Abstract painting titled, “Just A Little Rain” by Yuet Lam-Tsang. The piece features delicate and balanced strokes of pink, teal, and black. It features a feline figure sitting on a stool.
Image Credit: Yuet Lam-Tsang

Editors’ note: This article is from Nonprofit Quarterly Magazine’s summer 2023 issue, “Movement Economies: Making Our Vision a Collective Reality.”

In August 2018, the first legislation explicitly naming worker-owned cooperatives—the Main Street Employee Ownership Act—became United States federal law. Up to this point, legislation for most worker co-ops was not a priority; federal policy wasn’t even a pipe dream. Most worker co-ops saw and still see themselves as embedded within a broader movement for economic justice. Public policy wasn’t really a part of our culture. Until it was.

With Republicans controlling both houses of Congress, New York’s junior Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Nydia Velázquez had, that summer, championed the Act across the finish line in record time and with bipartisan support. 1 While the deeper intent of the Act has yet to be realized, the worker co-op movement was nonetheless inspired by this feat. The following month, alongside our co-organizer the Democracy at Work Institute and in conjunction with the eighth biannual national worker co-op conference, the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives convened a press event to commemorate the passing of the Act, rallying our grassroots around the possibilities for scaling this field by building stronger advocacy chops. That November swept into power worker co-op supporters like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a blue wave of additional Democratic freshmen—led by many (mostly progressive) women into power. The tides were turning.

Too often in groups like the ones we come from—groups fighting for social, racial, and economic justice—we resign ourselves to structural losses without even deigning to fight in the policy arena.

In the ensuing years, the USFWC has been a central leader in a lean and effective advocacy coalition that has resulted in worker co-op provisions added to a handful of new laws and introduced legislation, ranging from the CARES Acts of 2020 2 to the CHIPS and Science Act and the WORK Act, 3 the last two of which passed in 2022 despite unprecedented gridlock that has plagued Congress for over a decade.

We now see a ratcheting trend of success, with local and state initiatives both catching the attention of Congress and fueling further local and state progress, and each win being leveraged toward the next. Each win, whether federal or local, unleashed consequential benefits. With the WORK Act, tens of millions of dollars in government resources will be disbursed to employee-ownership centers around the country, fundamentally changing the playing field for worker-owners, freelancers, and cooperative innovators.

Why Prioritize Public Policy and Advocacy?

Too often in groups like the ones we come from—groups fighting for social, racial, and economic justice—we resign ourselves to structural losses without even deigning to fight in the policy arena. Owing to a healthy skepticism of a government and institutional structures that were designed to expropriate land, labor value, and even cultural capital from our communities, movement organizations are rightly set against reformist policies. Traditional reforms inherently strengthen the very state that represses us. Indeed, many movement organizations subscribe to the creed that “‘capitalism is incompatible with actual democracy’ since it prioritizes the ‘private interests of capitalists,’ meaning ‘under capitalism there can be no production of social wealth without the profits of privately owned enterprises.’” 4  

While the former is hard to contest, what’s interesting about the latter part of that stance is that cooperatives are, in fact, privately owned enterprises. Evidenced by examples in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy; in parts of Québec in Canada; historically, in African American communities from the late 19th and early 20th century; and perhaps most famously in Mondragón, in the Basque region of Spain, worker-driven cooperative economics has produced extraordinary social wealth, albeit constrained by a globalized capitalist system. What we have here is the kernel of a potent agenda for “non-reformist reforms.” 5 This history of successful community-building economic development positions pro-solidarity economy efforts, uniquely, to engage the state in ways that materially transfer resources to grassroots communities and build worker power—and with it, our own base of economic power. 6  

Engaging in public policy advocacy is not without its dangers. As we’ve learned from other efforts to develop state-facing advocacy work, the risks of operating without rigor in our vetting and discernment informed by our long-standing relationships within the worker co-ops field are high. This is another danger that wards off changemakers from advocacy work. Politicians, including the ones that movements turn out for, routinely “sell out” movement principles once elected. 7 Any rare legislation destined to actually pass Congress becomes loaded with advantages for the wealthy and powerful, and rarely contains any benefits for working families. The interests of billionaires and large corporations largely prevail over unions, freelancers, day laborers, minimum-wage earners, and cooperatives. In cases where bills do benefit the latter groups, those provisions are directly tied to the presence of unions, cooperatives, and other labor associations that have “connected” relationships and some sort of presence on the Hill.

