth by helping new local businesses that are owned and controlled by their members.”
The new initiative as outlined by representatives of NCBA and CW will include seeking authorization of funds for technical assistance for urban cooperatives across the United States, an effort to change Small Business Association policies which currently prohibit participation by cooperatives in federal small business loan guarantee programs, financial assistance for cooperative business start-ups, and pilot programs in Philadelphia and other cities.
Lisa Stolarski, CW Urban Circle Chair, said, “A successful authorization of an urban cooperative development program could pass Congress in 2011 and could potentially be appropriated as early as 2012, the year declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Cooperatives.”
According to a recent study, there are over 29,000 co-ops in the U.S. employing over 2 million workers, paying $75 billion in wages, with $650 billion in sales, and $3 trillion in assets.
Spirituality & Cooperation: organizing in Boston
by James Gleghorn
In Boston, Massachusetts, a group of seven people are creating the model for the Lucy Stone Cooperative (LSC). LSC seeks to be a presence that gives back to its community through living out Universal Unitarian values. Other issues that LSC organizes around are sustainability, affordability, and cooperation.
LSC is raising funds to purchase property. Through years of planning, LSC has been gaining in member numbers and mission clarity. Some members of the planning team have been working for as long as five years. Others, like Hilary Lake, a former member of Kalamazoo Collective Housing, joined the team about one year ago.
“My inspiration to be engage with LSC certainly comes out of my experience living in cooperatives,” Hilary said. “I was always experiencing a lot of self transformation – just having people together meant that I was constantly learning at all different levels – DIY stuff, how to facilitate, and how to accept things about myself as they came up in my relationships with other people.”
LSC's aim is not to disrupt the social fabric of its new community, but to be participants within. “We are not going to go in there and say, 'we can offer you something,' but we are going to be invested in our community. Hopefully there is availability for that,” said Hilary.
LSC organizers are not planning specific agendas for engaging the community. “We have an idea of what skills, connections, and resources we have,” and every advantage will be offered to the community wherein LSC makes a home. Hillary said, “I don't know what Lucy Stone wants to happen, because we are acknowledging that we don't know... but we want to be a presence of love, in whatever way we can be. For me,” she continued, “that ministry is offering my presence, not knowing what people need, or when, but being available to facilitate and help out whenever it is possible."
The cooperative is named after a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist, Lucy Stone, who lived during the mid and late eighteenth century. Stone was the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She is also the first American woman recorded to retain her own last name after marrying. In 1851, deep in her career as a crusader for social change, Stone was expelled from the Congregationalist church that she had long attended. At that time, no Congregationalist church had taken a stand on the question of slavery. The church claimed that her abolitionist lectures were “evidently inconsistent with her covenant engagements” to the church. It was at this turn in her life that Stone joined a Unitarian church.
NASCO Institute in Ann Arbor
November 11 at 7pm
Community Potluck at Meristem Co-op: 824 Davis Street
KCH Anti-Racism Workshop
Register in advance!
The Fletcher Collective is seeking new members to share double rooms. Rates have been reduced to $374 per month (including mortgage, utilities, food, etc.). Learn more...
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