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 (5)

  • Support Rural Indigenous Community Organizing (NW New Mexico)
    Now more than ever communities across the nation have been tasked with building up capacity to determine health concerns & priorities of their communities as well action plans needed to address them; some communities have even had meaningfully impacts on their communities' health from the actions they have moved forward; even before Covid-19, but all to often only in big or expensive communities. We see this mostly in urban settings, in cities with many resources, people and funding opportunities to move their communities forward. Often left out of the movement and overall improvement forward has been rural communities; where change usually only comes on the whims of outsiders & directives of the current status quo and most always at our communities cost of health, hope & even our lives. This has especially been too real for our mostly Indigenous McKinley Community (~75%) who have also been plagued by colonization and racism throughout our community and our nation's history. Our rural community can no longer stand aside or wait for change but must actively support it, encourage it, seek it out & own it. To do this we need an organizer, funded by the community and supported by local organizations to move the McKinley Community forward in the health and prosperity of all families, individuals and members of the community. We are asking you to sign onto our petition; to show your support of the campaign, receive information & engage in opportunities to participate with the campaign/community as it grows into the movement of change our community owns cooperatively. With your eventual membership/ownership/buy-in of a community supported organizing model, we can all utilize it to grow the future community organizers our community & people need.
    52 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Christopher Hudson
  • The Center for Leadership in Communities Around Texas (CLCT)
    The Center for Leadership in Communities around Texas (CLCT) Leading today. Influencing tomorrow. Across the nation, the COVID-19 pandemic has communities in crisis. Communities are facing similar struggles and are looking for solutions. Communities are vastly in despair, and the effects of will continue to destroy vulnerable communities long after this pandemic is over. We must lead by working together to provide communities with the resources they need by sharing our experiences, knowledge, and resources. Why is this important? Communities thrive when everyone works together. We need to build food systems that make it easy and affordable to buy good food locally while strengthening under-served rural communities in Texas. Located in Prairie View, TX, The Center for Leadership in Communities around Texas Co-op has the opportunity to connect leaders around the state to industry-leading research and industry experts at Prairie View A&M University. We will combine the resources and skills of leaders to create solutions that will improve growth and prosperity in underserved rural communities that are resource depleted and lack healthy socio-economical food systems. Our goal is to create equal opportunities to build strong, healthy, sustainable communities, provide much-needed goods and services, and organize campaigns around struggling food systems. Get involved! The Center for Communities around Texas Leadership Cooperative will train up new organizing fellows, bring them into a community of other fellows across the state, provide them with ongoing coaching, opportunities to learn, and the support needed to organize local efforts successfully. Let’s do this together! Become a member and be a part of events and meetings and actively commit to developing your leadership around critical issues that affect you daily. Who can be a member? Anyone interested in building the power of working-class people living and working in rural communities in Texas. How much are membership dues? Membership dues start at $5/month or $60/year. We encourage members to give more if possible. For whatever reason, you want to join but cannot make a financial contribution now; we invite you to participate with a Sponsored Membership.
    83 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Brian Rowland Ph.D. Picture
  • Birmingham
    Stop Utility Shutoffs and Evictions in Birmingham
    Dear friends, Jefferson County already leads the state in unemployment claims. Now, Alabama Power has announced that it will resume shutoffs and late fees for its customers starting in late September. And evictions rose in June after Gov. Ivey's moratorium expired. The federal ban protecting renters in subsidized housing also expired July 25. The recent CDC moratorium is a start, but it doesn't restore power and water to those whose official evictions may be delayed until the end of the year. We have to stem this rising tide of injustice. Since COVID struck, we've been turning to help Birmingham weather the storm together through a new "community supported organizing" (CSO) model. We're bringing our local credit unions into the effort, as these have BILLIONS of dollars of local, member-owned capital they can be using right now to make emergency loans to people in crisis. Together, we can get through this crisis. But we're also building for the long haul. Today the urgent issue is paying rent and utilities, but tomorrow it's going to be building up our community resilience and economic power, so we don't go back to the economy we had before. Our organizing co-op will enable us to start new co-ops to solve whatever community problems we need -- like new daycare co-ops, or new food co-ops. We'll organize our congregations and nonprofits for mutual aid today, and tomorrow to start a new community purchasing cooperative to incubate new local businesses, particularly Black- and minority-owned. Let's do this. If you want to learn how you can help, please sign and I will be in touch. In cooperation, Kyle Crider, Birmingham, Alabama
    48 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Kyle Crider Picture
  • Pueblo
    Pueblo, CO Should Stop Celebrating Oppressors!
