Co-op strategy, a tool to empower us all, can happen in Prince George's

The Prince George’s County co-op will build power through organizing money and organizing people. Prince George’s County residents will be able to quickly move on issues that impact them the most and we won’t have to rely on outside dollars to give us the green light. Join us Saturday, October 28th at 12 p.m. for the kick-off event entitled “What If We Funded Ourselves?” -- RSVP using this link: http://www.progressivemaryland.org/pg_coop

Join us Saturday, October 28th at 12 p.m. for the kick-off event entitled “What If We Funded Ourselves?” -- RSVP using this link: http://www.progressivemaryland.org/pg_coop

 

/By Seanniece Bamiro/ What the heck is a Co-op?!

 The co-op or cooperative model is centuries old. In fact, it dates back to 18th/19th Century Europe during the Industrial Revolution. In America, co-ops began around the farming industry and consisted of farmers working together to purchase equipment and other items through cost sharing. A cooperative is simply people coming together to accomplish a shared goal and can come in many forms including food, arts and political advocacy.

 A Political Co-op?

 Our partners at Citizen Action Wisconsin found themselves feeling tension between the issues grants funded them to work on and the issues most important to their residents. They also knew that in order to truly engage residents on political issues and expand political advocacy throughout multiple towns and cities, they would need a dedicated person laser-focused on the community. They started a successful co-op and replicated the model to several parts of Wisconsin. Their great efforts resulted in multiple self-funded and self-sustained co-op chapters. Progressive Maryland seeks to do the same in Prince George’s County.

 Why Prince George’s County?

 I’ve been in Prince George’s County for over a decade and while there is change -- new restaurants, stores, apartment buildings, etc. -- many core issues unfortunately stay the same. The Prince George’s we can be is one with equitable schools, accessible transportation, and enough affordable housing to meet the need. I envision a Prince George’s where residents become more connected to each other and engaged in the advocacy world.

 The Prince George’s County co-op will build power through organizing money and organizing people. Prince George’s co-op.jpgCounty residents will be able to quickly move on issues that impact them the most and we won’t have to rely on outside dollars to give us the green light.

 Additionally, the 2018 mid-term election is quickly approaching. This past year alone, we have been bombarded by scandal and inefficiency. Prince Georgians will have to be strategic to prevent the re-election of candidates that do not have the well-being of ALL residents in mind. It will take focus and effort but through organizing in the co-op, residents can move to elevate their voices and place the power back in trusted hands.

 How Does It Work?

 Community members will become members of the co-op to sustain the chapter and hire a full-time organizer through small donations. The members will form a steering committee, create bylaws and mobilize around critical issues. The goal is to get 250 sustaining members by January.

 Can This Be Done?

 Yes it can! But only with your help. Join other community members at the co-op kickoff event! You can RSVP here: http://www.progressivemaryland.org/pg_coop


 Seanniece Bamiro is Prince George’s County Co-op Organizer for Progressive Maryland.