Oakland Passes Resolution in Support of Worker Cooperatives -- Sustainable Economy Laws Center
OAKLAND, CA — The day after Labor Day, Oakland City Council made a bold proclamation in support of democratic and equitable workplaces, passing the “Resolution Supporting the Development of Worker Cooperatives In Oakland.” The Sustainable Economies Law Center championed this resolution in partnership with District 4 Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington, Council President and District 3 Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney, and many organizational partners and allies.
Worker cooperatives provide many economic development benefits, including providing wages and benefits above industry average, helping to build wealth for workers in sectors typically populated with low to moderate-income community members. Worker cooperatives also provide a real alternative for succession planning that protects small businesses and prevents job loss. In support of the resolution, Councilmember McElhaney added that worker cooperatives should be used as a workforce development model for formerly incarcerated individuals, “giving people the dignity of ownership in addition to having work.”
Over 40 cooperative worker-owners, supporters, and technical assistance providers attended the City Council meeting to receive the Council’s recognition, with even more supporters watching from the seats of the Council Chambers. “This is my favorite thing I’ve ever seen here,” said one supporter who approached the podium after the resolution was read. “How come we haven’t done it yet?” exclaimed Councilmember McElhaney.
After the hearing, Councilmember Campbell Washington proclaimed that, “Tonight, the City of Oakland became one of the first cities in the country to publicly identify itself as a welcoming home for community-based worker-owned businesses. I am proud to partner with the Sustainable Economies Law Center to make Oakland a city where low-income workers can build wealth and own a piece of their businesses.”
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