This is a clip from an episode of All Things Co-op.
Guest Kate Washington: "We are very cognizant of the need to develop our workers from wherever they are to wherever they want to be. And we have to give ourselves the time to do that because this is a long game.... I believe that we should be able to take advantage of whatever models work and provide the most democratic ownership opportunities for our workers. And if that's an ESOP, and that's what we should be, we can do that. If it's a cooperative, we can do that."
In this episode, co-hosts 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.
Watch the full episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f24i_oaWVf0
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.
Become an ATC patron: www.patreon.com/allthingscoop
Donate to d@w: www.democracyatwork.info/donate
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