The Economic Importance of an Urban Coop for Revitalizing Communities

Kristen Barker

Kristen will discuss the economic importance of an urban coop for revitalizing communities and her experience running the Cinci Union Coop (based on the Mondragon model), which includes the following features:

  • CUCI launched 4 co-op initiatives (explored 3 others), hosted 2 national union co-op conferences with over 200 people from 20 states, and is the epicenter of U.S. implementation of union co-ops.
  • Harvest Co-op-created 18 jobs, focuses on building food security and food access in the region while providing livable wages for workers. It is also the site of Cincinnati State’s Sustainable Agriculture Management Practicum.
  • Sustainergy Energy Retrofitting Co-op created 3.5 jobs, partnering with Cincinnati G&E (Empower) to implement low cost, high-impact residential retrofits.
  • Apple Street Market has become a scaleable initiative. With over 1100 community owners, it will provide food access in a food desert and is 85% funded. Feasability studies are underway for other neighborhoods.
  • Renting Partnerships (RP) is an affordable housing partnership between a non-profit and residents. RP sublease establishes rights for residents to participate in decision-making and build financial equity.