December 30, 2014. Mayoral Candidate Bob Fioretti is calling on Chicagoans to re-imagine our economy and build it together. Bob knows that creating a strong economy means doing more than just asking for jobs or relocating corporate headquarters downtown. In addition to reforming our TIF program and directing resources to attract traditional businesses to all our neighborhoods, creating new opportunities by promoting worker cooperatives is another step in building a robust economy.

Opportunity Threads is a worker cooperative cut and sew factory in Morganton, North Carolina. Started in late 2008, it’s an inspiring example of how democratic ownership in manufacturing can create jobs, empower workers, and even rebuild the value chains that sustain a community economically.

Fran Ilich's collaborative Diego de la Vega Coffee Co-op project uses alternative currencies, barter and other methods to work with Zapatista coffee growers and forge connections with politically aligned creatives in New York and elsewhere.

The destination is Fireweed Universe City, a collective community just off Woodward Avenue a few blocks outside Highland Park. The residents of the three-block community — which has garnered little media attention — have been dubbed hippies, pioneers, and other romantic monikers.

Some of you may be aware of a bibliography I’ve been maintaining over the last year that is an attempt to collect anything written relating to co-operative higher education. At this early stage in our collective thinking it’s quite an easy task to keep on top of, but I hope one day to abandon this bibliographic project because the volume of literature has become to large.

Saquana began working at Milk Not Jails last winter as a Sales Associate. Part of her job includes taking orders from clients and preparing the invoices and schedules for Stephen, our driver, to make deliveries.  She was pleased to recognize the names of some of our clients, like Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, when she first joined Milk Not Jails.

The Yes Lab has put together a tremendous new tool to help activists develop campaigns, share the information and get help to carry out the project.  They call it “Action Switchboard” and it allows you to post the action to a website — they call the actions “Schemes.”  It allows people to see what you want to accomplish and get the kind of help you need, whether it is skills, supplies or

The initial effort to unionize originated at the store's second location, which opened in Middleton in 2010. Frustrated with scheduling, pay and disciplinary issues, workers at Willy West reached out to UFCW Local 1473 over the summer for guidance on the logistics of forming a union. Willy West employee Leah Clark says interest in unionizing is strong at the west-side store.

We are visiting Tierra Nueva to learn why it is so important that small-scale farmers organize themselves so they can farm organically, stay on their land and feed their families.


Subscribe to Gleanings