The Jackson Rising Book is Out!

New book on the struggle in Jackson, MS, where grassroots activists have adopted a cooperative economy agenda, among other efforts. Please note that book authors are scheduling speaking events.

Greetings Everyone,

First, want to thank you all for your support of our efforts.

Second, we wanted to let you know that the "Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, MS" is finally out. You can purchase copies at the following sources:
1. Cooperation Jackson http://www.cooperationjackson.org/announcementsblog/2017/10/15/new-jackson-rising-book-arrives-published-and-now-available
2. Daraja Press https://darajapress.com/catalog/jackson-rising-the-struggle-for-economic-democracy-and-self-determination-in-jackson-mississippi
3. Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076DNN8BY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1508078214&sr=8-2&keywords=jackson+rising

For everyone BCC’d here who was asked and who already wrote a review for Amazon, please submit your review ASAP. This will help with the placement of the book on Amazon and ultimately help with book sales, which in this case is critical, cause the proceeds from the sale of the book are being used to finance our ongoing work. For those on this list who have not written a review, want to strongly encourage you to write and submit one to support the cause.

If there is anyone here who would like help us with promotions in general, or with setting up speaking events, radio shows, etc., please contact me directly at this email KaliAkuno. Just to note, either myself or someone else from Cooperation Jackson can be available for radio interviews starting the 16th of October. We will be available for events, TV shows, etc., in November. So, please spread the word, and if you would like to organize an interview or event yourself, hit us up!!!

Enjoy the Book. And thank you for all your support!!

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Help fund RCO Tires through micro loans at Kiva

https://www.kiva.org/lend/1384926
A loan helps us purchase a used forklift to increase our production and efficiency. This way we can recycle more tires, make more products, and hire more people.

Niki’s story

My mother, and her mother before her, started their own small businesses, auto-repair & hairdressing shops, here in Los Angeles – I come from a strong line of women entrepreneurs and community activists. After school I worked in corporate positions but always knew I wanted to build businesses to impact my community: a brick-and-mortar business, with an environmental mission, that created good blue collar jobs for my friends and neighbors. We knew from the start that we would ban the box, unionize our shop, and offer a decent and dignified workplace. Our next mission is to leave the company to the incredible people who have built it — Rco will become a 100% worker owned cooperative, offering its staff the opportunity to fire the boss (thats me) and own their own jobs.

Please join us for a Meet Up with Niki Okuk on the Worker Cooperatives Business Model

I wanted to let you know about our meetup. Wednesday September 27th at 7 PM
at Father’s Office 3229 Helms Ave Culver City CA 90034

https://www.meetup.com/preview/LAWORCS/events/242963140

We will be discussing a new business model: worker cooperatives.
Our guest speaker is Niki Okuk:

Here is the link to her TED Talk now on the national site Ted.com

https://www.ted.com/talks/niki_okuk_when_workers_own_companies_the_economy_is_more_resilient

Another economic reality is possible — one that values community, sustainability and resiliency instead of profit by any means necessary. Niki Okuk shares her case for cooperative economics and a vision for how working-class people can organize and own the businesses they work for, making decisions for themselves and enjoying the fruits of their labor.

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxCrenshaw, an independent event. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page.

Join worker cooperators in Cuba this November!

We’re headed to Cuba!

The US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and Democracy at Work Institute are partnering with ethical travel company AltruVistas to provide a six-day exchange between Cuban and U.S. cooperative leaders from Monday November 27 through Saturday December 2, 2017. This is an amazing opportunity to discover the Cuban cooperative movement alongside your peers from Cuba and the U.S. while fully immersed in the rich culture and arts of Cuba.

We aim to notify applicants by September 25th. Preference will be given to applications submitted by September 20th.

Learn more and apply for the trip here.

Learn More
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Copyright © 2017 Democracy at Work Institute, All rights reserved.
Thank you for your interest in Democracy at Work Institute publications!

Our mailing address is:
Democracy at Work Institute1904 Franklin St., Suite 400
Oakland, CA 94612

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Car washers celebrate their car wash business in South Los Angeles After the owner closed the company from one day to another, 13 workers were organized and re-registered the service as a cooperative

http://laopinion.com/2017/02/22/carwasheros-celebran-su-negocio-de-lavado-de-autos-en-el-sur-de-los-angeles/

Car washers celebrate their car wash business in South Los Angeles

The owners of the Vermont Gage Carwash celebrate the anniversary of their joint entrepreneurial initiative.PHOTO: AURELIA VENTURA / THE OPINION
BY:JACQUELINE GARCÍAFEBRUARY 22, 2017

After a battle to get unionized, the Vermont Gage Car Wash was one of 16 businesses that did it in 2014. But before enjoying the benefits of the union, the workers had to face a crisis.

Miguel Cruz was one of the 13 unionized workers of the car wash who already enjoyed worker protections. In 2015, the 31-year-old Mexican, who lived near work, saw one night that they were getting things out of business.

” The owner closed the business without telling us anything, ” recalls Cruz.

The next day the employees came to work and the car wash service did not open nor did the owner appear.

“We were waiting three days for answers and for our check and she told us that she had already given it to the union,” said Cruz, saying it was a lie.

02/22/17 / LOS ANGELES / Car washer Miguel Cruz joined coworkers and owners from Vermont Gage Carwash to celebrate their anniversary and their union. The celebration included music from Los Jorneros del Norte, vendors, merchandise from other local cooperatives, to celebrate the hard working spirit of this unique group of car washeros. (Photo Aurelia Ventura / La Opinion)Miguel Cruz at the Vermont Gage Carwash Anniversary Celebration (Photo: Aurelia Ventura / La Opinión)

They form a cooperative

The disappointment of losing their job, instead of cowing them, strengthened the 13 workers who decided to start the business themselves . With the help of their union United Steelworkers Local 675 and the Los Angeles Union Cooperative (LUCI) they began to raise funds.

The group registered the business again but this time as a workers’ cooperative . In this case the business is controlled by the workers who have invested some money. The profits of the business are equitable and the board of directors of the cooperative is in charge of voting in the decisions. Workers continue to benefit from their union and LUCI advises them on business development.

Union representative Manuel Ramirez said United Steelworkers Local 675 represents about 30 car wash businesses ranging from San Diego to Pasadena.

” We strive for workers to have safe drinking water, on-time breaks, overtime paid, contracts with a percentage above the minimum wage, and we also negotiate holidays and get paid for sick days that they do not use ,” Ramirez said.

Most important, in this case, is that workers now feel they have a voice and feel they are being heard, the representative added.

02/22/17 / LOS ANGELES / Vermont Gage Carwash worker owners celebrate with the community their anniversary and their union contract. The celebration included music from Los Jorneros del Norte, vendors, merchandise from other local cooperatives, to celebrate the hard working spirit of this unique group of car washeros. (Photo Aurelia Ventura / La Opinion)The 13 workers who decided to join and form a cooperative celebrate the anniversary of their business (Photo: Aurelia Ventura / La Opinión)

Happy employees

José Manuel Zúñiga, 56 and part of the group of 13 carwashers that make up the cooperative said that when he saw the strength of his colleagues to fight for the business he decided to join. Zuniga had a little fear of losing his job, but he did not lose faith.

” I am happy to be part of this group because now I know it is a very strong obligation ,” he added.

Rusty Hicks, executive director of the Los Angeles County Labor Federation (AFL-CIO), who was present at the car wash celebration said that this group of employees is a role model.

02/22/17 / LOS ANGELES / Vermont Gage Carwash worker owners celebrate with the community their anniversary and their union contract. The celebration included music from Los Jorneros del Norte, vendors, merchandise from other local cooperatives, to celebrate the hard working spirit of this unique group of car washeros. (Photo Aurelia Ventura / La Opinion)The community participated in the celebration, which included music by Los Jorneros del Norte among other attractions (Photo: Aurelia Ventura / La Opinión)

” The fight for workers to have a better life began in this same place four or five years ago and now we are back where the employees have advanced and they have shown us that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself ” , Hicks said congratulating them on having the courage to continue the business under his command.

TED Talk mentioning the work of LUCI

nikiokukted

LUCI Member , Niki Okuk, gives a TED talk at TEDx Crenshaw October 2016.  Today it was released to the public.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3h9I4vcX00

Niki Okuk

Title/Occupation: Worker – Owner, LA Union Cooperative Initiative

Bio: Niki grew up in Los Angeles attending Audobon Middle School, High School in Oakland, CA, community college in San Francisco, later majoring in Economics at Columbia University in New York. After working in development with the office of Joseph Stiglitz, and working in finance in Korea and Singapore. Niki completed her MBA with Nanyang University in Singapore, including a sustainability certificate at Sloan School of Business at MIT. She has has since returned to Los Angeles to build democratic and sustainable businesses, co-founding Rco Tires, a tire recycling and manufacturing company in Compton.

 

Title of Talk: Business/Entrepreneurship

How does this fit in with our theme: This years TedxCrenshaw is about taking stock and getting a clear view of our community’s strengths and weaknesses. Our economy is owned by people that do not live in our communities, such as stock market investors and CEO’s of major corporations. Corporate employment pushes down wages and externalizes cost to achieve ever increasing profits.  Those profits go out of our community to share holders and CEO’s that live all around the world, robbing our local tax pool as well as impoverishing our workers.  Corporate employment is pumping wealth out of our communities.   To affect real change to the social problems in our communities, we need a fundamental shift in the business paradigm.

 

Quoted from TEDxCrenshaw: http://www.tedxcrenshaw.com/speaks/niki-okuk/

 

Final week to support Democracy Brewing! *Secret Perk just for you!* 🍻

SUPPORT DEMOCRACY BREWING!


We’re in the homestretch of our Democracy Brewing IndieGogo campaign: Help Ferment Rebellion!

50d0cdb6-d76d-47a5-bdb0-e14d32df41e6.jpgWe’ve got a final perk for YOU, our backers!

Be one of the cool kids and get this super awesome Democracy Brewing t-shirt for making an additional gift of just $25 between now and Saturday, August 20th. Here’s the link.

Plus, we’re continuing the referral perk. If you refer a backer who gives at least $10 we’re going to throw an extra Democracy Brewing pint glass your way. (Okay, we won’t throw it, we don’t want it to break).

  • Important: to count as a referrer, you must promote our campaign with Indiegogo’s share tools while logged into your Indiegogo account.

Thank you so much for helping us get this far. Please take the extra step to help us finish strong!

In solidarity,

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James Razsa & Jason Taggart
Democracy Brewing Co-Founders

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Copyright © 2016 Democracy Brewing, All rights reserved.
Thank you for supporting Democracy Brewing’s IndieGogo campaign.Our mailing address is:
Democracy Brewing21 Allen St
somerville, MA 02143

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