On June 16, Philadelphia City Council approved resolution #160701 authorizing the Committee on Commerce and Economic Development to hold a hearing regarding the development of co-ops in the City of Philadelphia and initiatives to support their growth.
This is an important first step to use public policy to boost the cooperative economy in Philadelphia. PACA is inspired by by cooperative business development initiatives in other cities around the country. In New York, NY, city funding has helped to triple the number of worker cooperatives, and Madison, WI has approved funding for five years of technical assistance and the creation of a cooperative loan fund.
In early 2016, PACA staff, board, and allies started meeting with City Council members to explore how the City can support the development of cooperatives. In a city where 1 in 4 residents live in poverty, the power of the cooperative model as a strategy to address inequality and build community wealth gained traction among councilmembers. Councilman Derek Green championed the resolution, with support from Councilwoman Cindy Bass, Councilwoman Helen Gym, and Councilman Mark Squilla.
What does this resolution mean? It means that a public hearing about cooperatives will be held in the fall. Please take a moment to thank these council members for their leadership by sending an email or calling their offices. There’s a template below.
We hope you will join us this fall to pack council chambers and testify on the benefits of cooperatives in our city and region. Stay tuned for updates!
Dear (Council Member’s Name)
Contact information for the resolution’s sponsors
(215) 686-3450, (215) 686-3451
Councilwoman Cindy Bass
(215) 686-3424, (215) 686-3425
Councilwoman Helen Gym
(215) 686-3420, (215) 686-3421
Councilman Mark Squilla
(215) 686-3458, (215) 686-3459
Please bcc Michaela Holmes on your emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) or let her know that you called in!