This week we’re talking about the how the $1.9T COVID relief package will benefit millions of working-class people including Black farmers, a new campaign for utility justice and rural electric cooperative reform, the water crisis in Jackson, how women across Latin America are resisting capitalism and the patriarchy, the upcoming Power Shift convergence, resources to defund police, and more.
Stories from the Field
Art from Acres of Ancestry’s “Cancel Pigford Debt Community Archives”
American Rescue Plan & Black Farmers: Today, one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, a landmark $1.9 trillion relief package was signed into law that will provide desperately-needed relief for millions of working-class people — including direct payments, expanded unemployment benefits, significant child tax credits, and more. The relief package also includes $5 billion in debt relief for Black farmers and other farmers of color, in what is being called “the most significant piece of legislation with respect to the arc of Black land ownership in this country.”
Rural Electric Co-op Reform: Last week, the newly-formed Rural Power Coalition sent a letter to Congress, urging them to enact a list of policies to support rural electric cooperatives across the country. These policies would directly benefit millions of rural people who are struggling to pay their bills in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis — providing an immediate moratorium on utility shutoffs and $100 billion to support utility debt relief. Learn more about the campaign and sign-on to support.
#JxnNeedsWater: Nearly a month after winter storms wreaked havoc on infrastructure across the South, many households in Jackson, Mississippi remain without water. Please support local mutual aid efforts in Jackson! People’s Advocacy Institute is working to raise $2M in emergency support funds, and we encourage folks to support NEC member Cooperation Jackson, who is providing direct relief and will be building out longer-term autonomous solutions to this infrastructure crisis.
Solidarity Economies Abroad
#8M in Latin America: This past March 8, on the International Working Women’s Day, millions of women across Latin America and the Caribbean took to the streets to resist patriarchy and exploitation in all forms, demand equal rights, and protest the growing femicides, transphobia, and gender-based violence in the region. Here’s how it went down across different countries.
All Health is Public Health: Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has exploded the myth of private health. Read this piece by the Progressive International about how we build true public health at the global level — from decolonization to renewing public ownership — and sign on to their “Manifesto for Human Life.”
Worker Buy-Outs: As the German model of industry-wide collective bargaining comes under pressure, unions are now being forced to look for other means of protecting jobs. Read how employee ownership, though not a one-size-fits-all solution, could help revitalize the labor movement in Germany.
Power Shift 2021 is coming up! The annual climate justice convergence organized by NEC member Power Shift Network is going virtual this year, and will feature panels about how BIPOC youth can build community and power outside of the mainstream climate movement. We’re excited to be sponsoring this year’s convergence — register and join in from April 16-25!
Have you checked out DefundPolice.org? It’s a new one-stop shop with hundreds of organizing resources, tools, and policies to defund police and reinvest in community.
‘We’re trying to re-create the lives we had’: the Somali migrants who became Maine farmers
40-Acres & a Mall: Black Co-operativism in Los Angeles
Angela Mahecha Adrar: The people who caused the climate crisis aren’t the ones who will solve it
A Legacy of the New Deal, Electric Cooperatives Struggle to Democratize and Make a Green Transition
Donations to Black-Led Food and Land Organizations Shift from Charitable Giving to True Reparations
Don’t Start Just Any Kind of Business; Start a Worker Co-op
Hawaii: flooding forces evacuations as officials warn ‘this is climate change’
How Will $1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Package Reduce U.S. Poverty Rates?
Indigenous Water Protectors Face Off Against the “Pandemic Pipeline”
Mumia Abu-Jamal Tests Positive for COVID, Prompting Urgent Call to Release Elder Political Prisoners
Texas’s Energy Crisis Shows Why We Need to Reform Our Privatized Energy System
The Activists Working to Remake the Food System
Scrappy Endeavor: E-Waste & Circular Economy in Kenya
Worker-Owned Cooperatives Are Creating Their Own Funding Networks
Podcasts of the New Economy
NEC member Movement Generation just launched a new podcast! “Did We Go Too Far?” takes on presidents, parenting in a pandemic, and offers perspectives on queer ecology, Black land & liberation, and being okay with the unknown. Listen to the first two episodes!
The Table Underground – The Black Farmer Fund & Reparative Economics
Subvert – From people power to corporate liability
Working People – The Historic Amazon Union Drives in Alabama
NEC on the Gram
Follow NEC on Instagram — @neweconomycoalition — where we’re living for cooperative tiktok! Check out this gem from BRED Baltimore about important Black women throughout co-op history.
Barnet, Landau, and Raskin Next Leaders Program, Institute for Policy Studies
Business Transfers Program Manager, Democracy at Work Institute – March 22
Co-Executive Director, Powershift Network
Communications Coordinator, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives – March 25
Communications & Digital Organizer, Stop the Money Pipeline
Development Manager, Project Equity
Food, Ag & Finance Analyst, Croatan Institute
Financial Craftsperson & Bookkeeper, Sustainable Economies Law Center – March 23
IT Director, Foundation of Intentional Community – March 21
Strategic Communications & Network Weaver, Grassroots Fund
Various Positions, Color of Change
Various Positions, Highlander Center
Various Positions, Right to the City
Artist and Culture Organizer, Working Families Party
Campaign Organizer, New Economy Project
Culture and Communications Associate, Boston Ujima Project
Director, Worcester Roots
Director of Lending, Shared Capital Cooperative
Director of Finance and Operations, Shared Capital Cooperative
Executive Director, Cooperative Development Foundation/NCBA CLUSA
Executive Director or Co-Director Team, Resource Generation
Fund Analyst, Boston Ujima
Honor Native Land Project Partner, US Department of Arts and Culture
Membership Manager, Black Feminist Future – Atlanta
Project Coordinator, MAYDAY Space – May 12
Senior Policy Analyst: Economic Democracy, Demos – New York, NY
Worker Co-op Policy Advocate, NYC Network for Worker Cooperatives
Various Positions, Action Center on Race and the Economy
Various Positions, Center for Popular Democracy
Various Positions, Dream Defenders
Various Positions, NDN Collective
Various Positions, PUSH Buffalo
The Social Justice Portal Project Launch
Join us for the launch of the national Social Justice Portal Project, a new movement-centered, praxis-oriented think tank. We are bringing together over 100 scholars, activists and artists from around the country for a movement-oriented think-tank that will address vital issues of racial and social justice, including Angela Davis, Naomi Klein, Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor, Robin D.G. Kelley and more! (Online – March 11)
Indigenous Resistance in the Black Hills
Please join us for a conversation with the NDN Collective on the Land Back campaign to reclaim the Black Hills—the sacred Lakota lands on which Mount Rushmore is situated—and to return the land into the stewardship of the Indigenous nations who have historically called the Black Hills home. (Online – March 11)
The 1990s-2020s: The Millennial Turns and this Decisive Decade
Recently a group of social movement scholars and activists took up the question of “the millennial turns” – global, democratic, and anarchist – that produced not only the shutdown of the World Trade Organization in Seattle twenty years ago, as well as other major mobilizations of the period, but also many of the elements of social movements that are still in play today. (Online – March 11)
Anti-Militarist Organizing Training
So, you want to build the anti-militarist movement? Join Dissenters, a new national movement organization that is leading our generation to divest from war and policing, and reinvest in life-giving institutions here and around the world. (Training – March 13)
“Own the Change: Building Economic Democracy” Film Screening and Discussion
Created by The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA) in collaboration with The Laura Flanders Show, “Own the Change” is a short documentary that gives us a guide to starting worker co-ops. It lays out the real-world challenges of launching a co-op as well as the transformative benefits the model offers. The 22-minute film will be followed by a discussion on the concepts explored in the film, the benefits and challenges of the cooperative business model, and how Cooperation Buffalo can help YOU start a worker-owned business. (Online – March 16)
Teach-in International Working Women’s Day
For the past century, women across the world have been coming together to rally around the key issues facing working class women on March 8, International Working Women’s Day. IWWD has roots deeper than organizations like the United Nations and large NGOs would like us to believe. It is a day based in struggle, resistance, unity and internationalism. As we reflect on the legacy of March 8th and collectively imagine paths toward building this necessary unity, we must also think about our history and how we got here. (Teach-in – March 18)
Foundations for Worker Co-ops Series: Building a New Economy
Through this participatory workshop we will create a shared understanding of the economy and framework for economic justice. Participants learn about existing models for housing, work, finance and land use that embody economic justice principles, as well as ways they can plug into existing initiatives and movements for economic justice in NYC. (Workshop – March 18)
But How Will You Pay for It? Financing Big Social Programs and COVID Relief
This workshop introduces participants to the basics of monetary and fiscal policy and the federal government’s management of aggregate demand. It reviews the arguments by left-wing and right-wing economists over how much government spending is possible and desirable. We focus on the political economy of the bailouts of 2008-10 and 2020-1, and the potential and pitfalls of the three ways to finance progressive policy proposals. (Online – March 25)