Co-op Connections by yaofenji


									             Co-op Connections
Working Together...
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Co-op Connections
When I attended my daughter’s college graduation this past June, Professor
robert reich gave a speech that has stayed with me. he conceded to the
graduating class that they were entering the job market at an economically
difficult time, but noted a climate of unity that is positive. In contrast to
some periods of economic hardship, reich said that today, there is a spirit
of coming together, and a sense that “we” are experiencing difficulties
that we need to address together. Although there are distinct contrasts to
                                                                                                                                                                            Volume 2 Number 1             A PublicAtion of the cAliforniA center for cooPerAtive DeveloPment
the strategies being presented to resolve these issues, most are collective
in nature.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Fall 2009

this climate may be one that opens more people to seeing the value of                        CCCD Staff From Left to Right: Justin Ellerby, Andrew McLeod, Lisa Pray,
                                                                                             E. Kim Coontz, Ava Churchill, and Luis Sierra
                                                                                                                                                                             Table of Contents            Olive Oil Boom Meets Milling Crunch
the cooperative business model. this year cccD has helped a sugar
beet cooperative figure out how to survive the current environment by           Library that links their literacy and bilingual programs with an educational                                              over the past 20 years, American consumption of
converting crop use to biofuel production and to exploring state-of-the-        job creation series on how to start and operate a worker cooperative.                       Group Health. . . . . .2      olive oil has quadrupled. Still, our consumption is
art water conservation techniques. We examined how a cooperative                                                                                                                                          miniscule compared to europeans, who consume
                                                                                As a non-profit our funding base comes from grants, fee-for-service work,                   Funding Strategies. .3        almost 25 times more. American consumption has
might be used to address the needs of olive growers in Yolo and Solano
                                                                                and from contributions from people like you. The California Center for
counties. CCCD looked at various strategies to link schools and other                                                                                                       CooperationWorks!. .3         been growing significantly, and is likely to increase
                                                                                cooperative Development is a consistent referral source for people interested                                             as more people learn about the high levels of
regional consumers with farmers to promote local-based economies. We
helped improve the effectiveness of child care, worker, housing and other
                                                                                in starting a cooperative to address consumer, employment, business and                     Yellow-Cab Co-op. .4          antioxidants and unsaturated fat in olive oil, and
                                                                                other concerns. Please consider making a tax-deductable donation and                                                      their role in preventing heart disease and cancer.
co-ops by providing board education.
                                                                                helping cccD advance the power of cooperation.                                              Upcoming Events. . .4
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Farmers are taking note of the growth of domestic
Looking ahead, CCCD staff will be providing cooperative development                                                                                                         Working Together. . .6
assistance to a variety of groups, including a food co-op in Lake County,                                                                                                                                 consumption and recognizing that the farming
goat ranchers in northern california, and abalone divers near the channel                                                                                                                                 conditions in california are ideal for olives. Yolo
Islands. Education programs will include a conference on housing co-ops. e. Kim coontz
                                                                                                                                                                        6                                 and Solano counties alone boast almost a thousand
We are excited about a new project working with the Richmond Public executive Director                                                                                         OCTOBER IS                 acres of olive trees, with the vast majority planted
                                                                                                                                                                                                          within the last 4 years by smaller scale growers.
                                                                                                                                                                              CO-OP MONTH!
                                                                                                                                                                                                          most of this acreage won’t bear fruit for another
                                                                                                                                                                                                          three years. Growers currently harvesting are Mike Madison of Yolo Press shows local olive growers how his mill
                                                                                                                                                                               Each October,              making oils that regularly win tasting awards.       works at a growers’ meeting

                                                                                                                                                                                cooperatives              A recognized challenge to growth is that there are      go to mills in neighboring counties to make their oil,
                                                                                                                                                                              across America              only two small presses to serve about 80 growers in
                                                                                                                                                                                                          the two counties. this means local growers have to                                   (continued on page 5)
                                                                                                                                                                             celebrate the role,
                                                                                                                                                                             and contributions            Housing Co-op Shines Its Light
                                                                                                                                                                              of cooperatives.            Solar community housing Association (SchA) has been       for environment through affordable, cooperative
                                                                                                                                                                                                          providing affordable cooperative housing in Davis,        housing.” Co-op members include young
                                                                                                                                                                                                          California, since its first house, the Sunwise Co-op,     professionals and uc Davis students who earn less
                                                                                                                                                                                                          opened its doors in 1979. the organization’s mission      than 80% of the region’s median income. SchA
                                                                                                                                                                                                          is to “encourage and create community and respect         currently owns two properties and recently began
                                                                                                                                                                              California Center for                                                                 development of a third.
