Resilience Action Network

inspire and empower neighborhood activity that builds community resilience!

Community Cooperatives

  1. What are community cooperatives?
  2. How to create a cooperative
  3. RAN’s cooperative projects

What are community cooperatives?

Community cooperatives are also known as “self-help” or “worker” cooperatives.  They are official or unofficial membership organizations of people who are working cooperatively to advance a unified mission.  Members may help each-other meet their individual goals as part of advancing the cooperative’s mission.

The cooperatives use the TimeBank to coordinate work and skills development without needing lots of startup capital.  Envision a permaculture flower (above):  The cooperatives are the petals, while the center to which they connect is the TimeBank.

According to Terry Daniels, a founder of hOurworld.org:

Community Co-ops allow [their] members to earn and spend time credits through group projects. They create exchange opportunities that normally do not happen in traditional member-to-member [TimeBank] exchanges.

Community Co-ops can also be a source of funding for the exchange [TimeBank] via grants or projects performed in the cash economy.

The hOurworld.org founders’ video Incubating a Worker Cooperative on a Shoestring inspired us to start this project:

The Resilience Action Network’s first (of many) cooperatives is going to focus on Neighborhood Permaculture, because it is of primary interest to the current founding members of RAN, and focuses on food security, something that is fundamental to our overall well-being and community resilience.

That said, we want more people to get involved and create more community cooperatives to meet as many community needs as possible!   Think:  bicycle repair, childcare, healthcare, tools and handiwork, etc, etc.  The ways we can help each-other meet our needs are limited only by our imaginations.

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How to create a cooperative

We incorporate cooperatives under the Salem Cooperatives umbrella to save ourselves a lot of work.  All each cooperative needs is three founding members and a pressing community need.  They use the TimeBank to help coordinate and reward human resources necessary to make them happen.  Contact us if you have an idea!

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RAN Cooperative Projects

Priority cooperative project ideas we’re using to ground the concept of a community cooperative a little more and get people’s creative juices flowing.

Bicycle Transportation

Salem Bicycle Cooperative is a community cooperative to promote the personal, social, and environmental benefits of bicycling. The cooperative seeks members and partners interested in sharing resources to build learning and work spaces, cycling events, a bicycle recycling program, and access to inexpensive bicycles to build a stronger bicycling community.  Examples:

Mobo Bicycle Co-op

Boise Bicycle Project

Child Development

Children are the future of the community, and they deserve the best of our collective time and energy.  The Mid Valley deserves excellent affordable childcare that Cooperative Parenting provides.  Children learn and develop in a nurturing environment led by top childcare professionals.  Parents save tons of time over providing childcare themselves while remaining active participants in their children’s growth and development.  Parents gain access to the latest knowledge and understanding of child development, behavior and learning.  Lastly, parents save thousands of dollars each year in childcare costs compared to traditional childcare models.

To learn more, please read the Cooperative Nuts and Bolts series (from a Seattle cooperative preschool teacher), check out Parent Cooperative Preschools International or the following cooperative child care examples:

Cooperative Children’s Center (Parent Requirements)

Westside Cooperative Preschool (see their Generic Cooperative Preschool Parent Handbook)

Northshore Community Co-op Preschool (What is a co-op?)

North Seattle Community College Cooperative Preschools (Co-op Basics)

Join us to organize affordable, cooperative childcare for mid-valley families!  A natural extension of this project might be a cooperative unschooling project.

Neighborhood Permaculture

The Neighborhood Permaculture Cooperative exists to

  1. Support members as they create and maintain their own “backyard farms” and sustainable DIY homesteads
  2. Transform and maintain vacant lots as public or semi-public farm, garden and community hangout spaces

Think:  appropriate technologies, composting systems, water catchment, graywater recycling, outdoor living space, food forest and forage system design and planting, as but a few examples of projects we will coordinate.

Please contact us if you are interested in joining us as we put together backyard farms in our neighborhood and yours!

Growing your own food is like printing your own money.  —Ron Finley

Patient-Provider Network

The Patient-Provider Cooperative Network provides access to a range of affordable health care options to its patient-members.  Through the Time Bank, Patient-Provider Cooperative Network members:
• Spend time receiving health care services from participating providers
• Earn time giving health care to participating patients

Visit  http://www.patientphysiciancoop.com/ for more info

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