News & Resources

New Economy Roundup: Community Responses to COVID-19, Just Transition Stories, & Community-Controlled Affordable Housing

Mar 13, 2020 | New Economy Roundup

​This week we’re talking about community responses to COVID-19, stories from the Just Transition, seven steps to building a democratic economy, and community-controlled affordable housing. 

Stories From the Field

Community Responses to COVID-19: As coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S. and globally, it’s clear that our current economic system and underlying structural inequalities are exacerbating this public health crisis. The disproportionate impact on immunocompromised, disabled, poor, and working-class people has spurred calls for immediate protections like mandatory sick pay, eviction moratoriums, and rent freezes — as well as increased protections for incarcerated and houseless people. For community responses and resources please see: 

The Boston Cooperative EcosystemWith 19 worker co-ops, Greater Boston has the third-largest number of co-ops in the nation, behind only New York and the Bay Area. Check out this Politico feature on how organizations like the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, CERO Co-op, Boston Center for Community Ownership, Equal Exchange, and more are working to combat the wealth gap and gentrification in Boston. 


Worker-Owned Media: Means TV, a worker-owned cooperative streaming service being called “Netflix for the 99%,” launched in Detroit last month. The service seeks to create the cultural conditions necessary for economic system change, and combat the consolidation of power in the entertainment industry. “It's important for us to be worker-owned and for us to have anti-capitalist content, as part of the mission to show people that we can work differently.”

Solidarity Economies Abroad

“We’re Not Going to Work Through Coronavirus:” The European country hit hardest by coronavirus, Italy has announced a near-total shutdown of shops and public venues, but many workplaces are still running. Refusing to let bosses risk their safety, factory workers are now going on strike. Italy is also expected to suspend mortgage payments to mitigate the economic toll of the outbreak.

7 Steps to Build a Democratic Economy: From the worker co-operative that's taken over cleaning services in Recoleta, Chile to the suite of nationalizations recently proposed by the British Labour Party, new forms of public and collective ownership are being developed across the world. This report from Transnational Institute identifies seven steps that are vital to building a global democratic economy.

Stories from the Just Transition

Climate Justice Alliance’s new Story Snapshots project invites viewers into the homes and hearts of those living on the frontlines of the economic, democratic, and climate crises to share how communities are moving from an extractive economy to a future of meaningful work, equity, and a clean environment. They’ll be releasing a new story each month — check out the first two, “What is a Just Transition” and “What Thriving Communities Look Like With The Indigenous Environmental Network,” now.

Common Futures Bridge Fellows

Leaders working at the frontline are best positioned to guide and create long-term systems change and redress the wealth gap. NEC member organization Common Future’s new Bridge Fellows initiative seeks to identify, connect, and resource leaders throughout the southern U.S. who are breaking barriers and working to build equitable and inclusive economies. Offerings of the initiative include a grant of $40-60K and convenings to deepen the work of selected Fellows. For details, check out this one pager and this article on medium. Apply or nominate someone here.

Movement News

Podcasts of the New Economy

In the latest episode of The Response from NEC member organization Shareable, they talk with Noni Session about how the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative is working to remove land from the speculative market and build permanent, affordable housing in the Bay Area. Learn more about how EBPREC has used policy advocacy to advance community-controlled housing in this case study from our new Pathways to a People’s Economy toolkit.

Additional listens:

Coronavirus Wisdom from a Social Justice Lens — Healing Justice Podcast

NEC on The Gram

Follow NEC on Instagram – @NewEconomyCoalition – We’re sharing community resources about COVID-19 and how to be in solidarity with those most affected.