                                                                                                                                                                            Cooperative Development
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sunwise Co-op is a house integrated into a subdivision
                                                                                                                                                                               430 F Street Suite 1                                                                 on land heavily discounted by developers. the goal
                                                                                                                                                                                 Davis CA 95616                                                                     was to create permanently affordable, ecologically
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    conscious housing.       construction of Sunwise
                                                                                                                                                                               w w w. c c c d . c o o p                                                             incorporated solar energy design elements, including
                                                                                                                                                                                Ph: 530-297-1032                                                                    heat-storing water culverts, rooftop water heating,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    photovoltaic panels, and insulating curtains.
                                                                                                                                                                                Fx: 530-297-1033
                                                                                                                                   Davis, CA, 95616                                                                                                                 in 1986, SchA developed a second cooperative:
                                                                                                                              430 F Street Suite 1                                                                                                                  J Street Co-op. While titles of both houses are
                                                                                         CA Center for Cooperative Development                                                                                                                                                                    (continued on page 4)
                                                                                                                                                                                                              The J-Street House.
 Upcoming Events                  CO-OP SPOTLIGHT:                                                                                                               Pioneering new funding strategies for Worker Co-ops
                                  Yellow Cab Cooperative                                                                                                                                                 While most of the world            need to overcome a number of challenges. The first challenge is to obtain a
                                                                                                                                                                                                         muddles through mundane            charter from the national credit union Administration (ncuA), the federal
                                  A long-standing cooperative of taxi cab drivers                                                                                                                        and repetitive occupations,        agency that approves such ventures. Approval for this grassroots project is
                                  is flourishing in San Francisco. The 325-member                                                                                                                        Mike Leung tirelessly works        expected to be difficult. According to Leung:
                                  Yellow cab cooperative has been in existence since                                                                                                                     for the cooperative cause
                                  1977, and operates a fleet of 600 vehicles. The
 Cooperative                                                                                                                                                                                             from his home office in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 We're asking to be chartered explicitly for business lending, which
                                  co-op owns the vehicles in the fleet and leases them
 Executive & Director             to the drivers on a per-shift basis. Liability, collision
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Bay Area. In 2007, the 31
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 is rare. We want to do business lending to worker co-ops, which the
                                                                                                                                                                                                         year-old, who has a Ph.D. in
 Program                          and comprehensive insurance, as well as worker’s                                                                                                                       physics, left academics for
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 regulatory agency doesn't understand. We're also trying to serve
 Governance & Finance for         compensation insurance, is provided by the co-op.                                                                                                                                                              a national membership base, which is not common, and we're
                                                                                                                                                                                                         the even more theoretical and
 Agricultural Co-ops              At the end of the month, the co-op distributes the                                                                                                                                                             going to be mostly an online credit union with shared branches.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         obscure world of worker co-op
 November 3-4 2009                profits to the members.                                                                                                                                                                                        All of these things create a higher threshold for chartering.
