(Click here for video) “The Post reports that non-financial companies are “hoarding” $1.8 trillion in cash while they continue to “hold back on hiring.” Not so the Evergreen Cooperatives of Cleveland — community-based, worker-owned operations supported by a mix of private and public funds. The Evergreen Cooperative Laundry and Ohio Cooperative Solar are already up and running, and 10 other such enterprises are slated to open in the city this year.
Workers buy equity in the co-ops through payroll deductions and earn a living wage working at green jobs. The businesses focus on the local market — meeting the procurement needs of “anchor institutions” such as large hospitals and universities in the area. Each co-op pays 10 percent of its pretax profits back to the umbrella organization to help seed new enterprises.
Other cities considering this model include Atlanta, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Detroit. And other towns around Ohio are considering it as well. At a time when so many jobs are being slashed or outsourced, the Cleveland cooperatives show us how we can create local jobs and reinvest in our communities.
Those who believe the financial sector should serve rather than dominate the economy will welcome these reforms. They are radical and achievable. But they will demand determined idealism and tough organizing in the years ahead.” By Katrina vanden Heuvel for the Washington Post. Please go to www.WashingtonPost.com for the full article.
The Institute for Sustainable Development