That said, effective advocacy compels us to build coalitions, engage in strategic partnerships, and then leverage those in establishing relationships with decision-makers. We’re not suggesting that movements reprioritize their work; rather, certain low-hanging fruit, be it harm reduction or substantive advancement of our causes, should be pursued rather than disregarded wholesale. Wins for solidarity economy movements must necessarily be tied to deep relationships with the people holding the problems. When time and resources are limited and the priority is—as it must be—the needs in our communities, among our members, and among our people, it can be tempting to neglect the advocacy apparatus needed to move even realistically winnable initiatives. Through the lessons of our advocacy for the Main Street Employee Ownership Act, and since then, we’ve drawn lessons on how to be effective advocates—lessons that apply across movements throughout the solidarity economy space. Advocacy is a key component to achieving the long-term, lasting transformation that our grassroots movements envision.

Public policy and advocacy work, for most movement organizations, can feel like a luxury. Movements are, and should be, concerned with addressing the needs of our people first and foremost. But if we willfully exclude ourselves from Congressional processes, we leave money and resources on the table that will provide vital resources to our communities.

While grassroots movements have a lot of catch-up to do in establishing even a skeletal policy arm, we are learning and iterating quickly. Until recently, what passed for the “Left perspective” in the Beltway were almost exclusively “grasstops” voices—well-funded, national nonprofits founded midway through the last century, bereft of deep relationships and a grassroots base beyond certain middle-class donors. The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis left grassroots activists slack-jawed at just how quickly massive economic support could burst forth from the federal government in aid of banks. What if that scale of resources flowed to our communities instead of to Wall Street? That was the premise of Occupy Wall Street and a dozen movements it helped to foment—from the Bernie Sanders presidential runs, to campaigns for basic income, to the Debt Collective, to a groundswell of interest in land trusts, public banks, and worker co-ops. 8 The briefly viral Move Your Money (to credit unions) campaign led to millions of people moving their accounts from banks to credit unions. 9 Elements of these actions inspired infrastructure that can build economic democracy, like the momentum-gaining public banking movement. 10 Momentum doesn’t happen on its own; it’s a strategic balance (which is not to say ‘equal parts’) between grassroots organizing and political advocacy. It often doesn’t work out for us.

Our movements carry scars from a chronic pattern of being sold out by the very “leaders” sent to represent our interests within the halls of power. Grassroots organizations, especially those fighting for those with the least access to institutional power—poor people, youth, houseless populations, undocumented immigrants, incarcerated and oversurveilled and overpoliced communities—are routinely held up for photo-ops and campaign messages, only to have our needs cut out in the name of compromise, or otherwise bulldozed (sometimes literally) for the sake of corporate interests. The disempowering cycle of these stories is a central component to the retreat of movement groups away from policymaking. Modeling integrity, solidarity, and trust turns the tide in the other direction. Grassroots groups can and should practice transparency in their advocacy efforts while engaging their base in forming the policy agenda and offering feedback on what is and is not up for negotiation. That requires being honest when our own members disagree with one another about legislative priorities. In those cases, it’s usually better to pull back, rather than force through something opportunistic but widely unacceptable to the base.

Public policy and advocacy work, for most movement organizations, can feel like a luxury. Movements are, and should be, concerned with addressing the needs of our people first and foremost. But if we willfully exclude ourselves from Congressional processes, we leave money and resources on the table that will provide vital resources to our communities. We should not be naive about the resources of the government, which, like foundation endowments, are fueled by wealth that comes from our communities in the first place. Yet movements haven’t been as reticent to engage philanthropy, even when that pursuit pushes them toward funder-driven priorities and dynamics that Ruth Wilson Gilmore refers to as the “shadow state.” Dr. Gilmore locates our movements within the gargantuan field of philanthropy as a “shadow of the shadow state.” 11 Our self-marginalization is owed to tightly held principles that distinguish grassroots organizations from grasstops groups fueled by mainstream funding. Are we not capable of similarly sticking to our principles while considering advocacy to a minimal degree?

