About CDCs

A Community Development Co-operative (CDC) is the basis for your community’s economic empowerment and sustainability which has become extremely critical with current economic woes.  The CDC is made up of a community’s residents, businesses, institutions and associations primarily those with the community’s mailing address.  The Community Development Co-operative would constitute a private/public partnership.  There would be voting and non-voting membership.  Voting members would have to pay annual fees, have that community’s mailing address, have certain privileges, and would benefit from dividends from other initiatives.  Under this co-operative a Community Foundation could be established through which grants could be pursued and philanthropic endeavors could be nurtured for local purposes.

The CDC could act as a local business incubator for enterprises and other cooperatives (see below for examples).  They could facilitate new business ventures, and revitalize failing or languishing businesses through a cooperative organization and become a federation of local cooperatives.

Brainstorm the possibilities of fostering and broadening your community’s strong sense of pride and involvement.  It doesn’t matter how ridiculous some of the ideas are as they might inspire more practical ones.  Some initiatives and possibilities for your Community’s Development Cooperative might include:

  • a multifunctional performing arts center that could be used as an emergency center or convention center for local trade shows
  • fostering local business efforts through other food and service co-operatives thereby becoming a federation of co-operatives and consolidating the needed supporting resources
  • forming a generic non-discrimatory service club
  • support the community’s foundation
  • emulate or become part of the Village to Village network, http://www.vtvnetwork.org  like Seattle’s Phinney Neighborhood Association,  http://www.phinneycenter.org
  • supporting local non-profit associations (reduces cost to City’s administration)
  • coordinating local resources for such endeavors as community gardens
  • foster and partner with other beneficial ventures such as YMCA
  • support local school district and create year round and after hours facility usage for adult education
  • coordinate local experienced resources to assist elected officials similar to the Silver Haired Congress, http://www.natlshc.org
  • develop a local community media center enterprise to: maximize local revenue associated with the Internet; provide for public safety communications; facilitate an open access network; provide a WiFi enabled walled garden complete with strategically placed digital signage for tourist and community purposes,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walled_garden_(technology);  and a local radio broadcast capability
  • a buy local campaign supported by community currency in which all businesses would participate equally
  • instill a visionary community approach to direct the City’s administration
  • foster programs such as Junior Achievement, http://www.jawashington.org
  • focus on Boomer opportunities as they have a vast amount of disposable income and assets
  • political endorsements reflecting the CDC’s purpose and goals

There are communities establishing cooperatives to move towards self sustainability.  Take a look at the intentional community of Stelle, Illinois for example, http://www.stellecommunity.com which is a stellar example of what might be achieved, including a community Monday night dinner cooperative.   Think about your community possibilities to address community needs such as:

By creating these cooperatives local people become employed.  These cooperative enterprises also educate and train others.

Bear in mind that Community Development Cooperatives acting as community cooperative incubators are just emerging.  One recently that  have come across is Kabin Social Economy & Cooperative Development Cornwall.

What Happen$ in the Community $tay$ in the Community



One Response

  1. We’re trying to establish a multi-stakeholder co-op on a beautiful island in British Columbia that would supply housing, “right path” employment, and group buying power to its member-investors.

    But we could use some help! http://www.EcoReality.org

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