City contracts to favour co-operatives in Berkeley

Berkeley in California is believed to be the first US city to give preference to co-operatives after passing a new resolution that favours worker-owned organisations in contracting and procurement

Judy Ziewacz, president and CEO of the US National Cooperative Business Association, told Positive News: “Co-ops have roots in and grow out of the communities around them, so it is only fitting that those communities turn to a business model that they trust when looking to keep jobs and money inside local neighbourhoods.”

Co-ops have roots in and grow out of the communities around them

Like many cities across the globe, San Francisco is currently undergoing ‘gentrification’, according to the Urban Displacement Project at the University of California, Berkeley. Gentrification is thought to contribute to a widening gap between rich and poor: as wealthier companies and people move into fashionable areas, residents and small businesses can be priced out.

Photo: The San Francisco Bay Area is a hub for worker-owned organisations, such as Mandela Foods in Oakland(pictured). Like Berkeley, the city council in Oakland also supports co-operatives