To: The people of Madison

Our people need help that is not coming. We've got to do it ourselves

Our people need help that is not coming.  We've got to do it ourselves

Join us to start a new CSO - "Community Supported Organizing" effort. It's like Kickstarter for community organizing.

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!

Why is this important?

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.

Madison, WI, USA

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Reasons for signing

  • I don't live in Madison, but I love the mission!