City Hall Solidarity 2017!

News came in from Joel Wool and Matt Meyer: If you in fact missed the Greater Boston Chamber of Cooperatives meeting with City Hall on 1/24/2017, or you want to review it, the video of the hearing is here.
We had over 100 people attend! Thank you cooperators!
It made a big difference to have a crowd and as was evidenced in the hearing, we eased some councilors’ concerns with cooperatives while touting the benefits.
A couple of things you can do to support the momentum going forward:
  • -If you are a resident of or work or do business in Boston, please contact your city councilors or the entire city council* to thank them for holding a hearing (particularly frank.baker@boston.gov, josh.zakim@boston.gov) and urge their support for cooperative housing and business. It’s okay to be short and sweet! If you attended and testified, consider emailing along the testimony…
  • -Please read and share Ivy Lee’s piece in the Dig
  • -Share our photos when they are posted and join our Facebook group
  • -Stand by for future action alerts
*Here’s the full city council list:
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Meeting with the City of Boston

We’re excited to have this amazing opportunity to speak with the leadership of Boston about cooperatives and how we can build a more just, sustainable, and democratic economy together.
The turnout tomorrow will set the tone of our conversations and negotiations with the City for months and possible years to come.
So if you’re able, take this last day to share the event on facebook and invite another friend or two by text or email.
We’ll be on the 5th floor of city hall, in the “Christopher A. Iannella chamber.”
4pm ET. on Tuesday the 24th of January
See you tomorrow!

Amnesty’s Northeast Regional Conference Nov. 11-12

We’re two weeks away from Amnesty’s Northeast Regional Conference, where you can gather with like-minded individuals and further develop your skills to continue the fight against human rights abuses around the world.

As human rights activists, we are challenged to expand awareness about human rights and initiate change within our own communities. Positive change for human rights comes from the collective grassroots activism of passionate individuals like you.

Join us at the Northeast Regional Conference from November 11th to November 12th at Boston University, Boston, MA. Together, we will work to change #OurWorld.

The last chance to register online is coming up, online registration closes on Monday November 7th at 11:59pm EST, so register today! We look forward to meeting you

In solidarity,
Johnny Gonzales
Senior Director of Events, Membership Mobilization
Amnesty International USA

5 Events this week in Boston at @E5 – encuentro5

Tuesday, November 1, 2016, 7:00 p.m. Screening: The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States @ e5

Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 7:00 p.m. ABC’s of Socialism and the Sanders Movement @ e5

Thursday, November 3, 2016, 6:30 p.m. Screening – Ava Duvernay’s 13th @e5

Friday, November 4, 2016, 7:00 p.m. Ecuador’s Mi Cometa, Coordinator José Luis Echeverría on the Human Right to Water @e5

Saturday, November 5, 2016, 6:00 p.m. Dalit, Student and Workers’ Resistance In India @e5

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ encuentro5
The Occupation of the American Mind
ISRAEL’S PUBLIC RELATIONS WAR IN THE UNITED STATES

This event was originally scheduled to feature Iyad Burnat who was not issued a visa from Israel and who was thereby denied the right travel to the US. As a way of supporting Iyad and getting insight to the ongoing struggle there will be a screening of a brilliant new film that gives the context for Iyad Burnat’s failure to secure a US visa in time to make his presentation.  This event is organized by United for Justice with Peace.
ABC’s of Socialism and the Sanders Movement
with Nicole Aschoff, Associate Editor of Jacobin Magazine

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. @ encuentro5

A primer on socialism targeted to former Sanders voters and consideration of a possible socialist electoral platform. This event is organized by the Boston Socialist Unity Project.
Screening: The 13th

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd, 2016, 6:30 – 8:30 P.M. @ encuentro5

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary 13TH refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.
This event is organized by MassMovement.
Ecuador’s Mi Cometa on the Human Right to Water

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4th, 2016, 7:00 P.M. @ encuentro5

Mi Cometa’s work promotes and advances the recognition and implementation of human rights through the active participation of residents living in urban marginalized areas of Ecuador. Mi Cometa does this through developing community led-management processes in the areas of housing, art and music, youth education, and programs that advance social control over public services.
This event is organized by the Color of Water Project.
Dalit, Student & Worker Resistance in India
with Padma, Pratyush & Amit

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5th, 2016, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. @ encuentro5

Presentations by local activists Padma, Pratyush, and journalist Amit on the resistance, especially by dalits (such as in Una, Gujarat), students and workers, that is emerging in India against the present government.  Pratyush will provide an account of the student resistance in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in the face of right wing assault, and their victory in student elections. Amit, a previous student leader at the same university will discuss his recent experience being involved with the student movement. Padma will talk about the Una incident and the aftermath of political agitations. The event will be chaired by Dorotea Manuela.

 

Affordable dental insurance for smaller cooperatives is here!

USFWC has had an amazing response from everyone for our dental plan. Lots of questions have been raised and answered. But to give more time to deliberation in your cooperatives, we will be pushing back the enrollment deadline to Nov. 11th
We would be happy to answer more questions or set up a call to assist with any details. We are still under our goal for participation and are welcome to late comers. Enrollment does not cost anything billing will begin for 2017 in December.
We are also inviting any cooperatives that are already on a dental plan to sign up for mid-year enrollment. The more concrete interest we have the better! We would love to get as many interested parties involved. If your workplace is currently covered but would be interested in switching at the end of their term we need to get your interest documented to strengthen our plan. This will help us grow the plan and make it sustainable for all of our cooperatives big and small. Please contact Liz Anderson at Liz@usworker.coop
Thanks to everyone who has participated so far! Our collective cooperation is making our businesses big or small healthier and more sustainable.
In cooperation,
Liz
Communications and Programs Coordinator 
US Federation of Worker Cooperatives

Libre Learn Lab

LLL Registration Flyer.png

Learn about free software to empower your project. Connect with the people building the tools that enable us to build value in our lives and communities. Take control of your cyber-life and also feed your educational entrepreneurial curiosity!

Details:
http://librelearnlab.org/

Or join the group to be invited to future events:

Libre Learn Lab

Saturday, Oct 8, 2016, 9:00 AM

Tang Center E-51
2 Amherst Street Cambridge, MA

10 Hackers Attending

Libre Learn Lab is a two-day summit for people who create and implement freely licensed resources for education, bringing together educators, policy experts, software developers, hardware hackers, and activists to share best practices and address the challenges of widespread adoption of these resources in education.Please note: RSVP’ing via this m…

Check out this Meetup →

When: Saturday, October 8, 2016 9:00 AM

Where: Tang Center E-51
2 Amherst Street
Cambridge, MA

Co-op Social at Doyle’s Cafe in JP

Co-ops in the Boston area are building momentum!

New worker co-ops are getting off the ground and building their businesses. Housing co-ops are expanding with new properties. We’re getting the word out and we’re meeting with City decision-makers to build support for a more democratically-owned economy.

Join us for this social event to make connections, hear all the updates, and plug into the movement!

When: Thursday, September 29 at 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Where: Doyle’s Cafe
3484 Washington St, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts 02130

Tackling the Law, Together: Legal Resources for Worker Cooperatives

Event Date: Monday, April 4, 2016 at 6:00 PM – Monday, April 11, 2016 at 8:00 PM (EDT)
Location: Legal Services Center 122 Boylston Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Event Details: Are you a worker cooperative who could use some help understanding the law?
If so, please join us to meet lawyers, law students, and other technical assistance providers who are working together to create and share valuable resources and information for worker cooperatives in Massachusetts.
We will be hosting two presentations to discuss legal issues that are common to worker cooperatives:
1. Monday, April 4 from 6:00-8:00 pm – Employment and Immigration Law for Cooperatives
2. Monday, April 11 from 6:00-8:00 pm – Securities and Tax Law for Cooperatives
Join us over delicious food provided by local cooperatives to learn more about the ways in which lawyers and other technical assistance providers can assist your business, as well as to teach us about ways in which we can better address your cooperative’s needs.
Please R.S.V.P. by Monday, March 28th.  The presentations will be given in English. To request language interpretation, please contact lmaynardjd16@clinics.law.harvard.edu.
Hope to see you there!
Location: Legal Services Center, 122 Boylston St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(next to Stony Brook stop on the Orange Line)
Presentation to begin at 6 p.m.

