Hilary Abell, Project Equity, E. Kim Coontz, California Center for Cooperative Development
and Ricardo Nunez, Sustainable Economies Law Center
California, like the rest of the United States, is in the midst of multiple crises, where increasing racial and economic inequality are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social impacts. After years of struggling with the high price of housing, a bifurcated job market that leaves many shut out of decent employment, and insufficient support for struggling parents, many Californians are facing deep uncertainty. This report offers a path to address these crises, one grounded in a time-tested solution: cooperatives.
The publication provides an in-depth look at the cooperative landscape in California, focusing on three types of cooperatives that are particularly suited to address the biggest crises facing our communities: quality jobs, housing and childcare.
An introductory chapter presents an overview of the history and principles that have shaped cooperatives, the national organizations that support them, and policy opportunities to help cooperatives flourish. This is followed by separate chapters that discuss the landscape of worker, housing and childcare cooperatives, the ecosystems that support them, examples and profiles of successful coops, and recommendations to grow the cooperative economy. Additional features of the report include a review of the statutes that guide the formation and operation of cooperatives as well as up-to-date lists of California cooperatives in each sector.