                                                                                                                                                                                                         finance. Along with a detailed
 Visalia                          Reflecting the diversity of San Francisco, about half                                                                           Mike Leung                             prescription for the common
                                                                                                 From Top to Bottom: Clean Natural Gas- Ford Crown                                                                                          Membership potential may be another challenge. The worker co-op field
                                  of the co-op’s members are women, gay or members                                                                                                                       ailments of the modern worker
                                                                                                 Victoria, Ford Windstar Van-Wheelchair Accessible                                                                                          of membership might not yield enough support to raise the one million
                                                                                                                                                                 co-op financial structure, Leung also endeavors to make funding
 California Co-op                 of an ethnic minority group. Day-to-day operations
                                                                                                                                                                 increasingly available for such enterprises. in two to three years, he
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            dollars in start-up costs the coalition needs. Expanding the credit union’s
                                  are handled by a manager, who traditionally has                as the conventionally-fueled Crown Victoria and
 Conference                                                                                      wheelchair-accessible Ford Windstar vans. The                   and a loose cohort of cooperative enthusiasts plan to open a full
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            membership to include housing cooperatives, child care cooperatives and
                                  been a member of the co-op. Members elect the                                                                                                                                                             other consumer cooperatives would attract more funding and bolster its
 A multi-sector, statewide                                                                       co-op’s goal is to have all of its fleet fueled by              service credit union, which will lend $8 million to $20 million dollars
                                  board of Directors and the board appoints the                                                                                                                                                             eligibility for approval by the NCUA; however, worker co-ops worry that
 training event for                                                                              compressed natural gas or by hybrid technology                  almost exclusively to worker-owned businesses.
                                  Safety and Grievance committee, which handles                                                                                                                                                             opening the field could sacrifice the overall goal of having a credit union
 cooperative decision-                                                                           by 2012.
 makers: directors, members,      complaints and makes discipline recommendations.                                                                               The primary mission of the credit union will be to provide worker          that prioritizes the funding of worker cooperatives.
 staff, and developers.                                                                          All of the members are San francisco taxi                       cooperatives with development funding. the funding source will
                                  Currently, Yellow Cab Co-op buys about 150 cars                                                                                                                                                           Leung plans to launch a fund-raising campaign to support the Worker Co-
 Spring 2010                      a year, and operates its own natural gas filling               medallion holders. medallions are issued by the                 address the problems that worker cooperatives have when they look
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            op credit union project and to supplement this effort with grants. the
                                  station. Its fleet includes the hybrid Ford Escape and         city, and are held for life.                                    for start-up financing. Worker cooperatives are often small business
 Sonoma                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     coming months will be occupied with legal hoops, governmental red-
                                  the clean natural gas ford crown victoria, as well                                                                             ventures that fall under the funding parameters of many banks and
                                                                                                 Lisa Pray                                                                                                                                  tape, and intensive fund-raising efforts, but Mike and his colleagues are
                                                                                                                                                                 don’t fit within the requirements of Small Business Administration (SBA)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            working to make this a breakthrough in cooperative history. If this venture
 Nuts & Bolts of                                                                                                                                                 financing. Additionally, lack of understanding of worker cooperatives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            succeeds, it will be a huge step towards expanding the base of worker-
 Cooperative Housing                  Check Out                                     the website also includes:
                                                                                                                                                                 leads to loan declines or undesirable terms.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            owned businesses.
 How to create permanently            CCCD’s website -- is updated              • educational materials on cooperatives –including                 in order to get the credit union off the ground, leung and his group       Ava Churchill
 affordable homeownership             weekly with current news regarding cooperatives in        start-up information
                                      california and across the nation.
 September 2010                                                                               • the latest information about events and conferences
                                      our newest website education feature includes 2
                                      audio-visual stories on how co-ops are addressing
                                                                                                and co-op news releases;                                         Cooperative Development Centers promote Excellence
                                      community issues. one report highlights a child care
                                      co-op in the rural community of Knights Landing. The
                                                                                              • web links to cooperatives, credit unions and
                                                                                                resource organizations.                                          through CooperationWorks!
                                      second piece features a group of goat ranchers who
                                      are using the cooperative model to help them create a   Sign up for CCCD’s email distributions on the website, by          Since its inception, the california center for cooperative
                                      domestic market and respond to increasing consumer      sending an email to
                                                                                                                                                                 Development has been a member of CooperationWorks!
