Berkeley supports employee ownership

Mar 6, 2019

“Creating an equitable economy here in Berkeley and regionally is not only an important step to address the issues of housing affordability, and the rising cost of living, but also to give people upward mobility and to really diversify our local and regional economies.”

Berkeley City Mayor Arreguín

 Berkeley City Council Members pose with SELC and other worker cooperative advocates including Project Equity at the Council Meeting.

On February 26th, 2019, The Berkeley City Council adopted a set of recommendations provided by the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC), based on significant input from Berkeley worker cooperatives, organizations that support worker cooperatives (including Project Equity) and city staff.

Berkeley’s monthly City Council meeting agenda included SELC’s recommendations for how the city can aid in helping business owners convert to worker-owned cooperatives and other forms of broad-based employee ownership.

The Office of Economic Development provided a report outlining the different ways they support worker cooperatives, highlighting its partnership with Project Equity to engage with longstanding Berkeley businesses around succession planning. Project Equity’s partnership makes the city of Berkeley the first in the Bay Area—and one of the first in the nation—to earmark funding to help local businesses convert to broad-based employee ownership.

The energy at the meeting was a true testament to the deep support from the Mayor and the Council Members for the City of Berkeley to do more to support worker cooperatives and employee ownership.

During the meeting, Mayor Arreguín spoke to the Council Members about how worker cooperatives can help the city. The Mayor went on to thank SELC and other organizations for working towards this goal by providing recommendations, and for Project Equity’s role in providing technical assistance for employee ownership conversions.

Read more about this victory on SELC’s website: Berkeley Sets the Bar for Municipal Support of Worker Cooperatives.

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