In this episode of All Things Co-op, Kevin and Larry speak with Kate Washington, the CEO of OWN Rochester, a non-profit cooperative business development corporation whose mission is to create jobs and build wealth in low-income communities by developing, promoting, and supporting a diverse portfolio of employee-owned businesses in Rochester, New York.
Kate Washington shares the backstory of how OWN Rochester started and its first projects; thoughts on incubating versus converting cooperatives; efforts to make government support of co-ops more mainstream and the challenges of lagging bureaucracy; ESOPs vs worker cooperatives, tailoring the model for the specific need; the challenges and opportunities for co-op conversion in the time of Covid-19; efforts of the Mayor of Rochester.
Learn more about OWN Rochester on their website: https://www.ownrochester.coop/
All Things Co-op is a show that explores everything co-op. From theoretical and philosophical conversations about political economy and the relations of production, to on-the-ground interviews with cooperative workers, All Things Co-op aims to appeal to a wide audience of activists, organizers, workers, and students to be better educated and motivated to create a new cooperative society.
All Things Co-op is hosted by Democracy at Work (d@w). d@w produces media and live events to expose capitalism’s systemic problems and to show how democratizing our workplaces solves them. We can do better than capitalism.
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