More information and Online Registration

Have questions about Tackling the Law, Together: Legal Resources for Worker Cooperatives?
Contact Community Enterprise Project of the Harvard Transactional Law Clinics

Hosted By:

Community Enterprise Project of the Harvard Transactional Law Clinics
The Community Enterprise Project is a clinical program of the Transactional Law Clinics at Harvard Law School that serves clients who live and work in the Boston neighborhoods surrounding the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. Under the supervision of staff attorneys, clinical students represent small businesses, entrepreneurs, community groups, and nonprofit organizations with respect to entity formation, contract drafting and negotiation, corporate governance, regulatory compliance, intellectual property protection, and other transactional legal matters.
In addition to engaging in direct client representation, Community Enterprise Project students partner with community organizations to develop and implement strategies to address persistent legal barriers to economic development. To this end, Community Enterprise Project students conduct workshops and produce educational materials for targeted audiences on specific legal issues, as well as develop networks of technical assistance providers and other resources around a particular industry or need.

For more information or to become a client, please visit http://www.harvardtlc.org or call (617) 998-0101.

DiscoTech coming up in May

http://codesign.mit.edu/discotechs

On May 1st 2016, the MIT Co-Design Studio team, Research Action Design, Intelligent Mischief, and the Detroit Community Technology Project are calling on YOU to attend (and/or organize!) a Co-op DiscoTech near you. A Co-op DiscoTech (shorthand for a Cooperative Economy Discovering Technology fair) is an event designed for people of all backgrounds and skill levels to learn about how technology can be used to support the growth of the cooperative economy – worker-owned cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, housing cooperatives, and more!

Cool! Tell me more about DiscoTechs.

Our DiscoTechs follow the model developed by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition:

DiscoTech is a community-based, community-organized, multimedia workshop and fair. At a DiscoTech, participants learn more about the impacts and possibilities of technology, and take part in fun, interactive and media-based workshops. Discotech workshops are designed to demystify technology and create a space where we can inform and engage our community […] A Discotech utilizes the unique skills and expertise within each community, and morphs to adapt to changing needs. [Source: “How To Discotech” Zine, by the DDJC.]

The Co-op DiscoTechs are free, open, multi-site events. This page is for sharing information about these events, as well as for resources to help you organize your own DiscoTech!

I think I understand “DiscoTech,” but what is the “Co-op” about?

At the Co-op DiscoTechs, we’ll focus on creating welcoming spaces where a wide range of people (not just techies!) will feel welcome sharing and learning about each other’s experiences with cooperatives: worker-owned co-ops, consumer co-ops, housing co-ops, hybrid cooperatives, co-op support organizations … pretty much anything that has to do with the cooperative economy! We’re also inviting cooperative organizations, technologists, developers, and designers to come to the DiscoTech to learn, teach, sprint, hack, meet up, explore projects, and build community together.

We’ll dive in deep to understand worker cooperative tools, systems, and histories, through speakers, skillshares, workshops, and activities open to all. We’ll also get hands-on with tools and approaches that can strengthen worker, consumer, housing, and hybrid cooperatives. We’ll link existing co-ops, technologists, designers, and community organizers to strengthen our strategies and tools for a cooperative future!

Sounds awesome! How can I participate?

Come to a Co-op DiscoTech near you on May 1st, or organize your own! We’ll be happy to share our approach, link to your event, and otherwise support you.

Where will these Co-op DiscoTechs be happening?

All over the place! So far (as of early February) we have interest from organizers in the following locations:

Cambridge, MA (@MIT Media Lab)
Boston, MA (Location TBC)
Berlin (TBC)
Philly (TBC)
Detroit (TBC)
More soon!
How to organize your own Co-op DiscoTech:

For general background on DiscoTechs, check out this DiscoTech Zine, by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition: http://detroitprojectarchive.com/client/DDJC_amc2012.pdf.zip

For more Co-op DiscoTech organizing resources, check out this folder: http://bit.ly/coop-discotechs-resources.

Please get in touch by emailing Katie: klarthur@mit.edu

Platform Cooperatives & You: When does freedom call for more than worker-owned?

Long-established concepts of multi-stakeholder, hybrid, or solidarity cooperatives are getting new urgency and vitality from the Platform Cooperativism movement which calls for an Internet of Ownership.  It is a vision for online platforms that share democratic ownership and governance with their stakeholders, especially those who contribute their labor and personal data.  If millions of people rely on a social network for communication than the relatively small number of people building the platform.

How does Platform Cooperativism affect you and your coop or your plans to build a coop? What other movements does it intersect with?

Join us for a round table discussion!

Details — http://www.meetup.com/agaric/events/228640449/