I recently received an e-mail from Ted Howard, Executive Director of the Democracy Collaborative. This bulletin from Community Wealth is a good overview of what’s going on in Cleveland, so I’ll just reproduce it whole cloth. During my recent encounter with Cleveland and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, Howard’s name kept coming up as someone who was instrumental in laying the groundwork for this game-changing development in the economic life of one of our poorest cities.
Ted, thanks for your work, for the update, and for the offer to spread what is rapidly becoming known as “the Cleveland Model.” I hope you get lots of offers, and I will be honored to help if you get overloaded.
“Something important is happening in Cleveland.” That was the theme of the community event that inaugurated the opening of the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry on October 21st – a worker-owned commercial-scale “green” business based in the Glenville neighborhood, one of the most severely disinvested areas in Cleveland.
More than 300 participants – including leaders of the city’s major anchor institutions, business, and government representatives, and community development practitioners and neighborhood residents – heard Mayor Frank Jackson call the laundry, “a model for how we can put our people back to work and rebuild our community.”
The Evergreen Laundry is the first in a network of worker cooperatives that is being launched in the city. Next up: Ohio Cooperative Solar and Green City Growers. For more background on the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative:
- View the 5-minute Evergreen video and meet the worker owners of the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry.
- Read the article that appeared on the front page of the business section of the Cleveland Plain Dealer
- Learn more about the Evergreen Initiative through The Cleveland Foundation’s newest publication.
- Listen to this six-minute radio broadcast by journalist Daniel Denvir.
For the past two years, The Democracy Collaborative has been privileged to work with our partners in Ohio – including The Cleveland Foundation, ShoreBank Enterprise Cleveland, Towards Employment, and the Ohio Employee Ownership Center at Kent State University – to develop and implement a community wealth building strategy. All of us are committed to making the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative a pioneering and innovative model of job creation, wealth building, and sustainability.
We look forward to continuing to update you in the coming months and years. If you would like to explore how the Evergreen strategy might be adapted to your community’s needs, please feel free to be in communication with us.
As always, we have added dozens of new links, articles, reports, and other materials to the site. Look for this symbol *NEW* to find the most recent additions. And don’t forget to view our regularly updated C-W Blog.