Spanshot: Ed Yaker

Board Member and Treasurer for the Amalgamated Housing Corporation Board Member of A.H. Consumers Society Board Member of Herman Liebman Memorial Fund How did you get into this work? I was born and raised here at Amalgamated.  I lived elsewhere for a few years, and when I got my own apartment here as a shareholder, I noticed changes in the neighborhood.  I ran for the board, and was first elected in December 1977.  The night I was elected, Hy Bass who was president at the time said to me, “It’s like a vacuum, it’s going to suck you in.”  Wow, was he right.  There were three years that I wasn’t on the Amalgamated board, but I have been active in this co-op and other co-op organizations more than forty years now. What does ‘solidarity economy’ mean to you? I’m not that familiar with the term but it strikes me as being aligned with the philosophy of “the greatest good for the greatest number of people.”  It’s a natural fit for cooperatives, promoting benefits for all, not just a few. What […]

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Snapshot: Zara Serabian-Arthur

How did you get to be a Filmmaker and Worker-Owner at Meerkat Media? I moved to NYC after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in 2006, and was living with my partner and a few friends. Many of us were working in the film industry, and didn’t like what we saw—the way our industry relied on the exploitation of young people willing to work for free, the gender and racial breakdown of who was behind the camera, and the way that decisions were made only by a few people at the top of hierarchy—and so we formed a media collective, where we could share resources, learn from each other, and continue to make art together in ways that aligned with our values. As we individually pursued our own careers, in film, education, and the nonprofit sector, we realized we could turn this informal structure into a more formal one, and eventually make a living this way, working together to produce meaningful films, on our own and in collaboration with mission-aligned organizations around the city. Eventually, our collective came to hold two entities: a […]

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Snapshot: Carlos Cano

Carlos Cano Program Manager of Worker Cooperatives, Urban Upbound How did you get into this work? Back in 2014, Urban Upbound began the process of developing a worker cooperative in Astoria Houses, a NYCHA development in Western Queens. I was asked to lead the project in late 2015. I had been working with another program that also served the Astoria Houses community and I had developed strong ties to it. That, in addition to my background in marketing and operations proved key as the program grew. We have launched two worker cooperatives (OnPoint Security and OSHA Solutions) and a third, Paw Partners is almost there. We are very happy and excited for them!   What does ‘solidarity economy’ mean to you? I see it as a market system in which actors’ decisions are not based solely on what is ‘best’ for themselves, usually with making/saving money as the main criteria, but are rather based on whether they create the most possible value in society. It’s a system built not around the lone individual but instead the inextricable relationship between a […]

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New BQLT Partnership!

New BQLT Partnership! We are extremely excited to announce our new partnership with the Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, an organization that stewards 37 different gardens in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Their gardens serve as classrooms, food production sites (over 92% of their gardens grow fruits and vegetables), community spaces, and active green spaces, and the majority are located in low-income neighborhoods where land is often being turned over to real estate developers or left vacant. The Brooklyn Queens Land Trust exists to establish a community of gardeners in Brooklyn and Queens to: educate and inspire people of all ages to become successful and environmentally responsible gardeners; support community involvement in community gardening, neighborhood beautification and open space enhancement through activities and programs; and promote the interests of community gardens.   What does this mean?  If you are a member of any of these gardens, you are also a member of the Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC at no cost to you! Read about all the benefits that come with a CEANYC membership. If you are a member of […]

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Snapshot: Raina Kennedy

Organizer, Central Brooklyn Food Co-op How did you get into this work? In 2013 I was living in Flatbush, slogging my way through being underpaid and underemployed in various parts of the food industry, sad that the only way I could afford to shop or eat at some of the nicer places I worked was through employee discounts. I discovered the Flatbush Farm Share CSA and it kick-started my journey to committing myself to food justice work. Prior to actually reading anything about the Flatbush Farm Share, I’d (rightfully) assumed that community supported agriculture was the domain of well-off white people in the suburbs. But that particular CSA was built on a sliding-scale model, and suddenly I was eating all these new vegetables and developing a much sunnier outlook on life thanks to all of the nutrients flooding my system. And the bestpart was the community! It was wonderful to go pick up my veggies every week with the same people and being involved in the core group helped to ground me when so many other areas of my life […]

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