                                                                                                                                                                 -- a national cooperative of similar Centers and cooperative
                                                                                                                                                                 development practitioners that span the united States — from
                                                                                                        ♺    This newsletter is printed on recycled paper.   ♺   the Pacific to the Atlantic coast, in fact. Twenty-one Centers
                                                                                                                                                                 belong to the cooperative.

               YeS! I wAnt to SuPPort the Center toDAY!                                                                                                          cooperative members are dedicated to advancing the
                                                                                                                                                                 growth of cooperatives by utilizing proven “best practices”
Name _________________________________________________________________________________________                                                                   in the development of new cooperatives, by providing
                                                                                                                                                                 education programs for existing cooperatives, and by
Address ______________________________________________________________________________________                                                                   promoting innovative cooperative strategies. these goals
                                                                                                                                                                 are accomplished through sharing information, supporting
Phone _________________________________________ Email ________________________________________                                                                   applied research and providing cooperative development
                                                                                                                                                                 training programs for cooperative development practitioners at
Donation Level                 $ 25               $ 50               $ 100               $ 200               $ 500                 ___________                   every point on the experience continuum. the cooperative also
                                                                                                                                                                 advocates for cooperative development funding at the national          CooperationWorks! members and friends at 2009 Co-op Hall of Fame.
Please make all checks payable to the California Center for Cooperative Development (CCCD).                                                                      level to help members promote job creation and economic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        recent 2009 meeting was in Olympia, Washington. The second meeting
Mail to: CCCD, 430 F Street Suite A, Davis CA 95616                                                                                                              development using the cooperative business model.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        each year is held in Washington DC to coincide with the annual meeting of
                                                                                                                                                                 Most meetings of CooperationWorks! are held via conference             the national cooperative business Association and, the annual fundraiser
My primary interest(s) in cooperatives are :                                         Agriculture                  Childcare/Education                            calls, but two meetings per year are conducted in-person.              for the national cooperative Development foundation’s annual cooperative
                                                                                                                                                                 the location of the annual meeting rotates to accommodate              hall of fame award ceremonies.
  Credit Unions     Energy      Food      Housing                                    Worker                       ____________________
                                                                                                                                                                 the vast geographic distribution of centers. for example, the
           Thank you for your tax-deductible donation to support the cooperative movement!                                                                   4   2008 annual meeting was in huntsville, Alabama and the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        E. Kim Coontz
Board of Directors           Group Health Cooperative:                                                                                                   Olive Oil Boom Continued...                                                                                                 Staff
                             A National Model for Health Care?                                                                                           which is a costly and risky proposition, given travel         Some respondents described their frustrations at having
                             Among the health care options being considered               loosely affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. While they          distance and the highly perishable nature of olives.          to make four trips out of the area to get their raw olives
                             by our nation’s leaders is the cooperative model. it         remain independent entities, they collaborate by                                                                             returned back to them as bottled olive oil: once to
                             seems timely, therefore to take a close look at one of       exchanging successful clinical methods. the Group              Over the past year, CCCD has worked with growers              deliver olives, again to pick up their bulk oil, yet again
                                                                                                                                                         in Yolo and Solano counties and university extension
                             the nation’s oldest health care cooperatives: Group          health research institute (Ghri), which was funded
                                                                                                                                                         specialists to explore the possibility of a cooperative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       to take it to a bottler, and one last time to pick up their   E. Kim Coontz
Lucas Frerichs               Health, based in Seattle, Washington.
