April is shaping up to be a big month for resistance and solidarity-building. Between the upcoming Tax March, March for Science, People’s Climate Mobilization, and Beyond the Moment (the latter two are campaigns NEC is proud to partner on), there are countless opportunities to organize and stand up for your community. Read on to learn more about what’s happening and how to get involved!
Stories from the Field
The Majority: The Movement for Black Lives, Cosecha’s A Day Without Immigrants, Fight for 15, NEC members Cooperation Jackson & Highlander Center plus a number of other organizations have joined forces and staging May Day actions across the country. The “Beyond the Moment” campaign is an effort to drive collaboration across communities culminating in mass protests May 1st. Learn more about it here and here.
Weighing Anchor: When a struggling Cleveland neighborhood turned to its city’s hospitals and universities to help fuel the economy, they set a precedent for community wealth building that’s spread across the country. Now, the strategy has made its way across the pond. Read why this UK town thinks it could work for them.
Income Inequality: CEO’s make, on average, 300 times more than their workers. That’s why the city of Portland, Oregon passed a tax on companies with CEOs who earn more than 100 times the median pay of their workers. Read more about the problem and how it contributes to the larger problem of income inequality.
Solidarity Looks Like: NEC member Solidarity Economy St. Louis just launched their #SolidarityLooksLike campaign this week. Contribute to the effort to make community-wealth building and solidarity economies visible to our communities! Learn about the work they do in St. Louis and watch the video.
Solidarity Economies Abroad
Repair Cafe: A grassroots repair club in Argentina wants to help break the cycle of consumerism by creating a community that repairs objects instead of throwing them out. In the words of one participant: "We want to associate repair with the idea of caring for something, with love, with an equal exchange...Things are just things, but they hold traces of humanity... if someone helps you fix something it becomes even more human and more meaningful." Read more.
UBI: A group gave cash aid to rural Kenyans in order to test the impacts of Universal Basic Income. Check out this report about its effects on the community here.
Community-Built Housing: In the early 2000s, nearly a quarter of all new housing units in Zurich were part of co-ops. As part of the “New Urban Agenda,” developed by the U.N. last year, developing countries agreed to explore the strategy as a way to satisfy the need for 1 Billion new homes by 2025. Read about the strategy and why financial solidarity is well positioned to solve the housing crisis here.
“No other academic discipline has managed to provoke its own students—the very people who have chosen to dedicate years of their life to studying its theories—into worldwide revolt.”
-- Kate Raworth in her new book “Doughnut Economics” explains the history behind how the financial crisis turned economists into rebels. Read excerpts on our blog: “Who Wants to be an Economist” and “Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist.”
Resource: Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure
In this policy brief for The Next System Project, Democracy Collaborative Fellow Ellen Brown, founder of the Public Banking Institute, explores what's wrong with President Trump's approach to infrastructure.
By focusing on private investment and public-private partnerships (PPPs) to come up with the capital to invest in repairing and upgrading our infrastructure, his plan will accelerate (partial) privatization of public assets and impose huge costs upon local residents, to be repaid through local taxes and extractive and regressive user fees like tolls.
Read the brief and Brown’s proposed solutions here.
- Beyond the Clean Power Plan to Real Power, with Jordan Estevao
- Trump asked African Americans what they had to lose. For this rural Kentucky community, the answer is tangible.
- What a Policy of Real Solidarity With the Syrian People Looks Like
Worker-Owners on the Rise:
- A Group of Die Hard Twitter Users Wants To Buy The Company & Turn It Into A Co-op
- Solidarity Rising in Massachusetts
- Commonsplace Monthly Co-op News Roundup
- Black Lives Should Matter More to the Environmental Movement
- Transforming Capitalism: 7 Acupuncture Points
- Cooperative Business Resolution Passed by Austin City Council
- The Gig Economy’s False Promise
- #NP Future Left: Take This Job & Guarantee It
Development Manager, Shareable, San Francisco
Director for North America, EDGE Funders Alliance, Northeast
Grassroots Organizer (Contract), Friends of the Earth, Flexible
Legal Director (and other positions), Demos, New York, NY
Program Coordinator, Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC, New York
Community Energy Specialist, PUSH Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Program Associate, Democracy Collaborative, Washington D.C.
Multiple Positions, Oke USA, West Bridgewater, MA
Are you going to the People's Climate March, the May Day marches and general strikes, the upcoming Science March, or any of other forms of resistance taking to the streets this spring? Join Icarus Project for a sliding scale webinar (starting at $0) to build your skills, knowledge, and ability to practice emotional resistance while you’re in the streets! (Virtual, April 18)
Moving from the personal, to the communal, to the political, this webinar will explore the concept of ‘sacred activism’ and how to apply it to social and environmental justice work. Combining resistance with renewal, and structural critique with a celebration of life, sacred activism rejects the corporate message that we are greedy and aggressive by nature. Join our speakers, Alnoor Ladha from The Rules and Helena Norberg-Hodge from Local Futures, and bring your own questions as we delve into this exciting field. (Online, April 19)
On Saturday, April 29th, we will come together for one massive march to bring our demands to the streets of Washington, D.C. We will march for our families. We will march for our air, our water, and our land. We will march for clean energy jobs and climate justice. We will march for our communities and the people we love. And we will be louder and stronger than ever before.(Multiple Locations, April 29)
More than 50 partners representing Black, Latinx, the indigenous, LGBTQ, refugees, immigrants, laborers and the poor will collaborate from April 4 through May 1, International Worker's Day, when they'll launch massive protests across the country. The action will go beyond moments of outrage, beyond narrow concepts of sanctuary, and beyond barriers between communities that have much at stake and so much in common. (Multiple Locations, April 4th - May 1st)
Another world is not only possible–it’s already here. NEC member, Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC), aims to strengthen and expand community-led, democratically-controlled initiatives — from worker, financial and consumer co-ops to community land trusts and gardens, mutual housing, and low-income housing co-ops. Learn about the long history of solidarity economy efforts in New York City and ideas for continuing to fight and build. (New York City, April 22, 2017)
Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is proud to present Building the Green Economy, a panel discussion on the intersections of economic and environmental justice. Is a meaningful reduction in carbon emissions possible under capitalism? What are the political obstacles to a fair, ecologically-sustainable society? Confirmation of panelists is forthcoming, but look forward to academics, activists, and folks in between! (Washington D.C., April 28)
Transform Montreal convenes the people who are democratizing and disrupting our city’s economy and highlights inspiring democratic businesses from around the world. TM 2017 (2nd edition) is a bilingual, action-oriented conference where entrepreneurs, freelancers, activists, and cooperators share skills and deepen social and economic transformation. (Concordia University, April 29-30)
As members and supporters of our vision for Fair Development, permanently affordable housing, jobs and a healthy environment, we are pleased to ask that you join us in lifting up the powerful 20/20 Campaign on May 13, 2017. People across Baltimore are uniting around a core belief and expectation that our City will invest in community driven development that meets our basic needs. (Baltimore, May 13)