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Support the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative

This petition had 156 supporters

As a coalition of community and business leaders, we ask you to support enhancement of the Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative to $2.34 million in the FY 2016 City Budget. Since its inception in July 2014, the Initiative partners and members of the New York City Worker Cooperative Coalition have worked diligently to create good jobs, help more New Yorkers achieve upward mobility, and strengthen the worker cooperative economy.

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.  

Now in its fourth quarter, the New York City Council Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative has worked with over 45 potential worker cooperative businesses and engaged over 800 individual worker-owners, entrepreneurs, and business owners. These achievements build on support to existing worker cooperatives––helping them to grow and expand.

Initiative partners have also worked to build relationships and foster effective collaborations with city agencies that play a role in community and economic development. And, on February 26, 2015, City Council voted for passage of Intro 423. This new law requires the City to report on public contracts awarded to worker cooperative businesses––and issue recommendations on improving access to the public procurement system. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the bill into law on March 18, 2015, signaling a major paradigm shift for worker cooperative businesses in New York City. 

Our Initiative partners look forward to advancing this work in New York City––increasing access to quality jobs for the City's growing numbers of underemployed and discouraged workers––while also stabilizing and building our middle class economy. We urge you to support the $2.34 million Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative.

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