CLI Cohort 2018

  Ali Soofi Currently pursuing his bachelors degree in Environmental Science, Ali is an aspiring ecologist and conservation researcher. With experience managing both the Black Seed Farmers Market and the Regional Environmental Council’s Mobile Farmers Market in Worcester, Massachusetts, Ali hopes to engage and encourage the community to create healthy, food secure communities. When Ali isn’t on his bicycle, pedicab or skateboard, he can be found in one of the many urban community and school gardens planting seeds and giving lessons in garden education. WooRides is an opportunity for him to not only engage with the community at large outside of the garden, but to also show the community what a fair, just, and equitable workplace can look like.       Ashleigh Eubanks Ashleigh is currently the Food Justice Organizer at NEBHDCo in Bed-Stuy for their Communities for Healthy Food Initiative, a holistic food justice program. Ashleigh has been engaged in social change work for nearly a decade and believes that food and land sovereignty are core values to all movement and organizing work. She also serves as co-chair of […]

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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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Disaster Relief

In the wake of Hurricanes Irma, Maria, and Harvey, we have seen that institutional and government responses consistently fail to meet the needs of those most directly impacted by climate disaster. Cooperatives, on the other hand, have a history of providing much-needed support and infrastructure in the wake of climate disaster. The folks who make up the solidarity economy in New York City come from communities hardest hit by climate change and thus are often sites of regeneration and climate innovation. We are accustomed to listening and meeting real, rather than imposed or cultivated needs. After Hurricane Sandy hit, worker-owned cooperatives were developed to put the neighborhoods most affected back together. It is no surprise, then, that our members are moving resources into on-the-ground, grassroots-led forms of relief in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Texas. Check out where Caracol Language Coop is sending donations, support community-driven and highly localized relief efforts for Hurricane Maria and Irma, and give to cooperatives putting in immense work to uplift devastated communities in Texas.

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Real Estate Investment Cooperative General Meeting

The New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative—a group of over 400 individuals looking to secure permanently affordable space for civic, cultural, and cooperative uses—held it’s July member meeting on the 27th at the Brooklyn Public Library. The packed room first heard from 596 Acres about different pathways to community land access, and then heard from New York residents looking for support on real estate projects, including the preservation of a historic church and strong community programming in Brownsville as well as affordable housing in Inwood. There are many different pathways to community land access, including but not limited to: city owned land, land stewarded via a lease to trusty non-profit that leases it from the city, community land owned by an absentee owner, or eminent domain for good. In exploring this different modes of ownership, 596 acres’ Mara Kravitz offered examples of land in the city that has become publicly accessible through these means (like the Maple Street Community Garden or El Jardin del Paraiso) while also answering different questions from the membership. Fortunately, thanks to a play the REIC steering committee put […]

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