The Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD)

June 9th-11th – Fordham University Lincoln Center

The Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy (ECWD) is a non-profit cooperative organization established to aid in the continued growth of the workplace democracy movement. The ECWD is managed by the Coordinating Council, which is a group of worker-owners and members of support organizations that were elected by the general membership of the ECWD. The ECWD works in cooperation with the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives to promote and develop worker-owned enterprises regionally and nationally.

ECWD exposes people to the concept of worker-owned businesses; strengthens existing worker-owned businesses; develops relationships between democratically-owned businesses, labor institutions, and resource organizations; and builds the movement for workplace democracy. It is held every two years in the Eastern United States.


Employee Ownership Workshops

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development in Boston will be hosting two upcoming workshops on cooperative business ownership. They’re free, and we hope you can attend and/or spread the word. Both workshops will take place at the Roxbury Innovation Center, 2300 Washington Street, Dudley Square (the Bolling Building).

Wednesday, May 31, 10:00-12:00: Employee Ownership Workshop
When a business owner wants to retire or do something different, selling the business to the workers is a great option, for many reasons. Learn about selling businesses to employees, different types of employee ownership, and improving business by engaging workers.
Learn more and RSVP

Thursday, June 22, 10:00-12:00: Employee Ownership – Making Business Better
If you have a great idea for a new business, why not make it a co-op? Cooperative ownership—that is, ownership of the company jointly by the workers—has many benefits. Co-ops can help small businesses access resources, achieve scale, and save money.
Learn more and RSVP

Renters Tax Deduction Bill Hearing Set for June 13

The Mass Association of Housing Co-ops is supporting a bill to allow resident owners of housing co-ops to take advantage of the Commonwealth’s renters’ tax deduction (if they do not also take the federal homeowners deduction). This would benefit about 1,000 people each year, many of whom are lower income and may greatly benefit from the deduction.
The bill (H.3334/S.1520) will be heard before the Joint Committee on Revenue on Tuesday, June 13, at 10 am in State House Hearing Room B-2, in the Annex.
Housing co-op members are encouraged to contact their legislators to express support. In particular, the MAHC hopes that constituents will reach out and contact:

Legislators who are members of the Joint Committee on Revenue
Legislators from Boston and Cambridge, where many housing co-ops are located

Co-op residents are encouraged to contact their legislators and send a copy of letters and communications to MAHC.
Not sure who your state rep and senator are? Search here.

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, 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:

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

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
Thanks to everyone who has participated so far! Our collective cooperation is making our businesses big or small healthier and more sustainable.
In cooperation,
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!


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