The Big Apple got behind cooperatives in a small, yet historic way this past month with the adoption of a budget that includes a $1.2 million dollar fund to support the development of worker owned cooperatives. That $1.2 million is the largest investment in worker cooperative by a US city to date shows how low awareness is in the US of cooperatives as a local wealth building strategy, but it’s a promising start in the right direction.
A coalition of community groups has been working for some time to develop pro-cooperative policies in the city, issuing a “Worker Cooperatives for New York City: A Vision for Addressing Income Inequality” report this past January. The coalition was convened by the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies and included the Center for Family Life, New York City Network of Worker Cooperatives, Ecomundo Cleaning, the Working World, Green Worker Cooperatives, and the Democracy at Work Institute.
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