                                                                                                                                                         to address production, milling, and marketing issues.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       bottled oil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Executive Director
Chair                        As WWII was ending, very few employers were                                                                                 Working in tandem with a steering committee of growers        With the support of technical and financial consultants
Past President,              offering health coverage to their workers. Thus Group                                                                       and consultants, cccD developed and conducted                 familiar with the olive industry, survey findings were        Justin Ellerby
Davis Food Co-op & Yolo      health cooperative was born from the efforts of                                                                             a survey of regional growers on their orchards, their         combined with cost and income projections for several
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Cooperative Specialist
Mutual Housing Association   several Seattle-based union members, business people                                                                        milling needs, and marketing practices.                       cooperative ventures. fueled with this information,
                             and consumers who wanted to create a system of                                                                                                                                            cccD and the steering committee devised a plan for
Joe Marraffino               affordable health care. A revolutionary idea at the                                                                         Survey responses identified serious concerns about            meeting the region’s milling, bottling, and marketing         Lisa Pray
                             time, the first challenge to developing the cooperative                                                                     growers’ ability to mill all of their olives and market the   needs. the next phase of the project involves presenting
Cooperative Developer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Operations Manager
                             was finding people who would contribute $100 toward                                                                         oil they expect to be producing in the next few years.        the findings to growers in the hopes that enough interest
Arizmendi Association of     a membership in what was still only a concept. fueled                                                                       While many small-scale growers want to do as much             can be generated to develop a full business plan,
Cooperatives                 by grassroots organizing, the blooming cooperative                                                                          direct marketing as they can, respondents recognized          secure memberships and a site, as well as financing so
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Luis Sierra
                             began by purchasing a 55-bed hospital and securing                                                                          that they probably would not be able to market all of         that olive growers can gain control of their milling and      Cooperative Specialist
                                                                                                                                                         their oil when their trees become fully mature. currently,
Jessica Nelson               the employment of its doctors. By 1973, enrollment                                                                                                                                        take advantage of the region’s excellent olive quality.
                                                                                                                                                         most growers rely on sales at farmers’ markets and
Treasurer                    had risen to 173,000 and Group Health had to cap
                                                                                                                                                         local grocery stores, but these are quickly becoming          Luis Sierra                                                   Andrew McLeod
                             membership because of this soaring growth.
Plumas Sierra Rural                                                                             Doctor helping child. (Image courtesy of Palo Alto       crowded with competing labels.                                                                                              Independent Consultant
Electric Cooperative                                                                            Medical Foundation)
                             Today, Group Health Cooperative and its affiliated
                             plans provide quality health services to over half a                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ava Churchill
                                                                                          mainly through both private and government grants,
Leland Ruth                  million residents of both Washington and Idaho.
                             This private nonprofit consumer-governed health care
                                                                                          has grown to be a national leader in areas of research         Shines Its Light Continued...                                                                                               Cooperative Intern
Secretary                                                                                 including chronic disease management and breast                held by SCHA, a non-profit corporation, the association
                             cooperative is one of only a few such institutions in                                                                                                                                       co-op businesses. It is very useful and inspirational
President Emeritus,                                                                       cancer screening. Since the opening of the center,             is cooperatively governed and each house is resident-
Agricultural Council of
                             the nation. The cooperative’s mission -- to design,
                                                                                          its researchers have published over 1,800 scientific
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         to reach outside our geographical area or sector,           Megan Baer
                             finance and deliver high-quality health care -- is driven                                                                   controlled. the SchA board is composed of residents,            and learn what other groups are doing and how
California                                                                                journal articles.                                              former residents, and community members, who are                                                                            Student Intern
                             by the following explicit values: respect, scientific                                                                                                                                       we can work together. A rich and resourceful co-
                             discipline, integrity, pioneering spirit, and stewardship.   Group health is also highly involved in its community. its     elected by resident members. the SchA board is                  op network makes it so much easier –and fun- to
Karen Tiedemann              consumers have a set of rights and responsibilities          most recent community project includes the promotion           responsible for overarching issues that range from              make great things happen. And events like this are a        Allyson Ujimori
                                                                                                                                                         unresolved membership conflicts to expansion projects.          wonderful catalyst to build that network.”
