(Art Myatt, Transition Ferndale, Ferndale 115 News, May 15th, 2012 edition)
The next meeting of Transition Ferndale is7:00, at the Ferndale Library, 220 E. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, MI on Wed, May 16, 2012.
The speaker will be Deborah Olson, executive director of the Center for Community Based Enterprise in Detroit. She’ll be talking partly about the history of cooperatives, and partly about the nuts and bolts of setting up a cooperative and making it successful. Then she’ll be answering questions from the audience. Whether it’s a worker-owned producers’ co-op, a consumers’ co-op or a different type, co-ops create local jobs and strengthen the community in other ways.
David Thompson, a cooperative innovator based in Northern California, contends that cooperatives are critically important builders of community economies. “I’ve often thought about how my local Davis Food Co-op employs about 160 people. At the co-op they have their own accounting, marketing, membership, and personnel department, all of the management is local, buyers are local, the monthly newsletter is printed locally, we advertise in the local paper (Trader Joe’s doesn’t), the books are done by a regional accounting firm, the lawyers are a regional firm. The two Safeways in town each employ about fifty workers, have no buyers on the spot, the administration, advertising and accounting are all done from Oakland, and all of its money at the end of the day is funneled off to Oakland, where the administrative expenses occur. There’s another side of it, too, which is that cooperatives will never move to another town, state, or country because it’s cheaper. Their owners wouldn’t allow it.”
[end excerpt from Energy Bulletin]
You may want to follow up with detailed planning for one or more new co-ops in Ferndale. The Center for Community Based Enterprise (see http://www.c2be.org/) exists to help with that process, and to facilitate communication with other co-ops in the area.
Hoping to see you there!