Today and tomorrow in Seattle is Strengthening Local Independent Coops Everywhere, SLICE 2011, a conference sponsored by Central Coop and several other partners representing Cooperatives throughout the Puget Sound and beyond. In today’s climate of Occupy Wall Street, the Cooperative movement deserves more attention, as it represents a way to change the system through action, rather than through protest. With increasing crack downs on Occupy Wall Street throughout the country and world, its success or failure is still unknown. As the weather gets colder, will the protesters resolve waver? Will Occupy Wall Street have a lasting impact on conversation amongst policy makers now and on election night? Will it change the game?
Building bridges to strengthen communities is about harnessing existing assets, rather than letting them bleed out of the neighborhood and into the pockets of large corporations. Of course, not every good or service can be provided locally. However, many of them can, and cooperative business models keep money in the community and allow these assets to grow. If we all invest locally, we will both support each other and show Wall Street that consumer behavior is still a key stone of the economy, and a shift to the local dramatically alters the power structure.
Keep up the movement, buy local, invest local, and through action, change the rules of the game.
Here are a couple links and a video about cooperatives and buy local movements: