Community Supported Organizing

Our communities are in crisis. We Own It is responding by creating paid opportunities to organize new mutual aid efforts today and a more cooperative economy for the long haul.

Join our fellowship of organizers and bootstrap a new community-supported organizing project. For organizers, earn a paid stipend while you learn and grow as a leader in your community. For donors, support new leadership development and enable your community to build economic power for $1/day.

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Campaigns (2)

  • Madison
    Our people need help that is not coming. We've got to do it ourselves
    Right now, a lot of us are looking for an alternative to an economy of hyper-capitalism and white supremacy. The good news is, there is an alternative. Not a lot of people know about cooperatives, even though there's a credit union in every town. A credit union is a cooperative bank, meaning that instead of being owned by investors and shareholders, it's owned by the people who bank there. As a result, the credit union serves them and no one else. The board is democratically elected, and any member can run. We could have a whole economy of credit unions - that is, co-ops that are democratically owned and governed with the mission to serve our needs instead of billionaire investors. Co-op grocery stores, co-op daycares, co-op healthcare, co-op energy, co-op businesses where the workers are the owners. All of these already exist, they're just not systematically developed everywhere. This is what a new cooperative organizing movement would change. The good news is, we're already most of the way there. 90 years later, the credit unions people started up in the 1930s amidst the Great Depression (and the last big wave of co-op organizing) are all grown up. There are more than 300 that have over $1 billion in assets and hundreds of thousands of members, and the 5,000 credit unions together have over $1 trillion in assets and owned together by 110 million Americans - a third of the country. Our credit unions today have over $54 billion dollars of excess capital on their balance sheets -- money that we own -- that could back a half-trillion dollars in emergency loans to help our neighbors and our communities weather the COVID Depression together. So here's what we're doing. We're working with We Own It, the co-op movement building nonprofit, to start a new mutual aid organizing cooperative here in our community. This will be a member-dues supported co-op that will train our people to start the new co-ops our community needs. Our first need is making sure all our neighbors have what they need to make it through, so we'll organize a mutual aid campaign where neighbors can be put to work calling neighbors and finding out what folks need and what they can help others with. We're going to bring our credit unions into it, and our congregations, and our food pantries, and our schools, to try to cast as wide a net as we can. The credit unions are going to be the source of emergency loans that people need to stay in their homes and get their bills paid. And we're in it for the long haul, so we're not stopping there, but the beginning is training new people to organize through We Own It's fellowship program. We call it community supported organizing, like a CSA but instead of vegetables, we're growing leaders. For every 50 people that pledge to support community organizing with a dollar per day, just $30 per month, we can support one local organizer with a $1000/month stipend and training and coaching by some of the best organizers in the world. Then they'll get to work building our organizing cooperative with us locally. It's the first stone in the foundation of a new economy. Maybe you'd like to be a fellow, or want to nominate someone you think would make a good organizer? We're thinking globally and acting locally. If you're ready to get to work building a new economy and ditching hyper-capitalism and white supremacy, will you join us? 1. Sign on to our petition in support. 2. Share this vision with your friends. 3. Pledge that, if we can sign up 49 other people for community-supported organizing, you'll be the 50th. 4. Nominate someone to be a fellow that we'll then reach out to, or apply yourself. Or both. 5. Live somewhere else and want to start a new effort for your community? Do it - We Own It will help! $30 per month is the suggested pledge, but no amount is too small or too large. We want everyone to support our local CSO and build this new economy together. Thank you! Together, we can create the alternative vision for how our economy ought to treat our people.
    7 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Jake Schlachter Picture
  • Richmond
    Tell Virginia Credit Union we need help keeping our families in their homes and off the streets!
    Dear friends, The first of the month is quickly approaching and many people in our communities are facing the danger of eviction. Rent is due and many people are afraid. They don’t have the ability to pay their rent or their bills and being put out onto the streets is a real fear. The moratoriums on utilities shut-offs are also running out and the bills are going to come due. With more people on the streets there will inevitably be a rise in police brutality issues. To ensure safety in our communities we must make sure families are not put in this position. Even before this crisis, Richmond had the second highest eviction rate in all large American cities at 11.44% and this number is surely going to rise even higher when the moratorium on evictions ends on September 7th. We already have families fighting this issue including 1 mother of 5 who is also the caregiver of her 86 year old father. Did you know that the VA Credit Union is sitting on 75 million dollars of excess member funds that they could be leveraging into 750 million dollars in emergency, interest free loans? This money could be used to keep people in their homes and to help pay their bills. We need to come together as a community and demand that they work to alleviate the needs that our communities are having right now. There’s a solution. Virginia Credit Union could be offering emergency funds that would keep families in their homes, keep the lights on, and keep food on the table. Electric co-ops could be bringing us broadband so our children can go to school, and food co-ops could be helping people alleviate grocery bills by putting food on peoples’ tables. We're organizing to bring them into the game, off the sidelines, to do what they ought to. To do what we pay them to do, because we own them. Their boards and management answer to us. We can organize & work to bring these groups together to help our communities Now! We are starting with Virginia Credit Union and emergency loans to protect our community from the impending eviction crisis. But we're not stopping there. We're in it for the long haul, because when the economy reopens, it can't be like the one before. That's what put us in this mess. What we need is a cooperative economy that serves our democracy and real people's needs, not a shareholder economy that only serves rich investors and corrupts our government with money. We need to be owners, not renters, in our own democracy. Together we create a landscape where we support our own organizers, from our community, working with our community. Together we're going to discover that WE were the leaders we've been waiting for. You can make a difference and you can be a part of a brighter future for our communities. Together we can meet our communities needs! Help us convince VACU to start an emergency loan program now! Let's do this. We, the undersigned, are in. Will you join us? Dalia Burks - Richmond Jen Chambers - Ashland Kathy Freise - Beaverdam Collin Josey - Richmond Andrea Miller - Ruther Glen Daniel Mintz - Culpeper Carolyn Peart - Ashland Christiane Riederer - Ashland Josi Riederer - Ashland
    18 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Daniel Mintz