Comms & Strategic Storytelling, Sustainable Economies Law Center – Oakland, CA – March 13
Communications and Media Coordinator, Democracy @ Work – New York, NY 
Communications Coordinator, Northern Plains Resource Council – Billings, MT
Communication Director, The Laura Flanders Show – Brooklyn, NY
Development Manager, Real Food Challenge – Boston, MA or NYC
Director/Program Manager, Capital Strategies Program, Transform Finance – New York City
Education Team Coordinator Highlander Center – New Market, TN
Education Team Member and Youth Organizer, Highlander Center – New Market, TN
Executive Director, Organisational Development – NEON – London – April 12
Director of Development, OPAL Environmental Justice – Portland, OR
Director of Development, Project Equity – Multiple Locations
Director of Movement Strategies, Demos – New York, NY
Director of Operations, Project Equity – Multiple Locations
Director of Policy and Research, Demos – New York, NY
General Coordinator, Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC – New York, NY 
Grant Writer, Demos – New York, NY
HR Manager, Cooperative Development Institute – March 6 – New England
Innovation Network Manager, Climate Safe Lending, Green America – Washington D.C./Remote
Legal Apprentice, Sustainable Economies Law Center – Bay Area, CA – March 13
Lending Director, MACED – Berea; Hazard; Paintsville, KY
Media Manager, Institute for Policy Studies – Washington, D.C.
Movement Storyteller, Working Partnerships USA – San Jose, CA
Operations Manager, Institute for Local Self Reliance – Various Locations
Policy Associate, Climate Justice Alliance – Location Flexible – March 22
Partnership Engagement Director, Green America – Washington D.C./Remote
Political Director, OPAL Environmental Justice – Portland, OR
Program Manager – Grow Grants, NE Grassroots Env. Fund – Newmarket, NH
Regional Gender Justice Leadership Cohort, Western States Center – Location Flexible – March 27
Senior Finance Manager, New Economy Organizers Network – London – March 29
Various Positions, FairBnb – Bologna, Italy
Various Positions, New Florida Majority – Miami/Jacksonville, FL
Various Positions, People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) Buffalo – Buffalo, NY
Web Developer, Foundation for Intentional Communities

Upcoming Events

Ujima, Ujamaa: The Cooperative Hxstory of the Civil Rights Movement
Join NEC member organization Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance for a conversation exploring the ways Black leaders used cooperative economics and collective work to feed us, free us, and envision a future that is still possible. We’ll explore how we as Black folx recover leadership and rematriate the idea of cooperation today and into the future. (March 13 – Philadelphia)

Preparing for the COVID-19 Virus as a Worker Co-op
How should worker cooperatives prepare for the COVID-19 outbreak? Join Michaela Fisher (Program Manager, NYC SBS’s Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative), Louis Fazen (Yale Occupational & Environmental Medicine Program Fellow) and Christina Fox (Occupational Health & Safety Trainer at ActionOSH) for this important webinar panel discussing this evolving situation. (March 16 – Online Webinar)

Remaking the Economy: Buffalo
A new Buffalo, NY is rising, with low-income communities and communities of color taking the lead to construct a more democratic and community-centered Buffalo economy. Hear from Buffalo new economy leaders — NEC member organization PUSH Buffalo, the Fruitbelt Community Land Trust, and Westminster Economic Development Initiative — in this Nonprofit Quarterly webinar. (March 19 – Online Webinar)

Dismantling Philanthropy Towards a True Just Transition
In the third EDGE Webinar of 2020, we will grapple with what a true Just Transition looks like for philanthropy and what that means for each of us employed in the sector. With speakers and interactive engagement with webinar participants, we will consider how "doing philanthropy" might also mean undoing the unjust systems that make philanthropy necessary in the first place, and that philanthropy too often also upholds. (March 19 – Online Webinar)

Principle Six Conference 2020
Curious about cooperatives, or part of a cooperative that would like to learn more about how to improve your business or share your success? This year’s P6 Conference, hosted by the Cooperative Development Institution and the Maine Business Alliance, gives you an opportunity to learn new applicable skills and to gather the tools needed to engage others to help build Maine’s cooperative economy! (April 4 – Belfast, ME)

Land 4 People Not Profit Day of Action
Homes For All is calling on renters, low-income homeowners, people without homes, and everyone that believes land use should benefit community members that need it most to take bold, creative, direct action. (April 7 – Nationwide)

ABCD Institute Training: An Intro to Asset-Based Community Development
The ABCD Institute at DePaul University is proud to present a 2 day basic training event that introduces the core principles and applications of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) in the context of local geographical communities. Presentations and discussions will occur in light of current conversations about equity and social justice and will enable participants to think deeper about responses to these challenges. This training offers an optional afternoon site visit for an additional fee. (April 23-24 – New York, NY)

Movement Podcasting Intensive Workshop
This practical, hands-on workshop covers many aspects of getting a podcast project off the ground, including idea-development, basic technical and production needs, field recording and studio recording, writing, and mixing audio. It is designed for people in social justice movement and activism with a variety of skill levels, but a clear idea for a project they want to work on whether it’s an oral history, an interview series, or even audio fiction. (April 25-26 – Durham, NC)

World Social Forum of Transformative Economies
The World Social Forum of Transformative Economies is now open for the registration of participants, organisations, activities and initiatives! The Forum will have participants from all over the world, bringing their experiences and practices, converging on common issues, contributing to a shared strategic agenda. (June 25-28 – Barcelona, Spain)

View all NEC member events on our website »



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