The economic crisis that accompanied the COVID pandemic pushed the safety net into the spotlight—and millions of Americans have found it threadbare. People seeking help for the first time are learning what poor and working-class people—mostly women and people of color—have long known: that in times of crisis, the net doesn’t catch you when you fall.
In this their latest piece for the American Prospect, CUNY SLU Professors Bhargava and Abramovitz retort that now is the time for a revolution in American social policy.
On Friday, May 11th, in collaboration with Democracy @ Work New York, the Murphy Institute hosted a fascinating panel exploring how progressive local innovations stand to solve long-standing, seemingly intractable issues around poverty and inequality. Panelists included:
Michael Menser, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brooklyn College, Earth and Environmental Science and Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center, Chair of the Board of The Participatory Budgeting Project, and author of We Decide! Theories and Cases in Participatory Democracy
Gabriela Alvarez, Chef and founder of Liberation Cuisine, a catering company dedicated to preparing meals collectively with sustainable ingredients and practices. Alvarez recently took her passion for healing and organizing with food to Puerto Rico to help with relief and rebuilding efforts
Kali Akuno, co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, a network of cooperatives and worker-owned enterprises and the author of Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi
Yorman Nunez, Program Manager at Community Innovators Lab MIT and coordinator of Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative
Miss the panel or want to experience it again? Watch it here:
In New York City worker cooperatives, participatory budgeting, and community land trusts are on the policy platform of the City Council’s progressive caucus and elected officials in the democratic party are pushing legislation for employee and worker ownership at the state and federal levels. With greater visibility and support from the public sector some believe that these pilots and experiments for neighborhoods to drive wealth creation and capture and create equitable economic opportunities can reach into broad-based and mainstream policy.
There is an opening here to expand the horizon of what is seen as possible for genuine equitable urban economic development, and its relationship to labor, communities and the political economy. In short, we can change the conversation from mostly pushing for greater accountability and transparency in the existing economic development order, to a conversation about what should come next and what policies and institutions would be a part of getting us there.
CGA is looking for a part time community organizer to join our anti displacement campaign and community wealth building initiative. The anti displacement campaign seeks to preserve and expand quality affordable housing in Southwest Brooklyn (Red Hook, Columbia Waterfront, and the surrounding area) by educating and organizing with residents and allies.
The community wealth building initiative works to create living wage job and asset generating opportunities for residents historically dislocated from mainstream economic development programs. Programs and organizing focus on worker cooperative development, merchant association formation, entrepreneur education, and broader community building events.
The organizer will work directly with the Community Planner to assist in resident and worker outreach, organizing info sessions and strategy meetings, and coordinate community planning workshops.
This position is 20-25 hours per week starting at $15/hour.
Responsibilities include: Advocacy & Community Organizing:
Coordinate and implement door-to-door outreach to renters. Develop “Know Your Rights” materials for tenants.
Build tenant power through leadership development and assist in forming tenant associations.
Recruit child care workers to Southwest Brooklyn’s first child care worker cooperative.
Assist in developing a 12 week worker cooperative training for worker owners.
Grow the merchants association through outreach, engagement, and participation in monthly meetings.
Research & Policy:
Learn best practices for researching neighborhood demographic, economic, and housing trends.
Learn best practices for worker cooperative development, merchant association formation, and workshop and training content for entrepreneurs.
Develop tenant organizing and worker cooperative development presentations for broader community education.
Update CGA social media accounts.
Write press releases, coordinate interviews with community members, and build relationships with media representatives.
Learn about pitching stories, press cycles and communications strategy.
Experience in community organizing preferred.
Demonstrated commitment and passion for social justice and building power of low-income residents and communities of color.
Strong writing, communication, and group work skills.
Interest in growing a career with CGA.
Humility and humor.
About the Carroll Gardens Association:
The Carroll Gardens Association (CGA) is an affordable housing and economic development grassroots organization working in Southwest Brooklyn (Red Hook, Columbia Waterfront, and the surrounding area). We organize with low income residents, small businesses, and allies to advocate for equitable development, permanent affordable housing, and community wealth building policies. Our belief that local residents are the experts in the problems that face them guides our program design and direct service provision, prioritizing capacity building and leadership development. Learn more about us at www.carrollgardensassociation.com
How to apply:
If interested, please send resume and cover letter to Ben Fuller-Googins at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Community Organizer– YOUR NAME” in the subject line. Your cover letter should address your passion for movement building and why you are interested in working with CGA.
A conversation about workers, communities and social justice