Smaller movement projects don’t have strong ties to philanthropy, either, and most grassroots groups practice a high amount of autonomy and self-determination as one of those principles. Over our lives, we have organized in dozens of movement groups in which we rely on ourselves for change because we exist within a framework that has willfully and systematically excluded us. But organizers are tired and are reorienting to new ways of resourcing our work. Increasingly, our leaders are recognizing the importance of putting our own people in positions of government power as one avenue of many for making change. It is inspiring to see municipalism 12 grow in popularity, putting power in the hands of people to democratize the local economy and the state. Projects like Los Angeles for All point toward collective governance, working with the current system in order to transform it to center the needs of the community. 13 It is vital to both advocate with current government officials and also elect representatives who grow out of our movements who are, and will continue to be, accountable through ongoing, deep engagement.

A Homecare Co-Op Worker’s Story

The more proactive we can be in bringing stories to the front end—informing policies that build solidarity and help our people—the less energy we need to spend on the downstream mobilizations to hold electeds accountable for the failure of poor policies.

It is vital to look at all the resources and skills at our disposal to build an effective advocacy strategy. The power of frontline workers telling their story—combined with a government relations team that understands the inner workings of Congress and how to bring those stories into the limelight—cannot be underestimated. Surfacing stories of homecare workers, like Yvette Beatty, who have been scraping by for decades, can only happen if we understand who, when, and where to tell those stories. 14 Yvette is a part of the policy action group of Home Care Associates, a direct care service worker co-op in Philadelphia. She recently shared her history of challenges as a homecare worker, elevating (in her own words), how

We are the start of the line for care, along with family members….[My co-op] is like my second family. They gave me options that I thought I would never have as a single Black woman. When they first trained me to be a home health aide, and I was nervous about the tests, they built up my confidence and had tutoring if I needed help. At times when I was struggling, they loaned me money. They taught me about managing my finances and helped me find daycare. Every [opportunity] they threw at me, I took it. And the next thing I know, the sky is the limit. I serve on the board of directors, different committees, and the policy action group. 15 

Bringing Yvette’s story to her senator required calculated planning and an understanding of the system, broken as it may be—but stories bring life to the deadness of policy papers. Bills supporting worker cooperatives probably sound just as mundane as tax and business proposals circulating in Senate offices every week. Worker testimony infuses texture by illustrating some of the ways Yvette’s co-op shored up her financial position while simultaneously sparking skills in leadership, service, and excellence in the healthcare sector.

In resistance movements, we’re routinely in the position of telling our stories after the fact: “Here’s how this pipeline/debt-burden/Medicare reimbursement/prison/food desert impacted our lives.” The more proactive we can be in bringing stories to the front end—informing policies that build solidarity and help our people—the less energy we need to spend on the downstream mobilizations to hold electeds accountable for the failure of poor policies. Many grassroots groups are well practiced at harvesting testimony of the impact of exploitative policies. We learned that it doesn’t take that much extra work to tap into the same narrative skill set for different purposes across the political process. With our advocacy program, we use stories to raise community concern—and we also facilitate opportunities for frontline workers to speak with government staff and with issue-based coalitions, which our campaigns depend on to flip working people’s challenges into solutions. What requires finesse is understanding how to stand our ground—not overlooking consequential differences while always seeking ways to turn antagonists into allies.

How We Win: Loops of Engagement and Accountability

So, what does this all look like in practice? The Main Street Employee Ownership Act rocketed through Congress in less than a year—a huge victory for us as an organization new to deep advocacy work, and who certainly leaned into partnerships to get it over the finish line. While other bills have been known to take years or even decades to pass, the employee ownership field, including worker cooperatives and employee stock ownership plans, was able to celebrate a huge win in record time—surprising even the congressional staffers who we worked alongside. Though we hailed the victory, we also recognized that there was much work to do to ensure that any advocacy initiatives are infused at every step with an ongoing, highly engaged feedback loop between the front lines and those crafting advocacy campaigns. We win by remaining tethered to the grassroots and moving in lockstep with our organizing and the programs that directly serve our communities.

