Support the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative
This petition made change with 732 supporters!
As a coalition of community and business leaders, we urge the New York City Council to include the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative in the adopted FY 2015 City Budget. This $1.2 million initiative will create new worker cooperative businesses and support existing worker cooperative businesses. We are pleased that this initiative was included in the City Council’s preliminary budget response, and we need your support to ensure that it becomes part of the adopted budget.
For the last 12 years, one out of five New Yorkers have been trapped in poverty. The Great Recession witnessed the substantial loss of full-time and living wage jobs. Many of the newly created jobs are low-wage and part-time—with few, if any, benefits. And income inequality in the city is only worsening (see the recent study by NYU’s Furman Center). Given this reality, New York City’s efforts to reduce poverty, unemployment, and inequality should constitute an opportunity for realignment and reinvestment. Now is the time for the City Council to support this budget initiative for the development of worker cooperative businesses as part of a new long-term strategy to address income inequality.
We urge you to support the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative, sponsored by Council Members Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Helen Rosenthal, so that 920 entrepreneurs, 28 start-up worker cooperative businesses, and 20 existing worker cooperative businesses will receive support. This initiative will also create 294 jobs by coordinating education and training resources, as well as providing technical, legal, and financial assistance.
It is time to turn the tide against income inequality in New York City and support the creation of jobs that combat poverty and empower workers. Worker cooperative businesses have emerged over time as an effective response to economic crisis and increased unemployment. Owned and managed democratically by their employees, worker cooperatives have been shown to improve pay equality within businesses, build equity for all worker-owners in a business, and remain rooted in local communities.
We believe that this initiative would impact long-term unemployment and the growing numbers of underemployed and discouraged workers in New York City neighborhoods. We urge you to support the $1.2 million Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative.
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