Despite an Increase in Consumers Shopping Homelessne​ss is still Very Much There and Why Communal Living May Be part of the Solutions – 10/15/2011

For Our Meditation (FOM),_Artisanal_and_Service_Producers%27_Co-operatives

“At some point last year, about 17 million U.S. households had some difficulty feeding everyone in their family.
That amounts to 14.5 percent of U.S. households, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The percentage of households who experienced food insecurity in 2010 was virtually unchanged from 2009. But it has risen by about 3 percentage points since 2007, the year the country officially went into recession.”

““There are very few places that haven’t been affected by the last two recessions,” said Scott Allard, associate professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and an expert on poverty.
Allard notes that some of the states dealing with highest rates of poverty also are struggling with severe budget issues, which may make it harder to help those in need.
“Many of the states that have some of the highest levels of poverty (are) struggling with making some of the most severe cuts to social programs,” he said.
The nationwide poverty rate hit 15.1 percent last year, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, according to the Census Bureau.”

“I think the numbers are much higher than this. Keep in mind, 80% of Americans are too proud to admitt they are having any financial trouble.”

“Call it what it is – which isn’t ‘food insecurity’ -it’s HUNGER!”

“People with food stamps have full carts because they get their food stamps once a month and just about the time they arrive, there is almost no food left in the house so they have to restock everything.”

“An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to have a much higher degree of teamwork than other communities. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. They typically also share responsibilities and resources. Intentional communities include cohousing communities, ecovillages, communes, survivalist retreats, kibbutzim, ashrams and some housing cooperatives. Typically, new members of an intentional community are selected by the community’s existing membership, rather than by real-estate agents or land owners (if the land is not owned collectively by the community).
Within intentional communities the above terms have different meanings compared to the legal forms of real estate ownership that may have the same name.”

“The pursuit for cultural diversity is not an easy one. It requires an intentional community as a whole, as well as its individual members, to more clearly define their goals and values. Intentional communities are not for everyone- and neither are culturally diverse ones. An intentional community that has decided to have fewer formal values in order to have a culturally diverse community may not sound as impressive or as worthy as an intentional community with many lofty ideals because the maintenance of healthy relationships among diverse groups is not as quantifiable. Yet it is often our mundane interactions with people that really serve to transform the world. Those communities who truly desire cultural diversity and are willing to change themselves in order to have it will be rewarded with endless learning opportunities about themselves and others. Culturally diverse intentional communities can provide a small model for the world of how people with differences can learn to live together to make a difference.”

“CICOPA (International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers’ Co-operatives) is the branch of the International Co-operative Alliance that promotes worker cooperatives. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, CICOPA has a membership of 57 national and regional cooperative federations in 39 countries. Its associated members are support organizations promoting cooperatives in their regions.
Many of those cooperatives are worker cooperatives, businesses where the employees are the owners of the enterprise.
In 2003, the then CICOPA president Rainer Schluter reported that in Europe they have seen a leap from 2,500 worker co-ops and related models in 1980, to 85,000 today, with a total membership of 1.5 million worker-owners
The 2003 CICOPA General Assembly held in Oslo approved in principle the World Declaration on Cooperative Worker Ownership. The Final draft was approved by the CICOPA Executive Committee on 17 February 2004. The Declaration was then approved by the ICA General Assembly in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2005[2].
CICOPA now has a membership of 57 organizations from 39 countries, and new national organizations of such cooperatives are continuously being established, e.g., in 2002 in Slovenia, in 2003 in South Korea, in 2004 in the USA.
CICOPA’s most recent general assembly took place in Singapore, on 17 October 2007.”

“A worker cooperative is a cooperative owned and democratically managed by its worker-owners. This control may be exercised in a number of ways. A cooperative enterprise may mean a firm where every worker-owner participates in decision making in a democratic fashion, or it may refer to one in which managers and administration is elected by every worker-owner, and finally it can refer to a situation in which managers are considered, and treated as, workers of the firm. In traditional forms of worker cooperative, all shares are held by the workforce with no outside or consumer owners, and each member has one voting share. In practice, control by worker-owners may be exercised through individual, collective or majority ownership by the workforce, or the retention of individual, collective or majority voting rights (exercised on a one-member one-vote basis). A worker cooperative, therefore, has the characteristic that the majority of its workforce own shares, and the majority of shares are owned by the workforce.”


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