    Dear friends, The winds of change are blowing in this country and from sea to shining sea, historically oppressed people are rising up and demanding dignity, self-determination, healing, and freedom from the images of our oppressors and from the White fragility that has historically defended them and hindered our ability to be heard and taken seriously, and for our rights to be truly free to live and thrive in the land of the supposedly free and the home of the supposedly brave. People of quality do not fear equality. It is important for us to remove statues and monuments meant to honor and exalt history's most oppressive and tyrannical characters from the public commons and take an honest look at our history as a society. Those in opposition to removing these monuments say we're trying to "rewrite" or "tear down" history but nothing could be further from the truth. Statues were never meant to teach history and they certainly have no ability to give historic context by themselves. This is what books, museums, and schools are meant to accomplish and they are very adept at it. Statues, on the other hand, are and always were meant to honor and celebrate the characters they depict but the side effects of statues of characters who oppressed people is that it causes continued psychological oppression of the descendants of the oppressed and it perpetuates the myth of racial superiority and the colonialist mindset. The tangible result of all this is continued mistreatment by police, employers, businesses, and society at large of people of color as second-class citizens. Moreover, if we're going to teach history, let's be intellectually honest. Columbus, for example, has nothing whatsoever honorable for which he should be celebrated. He didn't "discover" anything. The discovery doctrine is, in fact, nothing more than an overhyped mythology. Columbus landed in the Caribbean by pure accident and he thought he was in Asia. In fact, even after 4 trips back to the "new world", he still argued that they were in China when his own crewmen tried to tell him otherwise. He was no navigational genius or great explorer and for the horrendous atrocities he committed against the natives of Hispaniola, he was basically dragged back to Spain in shackles (yes Spain, not Italy) The history we've been taught is mythology! Plus, the land he supposedly "discovered" was already inhabited by the Taino people. How do you claim to have "discovered" a land that is already occupied? It's a whitewashed, colonialist version of the truth and that, my friends, is the true rewriting of history. It has already been rewritten from the truth by White Europeans and badly needs to be corrected. The true history is that in 1492, Native Taino people from Hispaniola "discovered" Christopher Columbus lost at sea! This Whitewashing of history affects the mindset of all who learn it and believe it, such that the concept of White hegemony and supremacy is perpetuated in this country. I have been so disheartened by the news that the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor have been acquitted of all charges except putting other neighbors at risk. Mrs. Taylor was innocent of any crime, unarmed, and presented no threat to the police who broke into her home unannounced, yet they shot her five times and made no attempt to save her life as she lay on the floor gasping for breath for more than 5 minutes, according to witnesses. No charges are being filed against any officers involved for needlessly ending this health care professional’s life and to me, this is unacceptable! It happens this way all the time - they take the lives of Black and Brown people and the media and police apologists scramble to vilify the victim and shield police from any accountability for their irresponsible actions. Our lives are continuously treated like they do not matter and this is especially true for women and gender non-conforming people of color. The continuing effects of the colonialist mindset permeates other aspects of society as well, and is responsible for the environmental racism that also has a strong presence in the low-income, largely Latinx Pueblo community, as we pay significantly higher rates for electricity than the national or state averages to the investor-owned utility, Black Hills Energy and we have one of Colorado's last remaining coal-fired plants, Xcel's Comanche Plant 3, right in our back yard. In the case of Comanche, the electricity generated there doesn't even service the Pueblo community, but instead is transmitted more than 100 miles to serve the Denver metro area. Denver gets the power and Pueblo gets the pollution. I am a multicultural, Indigenous person of color and when I was 8 years old, my mom married into a Black family and they soon became my family every bit as much as any blood relatives. My brother is half Black and half Latin/Native-American, so you better believe Black and Brown Lives Matter to me on a very personal level! I can no longer be silent and passive about systemic racism or the perpetuation of it through the exaltation of history’s oppressors and colonizers who helped build oppression into our society. In Pueblo, Colorado, like in many other cities, recently, we have a movement to remove a Columbus statue from our public commons and have met strong resistance from city leaders and others interested in keeping the statue right where it is. We are the last town in Colorado to still have a statue honoring Columbus and it's embarrassing. We're better than that! This is one of the many issues facing my community about which I am very passionate and would like to work on with other members of my community. A better world is possible and I feel a deep and very personal responsibility to do my part to work toward that world for the future of our next 7 generations. Will you join me in a community supported effort to organize for a more just, equitable, sustainable, and inclusive society and world?
    38 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Jamie Valdez
  • 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.
    8 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Jake Schlachter Picture