Hello everyone, some of you are joining this list for the second group email, based on recommendations from those in attendance at last Wednesday’s initial Cooperation Syracuse meeting. Please advise if you would prefer to not receive these communications in the future. Those in attendance at the initial meeting included representatives from Cooperative Federal Credit Union (Ron, Meagan, Sam), Greater Syracuse HOPE (Ocesa, Keturah), Legal Services of CNY (Mary, Melinda), Onondaga SBDC (Frank), and Chris Fowler (individual) former ED and founder of Syracuse First. A few other people were invited to the initial meeting but were unable to attend, I hope you will still be interested in participating in this venture.
Last Wednesday we spoke about the growing solidarity economy movement and cooperatives, the work that I and others have engaged in with this topic, and the value the movement has for building community wealth and equality. If you would like further data or statistics, let me know and I will be glad to share numerous resources. For now, I am sharing a photo and press release from Monday’s event at Syracuse Printing & Surround Label with Senator Gillibrand on the announcement of the Main Street Employee Ownership Act, which has some nice bits of info if you need convincing, and if not, so you can see where we have arrived, and what the future could look like with some reallocation of SBA resources towards outreach and education efforts, as well as relaxing and opening up lending requirements for ESOPs and cooperatives.
4.30.18 Syracuse ESOP Release.pdf
Following last Wednesday’s meeting, those of us in attendance agreed to work on a mission/vision/goals/objectives (MVGO) for our working group, around a campaign for laser focusing our neighborhoods/elected officials/and economic developers on the value of cooperatives for building our community wealth, keeping jobs in our city, and making use of the economies of scale that cooperatives can bring towards obtaining larger roles in contracts (one such example is a contractors cooperative to bid on state RFPs).
My first task was to create a shared working document for us to start brainstorming and writing this together. I want to suggest a few recommendations for starting from my own experience and based upon our initial conversation.
- One, I would like us to agree that our MVGO be based strongly at their core on the Identity, Values, and Principles of Cooperatives as recognized by the ICA (International Cooperative Alliance) located at http://old.ica.coop/en/whats-co-op/co-operative-identity-values-principles.
- Two, recognize that one of our goals is not to start another organization or entity, but to create a campaign of cooperation of resources, outreach, influence, and desire to bring a solidarity economy to fruition. If there is need to utilize an entity of some form, there are numerous cooperative development entities already in existence that we could develop relationships with or work within.
- Three, that part of the goals and objectives for a starting point are an MoA among us, plans for a public press event, and developing a success story/project development.
I will also work on providing an updated narrative of the most recent happenings in the realm of solidarity economy that are affecting us locally, or can affect us in the near future, that I discussed with you all verbally at our meeting last Wednesday. Prior to me getting that out to you, you can catch up on some history through December 2015 based on these two articles:
Please visit the shared working document and contribute your thoughts and questions/comments at:
Sincerely ~ Frank