Board Member                 regarding care, conduct, and information, including          of year-round family cycling. This project gained the                                                                                                                                      Student Intern
                             timely access to quality care. they assert a motto of        endorsement of team Group health, a women’s cycling
Goldfarb & Lipman LLP                                                                                                                                    Sunwise and J Street each include eight bedrooms which          SchA is currently in the process of developing a third
                             “pay-for-value” rather than paying for quantity, as they     team. Giving attention to members across the child age         accommodate eight resident members. members share               housing project. in summer 2010, in conjunction with        Kelly Stewart
                             argue defines the rest of the health care system. The        spectrum, Group health focuses on prevention of child          in house chores, governance, member education, and
Frank A.                     success of Group health cooperative has attracted            tobacco use and provides educational support classes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         a city project, two existing houses will be donated by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Layout and Design
                                                                                                                                                         community meals.       Mandatory semi-monthly house             their owners and moved from their current locations
Van Konynenburg              the attention of political leaders such as Senator           for the elderly. for example, they offer a class called        meetings ensure that the community within each house            to a lot that will be leased from the city. together, the
Board Member                 Kent Conrad from North Dakota, and even President            “SilverSneakers” which provides fitness services from          runs smoothly and resolves conflicts as they arise. Both        houses will function as a single 8-unit cooperative.
                             obama’s administration, which contacted them for             a trained instructor to senior citizens. they also have                                                                                                                                    Mission Statement
Tuttle & Van Konynenburg                                                                                                                                 houses produce a significant portion of their food from         While maintaining the historic character of the
                             advice in mid-August of 2009.                                a “community contribution program” which provides              their vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and beehives.             houses, they will be retrofitted with state-of-the-art
                                                                                          sponsorship to other nonprofit organizations.                  house members share in the growing, harvesting, and
                             Group Health is governed by an 1    1-member Board of                                                                                                                                       passive solar and energy efficient technologies. The
                             trustees that is elected by the members. the board is        in the past, interest in Group health has come from            preservation of foods from these sources.                       co-op plans to open its doors in early 201    1.
                             composed entirely of consumer-members; employees             other countries; however that has changed since the            SCHA makes education of its members and its wider               Justin Ellerby
                             and anyone providing professional services to Group          recent care reform debates. Group health ceo Scott
                             health is ineligible. the board establishes advisory
                                                                                                                                                         community a priority. The co-op recently supported the                                                                      The mission of the
                                                                                          Armstrong was interviewed on C-SPAN about how                  volunteer-run educational collective Bike Forth by co-
                             groups to promote member participation and input on          the co-op operates and its viability as a model on                                                                                                                                         California Center
                                                                                                                                                         signing the lease at Bike Forth’s new location, where
                             a myriad of issues. regular board meetings welcome           the national level. While some people have voiced              it continues to perform its volunteer-based mission of                                                                      for Cooperative
                             all members and begin with an open-microphone                criticisms of this option, including some proponents of
                             session. Senior citizen members are automatically
                                                                                                                                                         educating and facilitating bicycle knowledge, tools,                                                                        Development
                                                                                          Group health, there has not been adequate research             materials, and advocacy to the entire Davis community.
                             included in the Senior caucus, which advocates for the       into the sustainability of a nationwide application of a                                                                                                                                   is to promote
                             needs of the senior population. Although all members         cooperative health system. though Group health is a            SCHA also contributed to and benefited from the                                                                             cooperatives as
                             are eligible to vote, less than 1% of them actually sign     distinguished cooperative and a powerful resource in           California Co-op Conference organized by CCCD in
                             up for and vote upon a ballot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     a vibrant business
                                                                                          its community, it is not immune from financial hardship        August. The co-op made a donation to the scholarship
                                                                                          and consumer complaints and has taken sixty years              fund and board President elisabetta lambertini attended                                                                     model to address the
                             Group health cooperative employs more than 9,000
                             people in medical and administrative positions. more
                                                                                          to develop to its current success. However, they make          the conference. elisabetta shares:                                                                                          economic and social
                                                                                          it their goal to continually ask “What’s next for our
                             than fifty of Group Health’s doctors have been peer-                                                                        “i very much appreciated the opportunity to exchange                                                                        needs of California’s
                                                                                          patients’ health?”
                             nominated as the best in their field by various regional                                                                    information and experiences with a variety of different            Sunwise Co-op.                                           communities.       5
                             magazines. Since 1997 Group health has also been             Megan Baer                                                 2

To top