We win by leveraging the relationships that have been built up over decades and the solid groundwork laid by many of our members and our own programs to make a compelling case for worker-owned business. The USFWC’s Policy and Advocacy Council was created in 2015, as leaders within our space had begun to win campaigns in Berkeley, 16 Philadelphia, 17 and elsewhere. Like most grassroots organizing, our needs are many, and our resources, especially in 2015, were few. However, cooperativism offers one big advantage: we are accustomed to prioritizing the voices of our members, and we also hold a commitment to accountability, which is built into our organizational governance. This council served as our primary avenue for discussion, education, and mobilization about advocacy efforts. That space paved a path toward meaningful engagement to articulate the priorities of worker co-ops for government relations. We work in partnership with organizations that span the spectrum of relevant stakeholders: the National Cooperative Business Association, 18 ESOP associations, local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), financial institutions, and service providers. This coalition shared a goal of calling for the Small Business Administration to share information about worker co-ops and employee ownership via the SBA’s substantial service and communication resources throughout the small business community. By putting to use the array of small business supports already in place across the country, we can strive for more commonplace awareness of the cooperative model, which remains largely unfamiliar to most workers, unions, and business owners. Spotting the opportunity to tap into such vast and already existing infrastructure was vital to our programs’ success. We then leveraged that knowledge to create even more resources to benefit worker-owned small businesses.

Eventually the USFWC devoted time to foster relationships on the Hill. We were blown away by how quickly our vision for worker buyouts and cooperative development gained traction. Our 2019 Hike the Hill provided the vehicle for longtime cooperators like B. Anthony Holley from Detroit to meet with the office of his representative, Rashida Tlaib. After hearing from her constituent, the congresswoman joined the Congressional Co-op Business Caucus the very next day. That trip laid the groundwork for other supportive relationships that continue to this day. Taking the time to go deep in explaining the principles, impact, and business model of worker co-ops to Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York ensured we would build something more long-standing than a one-time meeting. We won another true advocate in Congress by speaking about our model in our own voice, something wholly different than dryly producing metrics in a white paper. Eighteen months after our first meeting, Bowman went on to infuse worker cooperative provisions throughout the CHIPS and Science Act. In both cases, in order to build those relationships we relied on and supported co-op members in our base—leaders we have cultivated for years, without necessarily bearing advocacy in mind. Building leadership through education and training is always a worthwhile investment in advancing social change. It also happens to be a core cooperative principle. When compared to corporate and other national organizations, staffers in government often express how much more meaningful our visits to their offices are because we bring in leaders from our communities to tell their own stories.

We win by staying connected to the grassroots. In 2017, we were approached by then-Representative Keith Ellison, 19 who served Minnesota’s 5th congressional district from 2007 to 2019 prior to becoming state attorney general. Inspired by the rich ecosystem of cooperatives in Minneapolis, Ellison saw the promise of worker cooperatives and asked the USFWC for our “dream list” of what support our movement needed from Congress. Thus began the process that we continue to this day: listening to members and co-op partners to understand the biggest needs and possible legislative solutions. Cooperators are accustomed to democratic governance and highly engaged discussion; however, taking that feedback and turning it into action items for the government was an entirely new experience—one we continue to iterate on each year. Deep connections to our base are vital. As a membership organization that prides itself on being highly accountable and tuned-in to its constituency, the USFWC is in constant contact with the worker co-ops, cooperative developers, institutions that finance cooperatives, and service providers that collectively make up our membership. Our advocacy agenda is primarily informed by the challenges we see on the ground. For state-level policy, we regularly engage with groups like the Worker-Owned Recovery California (WORC) Coalition and the New York State Community Equity Agenda. This allows us to fill an advisory role and act as connective tissue between diverse on-the-ground movements. The USFWC dovetails regional programs and organizing strategies with advocacy work. This creates some efficiency, ensuring that the heart of the worker co-op movement, which beats throughout our technical assistance, community building, political education, and leadership development spaces, also echoes through our advocacy initiatives.

Each year we discover more depth in how our programs are intermingled with co-op policy priorities. One example is our work running the USFWC Co-op Clinic. The Co-op Clinic is a peer technical assistance program for cooperative businesses. It keeps us attuned to the challenges of both emerging and experienced worker co-ops. Through this program our staff and peer technical assistance advisers have built a running list of the primary constraints of co-op startups, legal hurdles, financial burdens for worker-buyouts, and other business struggles particular to different industries. Likewise, by administering our own USFWC Worker Benefits Program, we have a clear sense of what workers and their families need to persevere, despite the failings of the US healthcare system to attend to nontraditional families, undocumented workers, and people with chronic health conditions and disabilities. As with other organizing efforts, advocacy is most effective when it is constantly informed by the work on the ground.

