PACA Steering Committee members Bob Noble, Chris Hill, and Peter Frank recently traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the 2013 Cooperative Issues Forum hosted by the Cooperative Development Foundation at the National Press Club. The Cooperative Issues Forum is an annual event. This year’s theme was The Power of Collaboration: Cooperatives as Catalysts in the Community.
Bob Noble represented PACA on a panel and discussed our innovative partnerships with universities and local government.
The Democracy Collaborative’s John Duda wrote a great recap of the event. Here’s his take on PACA’s work:
On the ground, different and increasingly sophisticated approaches for advancing the cooperative economy were highlighted by the panelists. In Philadelphia, for instance, a new regional organization called the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA) is providing a platform not just for cooperative development, but for political organizing and education.
Bob Noble, from the Keystone Development Center, explained the genesis of PACA and the work it is engaged in on a number of exciting fronts. Critical policy work is taking place, including the passage of a city council resolution in support of cooperatives and an important study of local government best practices in support of co-ops—not to mention the integral role Philadelphia cooperative advocates played in working with Representative Chaka (D-PA) Fattah around the introduction of the National Cooperative Development Act.
PACA is forging connections with area universities to conduct a cooperative economic impact study with Haverford, and develop a certificate program in cooperative business at Drexel University. They are also working to launch new food co-ops, build a worker owned taxi cooperative, and establish a revolving loan fund. Crediting the influx of young people excited about cooperatives for the Alliance’s growth, Noble sees PACA working to become a membership organization that can support full-time paid staff.
Read the rest of the Democracy Collaborative’s blog post here.
Check out the full video of the event below: