CoMN April 08, 2021 eNewsletter

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Tuesday, April 13
 2:00 pm ET

Working People and Business Owners. Weavers and Socialists. Democracy Activists and Abolitionists

Over 170 years ago, a small group of people founded a humble grocery co-op in the North of England with an ambitious vision for a better world. Building on earlier experiments in co-operative enterprise, their ideas soon spread around the world, complementing local struggles, traditions, practices of mutual aid to help inspire what became an international movement for economic democracy. 

What became known as the Rochdale Principles were taken up by groups such as the National Farmers Union, forming the basis for organizing successful agricultural co-ops, and other organizations focused on their adaptation to consumer, worker and other co-operative models. In this webinar, we will discuss the origins of the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, the challenges that they were trying to address, and how their legacy remains relevant today.
This webinar and NFU’s co-op series will be hosted by Erbin Crowell, Chair of the National Cooperative Business Association, CLUSA International and Executive Director of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association.

Questions about this webinar? Contact Emma Lindberg at

US co-ops welcome Biden’s infrastructure plan

Electric co-operatives were included in the plan

US President Joe Biden unveiled a US$2tn infrastructure plan on 31 March, which features a series of electric co-operative policy priorities.

Known as the American Jobs Plan, the package includes a US$100bn investment in broadband, with a focus on rural areas and tribal lands. It also promises to prioritise support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives, which it describes as “providers with less pressure to turn profits and with a commitment to serving entire communities”.

Other commitments include promoting transparency and competition and lifting barriers that prevent municipally owned or affiliated providers and rural electric co-ops from competing on an even playing field with private providers, and requiring internet providers to clearly disclose their prices.

“This is not a plan that tinkers around the edges,” said Mr Biden. “It is a once-in-a-generation investment in America unlike anything we’ve done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago.”

Read More Here from Co-op News


See NCBA’s Virtual Briefing Expanding Clean Energy and Electrification Opportunities in Rural America

Watch the YouTube of the briefing here

As Congress begins to consider legislation to invest in infrastructure and mitigate the impacts of climate change, electric cooperatives have a track record of leveraging the community power of co-ops to invest in change. The Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP) is one model that improves  

NCBA CLUSA working to influence infrastructure policy.

Cooperatives are key to inclusive, resilient infrastructure policy

As the White House and Congress consider infrastructure policy, they should look to cooperatives as one of the key strategies to increase economic opportunity, resilience in the face of climate change, and racial equity. Cooperatives feature a unique business model that has gone to scale and helped transform sectors and communities across the U.S. Fully one out of three people in the U.S. are members of at least one cooperative, including more than 100 million credit unions members, nearly 20 million households and businesses powered by rural electric cooperatives, and the majority of the nation’s 1.9 million farmers.

Because of their structure, cooperatives are more likely to deliver outcomes that reflect the values and needs of their communities—whether they suffer from historical discrimination, face heightened risk from climate change, or confront generations of disinvestment.

As people look to address today’s generational challenges of inequality, racial inequity and climate change, it is time to once again focus on how cooperatives are a preferred strategy. This is because cooperatives are owned and controlled by, and benefit the people who use these businesses. In other words, community members who are rooted in their local economy are in the driver’s seat—not outside investors and anonymous corporate executives. Because of this structure, cooperatives are more likely to deliver outcomes that reflect the values and needs of their communities—whether they suffer from historical discrimination, face heightened risk from climate change, or confront generations of disinvestment.


Read more here.


New Book: Strengthening the Cooperative Community

How can we reduce inequality, combat global warming, and become more democratic?

Insights into these questions are addressed by E.G. Nadeau, co-founder of The Cooperative Society Project, in his fourth book, Strengthening the Cooperative Community

Nadeau believes member-owned, democratically controlled co-ops can be part of the solution to creating a better, fairer society. He proposes 16 specific, practical recommendations on how co-ops can become a dynamic force for positive change that benefits people and the environment in the 21st century. Click here for more information about the book.

Stay tuned for further interactive presentation about this book.
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