We win by being of service to intersectional movements, not just ourselves. Cooperatives have historically been one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox of movements seeking to elevate dispossessed communities. In their vision for building wealth for Black communities, the Movement for Black Lives encoded worker-owned and community-controlled cooperatives into their policy platform. Our connection to the M4BL platform organizing work ensured that the long history of successful Black cooperatives 20 unlocked the power of the Black Lives Matter movement to become ambassadors for the cooperative business model. The Alliance for a Just Philadelphia, a coalition of 27 grassroots organizations in Philadelphia, brought the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance into the fold in order to resource the coalition with education on transformational cooperative business solutions. Rhode Island organizers launched Reclaim RI, which shares a similar organizing model to an Alliance for a Just Philadelphia member, Reclaim Philadelphia. 21 The Rhode Island group fought for and won licenses for worker-owned cannabis cooperatives to ensure that a significant share of the marijuana industry in Rhode Island would be owned by workers, 22 including formerly incarcerated ones, rather than by corporate cannabis multi-state operators (MSOs).

We win by being present throughout government processes. Due to the necessary logistics of engaging the state, some movement campaigns have always attended to legislative and federal agency practices.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), immigrant justice, and disability rights organizations are recent examples of grassroots efforts that have continued to monitor executive actions, Congress, and the judicial system—up to and including the Supreme Court. Many agricultural and food policy groups engage with policy in a similar, though limited, fashion. For much of the past 40 years, movements for racial and economic justice have been behind when it comes to successfully engaging in advocacy, even when considering the notable presence of established labor unions. It is heartening that the trend is moving in a new direction.

In 2019, the year after the Main Street Employee Ownership Act’s passage, the New Economy Coalition engaged in deep conversation and organizing to create the Pathways to a People’s Economy policy vision. 23 When they initiated that project, much of the engagement came from worker cooperative circles, where leaders had established more comfort with collective input, discussion, and engaging with the people closest to the problems. Even when platforms like these are drafted, too often they lack the time and resources to translate those calls for change into real legislative action or to plant seeds of systemic change within achievable government acts. All too often, once legislation is passed, our groups lack the infrastructure or information to know how new programs will be implemented or who will be eligible to access new resources. By failing to build up that muscle, we enable corporate lobbyists to shape the policy terrain and create more front lines in the battles we need to take on in our communities, in our lives, and in the streets.

We win by building leadership and support pipelines. Over the 20-year history of the USFWC, we have invested increasing energy in training leaders from the worker co-op ecosystem to be ambassadors outside of it. In the policy realm, we need to build the infrastructure to educate and empower advocates and co-op storytellers. Through our Worker Ownership State Advocacy Fellowship, a program we set up in 2021, worker-owners participate in a six-month process of learning about advocacy strategies, networking with each other, and developing tools. 24 Fellows emerge with skills and relationships they can tap into. The 2022-2023 cohort included fellows like Mavery Davis, who worked with a state representative to introduce new co-op legislation in West Virginia; 25 now, midway through this fellowship program, Mavery joined the board of the USFWC and serves as our treasurer. Small but intentional investments build strong leaders and can yield tremendous results. We have learned that sustained wins stem only from sustained, long-term strategies that invest in our people.

For groups like us, policy is never paramount. It’s just one piece of a full strategy for social transformation.

Leadership isn’t just an organizational value. When we envision a future, democratized economy, we know that a suite of professionals trained at navigating state structures in law and finance is essential in the transition of worker co-ops becoming mainstream. One of the gaps in our field that has dogged us is a dearth of lawyers, accountants—and underwriters in financial institutions—who deeply understand cooperative models. As we gain more familiarity with city, state, and federal policies that affect cooperative businesses, we’re more cognizant of the role of certain professionals in scaling the solidarity economy. Any policy wins that we achieve are only valuable if we are ready to capture those wins, bringing funding, resources, and support to the hands of the people who called for change in the first place. Emerging networks like the Cooperative Professionals Guild seek to build community, create and share resources, and engage in professional development for our field. With advocacy, the real “win” is not the mere passage of a bill but rather the material change in the working lives of our members. Historically, we have been locked out of—and therefore ignorant of—the best ways to follow the money all the way to the end. That is part of what must change.

A Tool for Building the Future

For groups like us, policy is never paramount. It’s just one piece of a full strategy for social transformation. Real change requires internal political education, enabling a deep understanding of the root causes of systemic inequality alongside an ongoing commitment to challenging existing power structures. With a few wins in the books and with implementation for those wins on the horizon, the USFWC now looks toward moving firmly from being primarily responsive to Congress to being proactive on the issues that matter most to the worker co-op community. Like many movement organizations—intentionally or not—the USFWC had been centered on responding to crises. As our organization becomes more knowledgeable about the inner workings of the government, we’re pressured to grow our own sophistication in creating pathways for our members to lead from the grassroots, rather than having our federation chasing congressional calendars.

Taking the time to step back and analyze opportunities from different angles can unlock unexpected portals toward more transformative wins. To truly take hold, such efforts must be buttressed by a broader movement-building strategy that engages and mobilizes a wide range of stakeholders.

We can only break down the system if we understand it, clearly articulate our vision for changes to that system, and lay down tracks to get there. It is incumbent on movement organizations that seek to build a new world by mobilizing against the existing political economic structures to chart out an expansive agenda—one much bolder than simply drafting policy solutions to specific problems. Movement scholars call the policy aspect of that agenda a set of non-reformist reforms. The framework of non-reformist reforms, amplified by scholars like Dr. Gilmore, traces back to Austrian-French theorist André Gorz. 26 Its contemporary application is well articulated by Ohio State law professor Amna A. Akbar, who offers:

Because the end goal is building power rather than identifying a policy fix, non-reformist reforms can only be effective when pursued in relation to a broader array of strategies and tactics for political, economic, social transformation. 27

Whether it is gig work, food service, care work, or manufacturing, non-reformist reforms hold immense significance for grassroots organizations exploring legislative and executive advocacy strategies. Taking the time to step back and analyze opportunities from different angles can unlock unexpected portals toward more transformative wins. To truly take hold, such efforts must be buttressed by a broader movement-building strategy that engages and mobilizes a wide range of stakeholders. This includes deep organizing, political education, and leadership development, as well as narrative and media work, public outreach, strikes, protests, mutual aid, and the expansion of institutions that are themselves part of the solidarity economy. Indeed, grassroots organizations understand that such projects and practices are more important in the long run. As we’ve stated, different communities and issues require internal deliberation, tailoring their advocacy efforts to advance their specific needs and strategies. All of this presents another channel to practice democracy within our organizations, but also to build new local, cross-issue, base-building formations.

Ultimately, non-reformist reforms offer a powerful tool for grassroots organizations to challenge existing power structures and build a more equitable and just society. As we understand our position on any particular issue, we are able to proactively seek and advocate for the programs we want to see rather than center our work around ideas originating outside our movements. By prioritizing structural reforms that address the root causes of systemic injustice, and by building coalitions and engaging in solidaristic movement building, we can create a society that works for everyone. It is up to all of us to do the hard work of building a better world, applying strategies and approaches that usher in real and lasting change. Advocacy is important not because of successes framed by those currently in power but because it represents the stories of our people informing a better, more just world.


  1. The Main Street Employee Ownership passed within the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act. See “The U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives celebrates the passing of the first national legislation that focuses on worker cooperatives,” U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, accessed May 18, 2023, www.usworker.coop/blog/usfwc-main-street-employee-ownership-act.
  2. Kellie Moss et al., “The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act: Summary of Key Health Provisions,” KFF, April 9, 2020, www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-summary-of-key-health-provisions. See also Kate LaTour, “Co-ops included in the $2.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress, providing economic relief to people and small businesses impacted by COVID-19,” NCBA CLUSA, December 22, 2020, ncbaclusa.coop/blog/congress-releases-covid-19-relief-bill.
  3. “FACT SHEET: CHIPS and Science Act Will Lower Costs, Create Jobs, Strengthen Supply Chains, and Counter China,” Briefing Room, The White House, August 9, 2022, www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/09/fact-sheet-chips-and-science-act-will-lower-costs-create-jobs-strengthen-supply-chains-and-counter-china/; and “WORK Act signed into law, appropriating $50M toward worker ownership,” U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, February 1, 2023, www.usworker.coop/blog/work-act-signed-into-law-appropriating-50-toward-worker-ownership/.
  4. Martin Hägglund, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom (New York: Pantheon, 2019), 268.
  5. As described by Amna A. Akbar, “…non-reformist reforms must draw from and create pathways for building ever-growing organized popular power. …[overcoming] liberal legal frameworks that tend to obscure power relations.…[in pursuit of] building the power of people to wage a long-term struggle of transformation,” in “Demands for a Democratic Political Economy,” Harvard Law Review 134, no. 1 (November 2020): 104–5.
  6. For more on the solidarity economy, see Emily Kawano, “Imaginal Cells of the Solidarity Economy,”Nonprofit Quarterly Magazine 28, no. 2 (Summer 2021): 48–55.
  7. Mark Engler and Paul Engler, “How movements can keep politicians from selling out,” Waging Nonviolence, March 22, 2023, wagingnonviolence.org/2023/03/how-movements-can-keep-politicians-from-selling-out.
  8. David M. Greenberg, “Community Land Trusts & Community Development: Partners Against Displacement” (white paper, LISC, New York, February 2019), www.lisc.org/our-resources/resource/community-land-trusts-community-development/; “Join the growing movement to create banks that are owned by and benefit the people,” Public Banking Institute, accessed May 11, 2023, publicbankinginstitute.org; and “Worker Co-ops in the News,” U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, accessed May 11, 2023, www.usworker.coop/news-links.
  9. Patrick Collinson and Rupert Jones, “Unhappy with big banks? You could move your money,” The Guardian, February 10, 2012,  www.theguardian.com/money/2012/feb/10/banks-lesson-move-your-money
  10. Sylvia Chi and Sushil Jacob, “After the Coronavirus Pandemic, Let Public Banks Lead the Rebuilding,” NPQ, August 18, 2020, nonprofitquarterly.org/after-the-coronavirus-pandemic-let-public-banks-lead-the-rebuilding.
  11. Ruth Wilson Gilmore, “In the Shadow of the Shadow State,” S&F Online 13.2 (Spring 2016), sfonline.barnard.edu/ruth-wilson-gilmore-in-the-shadow-of-the-shadow-state.
  12. Robert R. Raymond, “On May Day, Let’s Make Bold Demands for Democracy at Work and in the Streets,” Truthout, May 30, 2022, truthout.org/articles/on-may-day-lets-make-bold-demands-for-democracy-at-work-and-in-the-streets/.
  13. “The municipalist moment in Los Angeles,” Los Angeles for All, accessed May 11, 2023, losangelesforall.org/.
  14. Yvette Beatty, “On Why She Decided to Become a Direct Care Worker,” Worker Stories, Interview with Yvette Beatty, PHI, January 9, 2023, www.phinational.org/worker_story/yvette-beatty.
  15. Ibid.
  16. “CA Worker Cooperative Act,” Sustainable Economies Law Center, accessed May 11, 2023, www.theselc.org/ca-worker-cooperative-act.
  17. “Philadelphia Co-op History,” Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance, accessed May 11, 2023, philadelphia.coop/phillycoops/philacoophistory/.
  18. “Cooperatives: Building an Inclusive Economy. Together,” NCBA CLUSA, accessed May 11, 2023, ncbaclusa.coop/.
  19. “Representative Keith Ellison,” Congress.gov, accessed May 11, 2023, www.congress.gov/member/keith-ellison/E000288.
  20. History of Black cooperatives found in Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice (University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2014).
  21. Alliance for a Just Philadelphia’s website is www.ajustphiladelphia.org. Reclaim RI’s website is reclaimri.org.
  22. Reclaim RI, “Campaign: Marijuana Justice,” accessed May 11, 2023, reclaimri.org/campaign/marijuana-justice
  23. “The time for […] is now: This is how.” Pathways to a People’s Economy, accessed May 11, 2023, peopleseconomy.org/.
  24. “Worker Ownership State Advocacy (WOSA) Fellowship,” U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, www.usworker.coop/programs/advocacy/state-fellowship/.
  25. West Virginia Workers Cooperative Corporations Act, House Bill 3476, West Virginia Legislature, 2023 Regular Session, www.wvlegislature.gov/Bill_Status/bills_text.cfm?billdoc=hb3476%20intr.htm&yr=2023&sesstype=RS&i=3476.
  26. André Gorz, “Reform and Revolution,” The Socialist Register 5 (1968): 111-43, socialistregister.com/index.php/srv/article/view/5272/2173.
  27. Akbar, “Demands for a Democratic Political Economy.