Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC

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CEANYC plays a unique role in creating a more just economy. It has a far-reaching impact to strengthen and connect solidarity economy enterprises across New York City. They are member-led, develop member leadership and aim to dismantle oppressive systems in all areas of their work.

Address:
New York City
www.gocoopnyc.com

Mission:

The Cooperative Economics Alliance of New York City (CEANYC) strengthens and expands community-led, democratically-controlled initiatives – from worker, financial and consumer co-ops to community land trusts and gardens, mutual housing and low-income housing co-ops. We are building an economy based on values of social and racial justice, ecological sustainability, cooperation, mutualism and democracy.

History:

CEANYC spent six years surveying, interviewing and working with practitioners in the solidarity economy to identify how to meet their membership’s needs of visibility and promotion, access to resources (capital, space, labor, and technical assistance), building political power, and collaboration across sectors. They have since created New York City’s only cooperative and solidarity economy directory, and implemented cooperative-specific leadership development and technical assistance programs. CEANYC is currently developing a new program that will be a vehicle for compiling policy needs across sectors while supporting cooperators locked out of the space by race, class and gender.

The Issues:

CEANYC members – majority women of color and immigrants with low-moderate incomes, long-time New Yorkers – are left out of New York’s current conversation around economic revitalization despite decades’ worth of experience and expertise. CEANYC members face displacement, precarious and exploitative work, predatory lending, environmental threat and lack of green space, and food insecurity. CEANYC recognizes the need for broader systemic change that not only increases access to resources for marginalized people, but shares authority and control over productive economic institutions.

Constituency and Leadership:

CEANYC has a base of 105 cooperatives or solidarity economy enterprises across New York City, several of which are networks. Their members participate in their programming, vote on matters, and inform all of CEANYC’s programs and strategy work. CEANYC’s Board of Directors represents each cooperative sector (housing, worker, credit unions, gardens, land trusts and food), and are elected by the broader CEANYC membership. They have two part-time staff and seven per-diem Peer Educators, all of whom are women with direct engagement in cooperative and solidarity economy work.

Tackling Oppressive Structures:

CEANYC builds leadership so that their members become Peer Educators, Board members and staff, and to ensure their organization’s programs and operations are culturally appropriate to the communities they represent. All of their programs are free or sliding scale, and they provide childcare, food and interpretation to participants. CEANYC ensures that cooperative and solidarity economy growth is being led by the people who have been doing this work for generations and face the most acute discrimination in the current economic system.

Movement Building:

CEANYC formed to build a shared identity and framework across the different sectors of the cooperative and solidarity economy in New York City. Statewide, they are active in the campaign for the NY Health Act and the NY Renews coalition, which pushes for state level climate legislation. CEANYC also partners with several national and international solidarity economy organizations. CEANYC is building relationships with organizing groups that are not doing explicit cooperative work, but who share goals around economics, housing, immigration and racial justice.

Evaluation:

CEANYC is committed to having programs that are highly customized and meet the unique needs of their members, so they seek feedback early and often, and iterate accordingly. They set annual goals together and evaluate their progress each year through a Board and staff process, and use surveys and continued engagement through a cohort format to evaluate the success of their programs.

Long-term Vision for Change:

CEANYC’s core political purpose is to activate cooperatives into social movements, and encourage them to practice the Cooperative Principles and solidarity economy values through a lens of social and racial justice within an environmental sustainability context. By organizing within and from existing democratic institutions, CEANYC sees that they are not only working to strengthen and grow these enterprises economically, but to organize cooperators of color, especially women, across sectors as a leadership base to work in and alongside movements for transformative change

Organization Budget:  $213,000
Request: $10,000

raised to date this week: $5,025

You can support CEANYC by clicking on the Donate button below: