Jackson Rising: Thank You and Next Steps

 Attorney and Jackson mayoral candidate Chokwe Antar Lumumba addresses the Jackson Rising: New Economies conference. Credit: Rosa Luxemburg-NYC/Flickr

Attorney and Jackson mayoral candidate Chokwe Antar Lumumba addresses the Jackson Rising: New Economies conference. Credit: Rosa Luxemburg-NYC/Flickr

Dear Jackson Rising Participant and Supporter,

The Jackson Rising Organizing Committee and Cooperation Jackson sincerely thank you for helping to make the New Economies Conference a total success. You, along with more than 500 other participants, helped to secure the legacy of the Lumumba administration and establish a solid foundation for the development of Cooperation Jackson as a vehicle to build economic democracy in Jackson.

Through your participation we were able to make some major strides towards the accomplishment of all of our primary goals:

  1. We exceeded our goal of having more than 500 registered participants.

  2. We exceeded our goal of constructing an active database of well over 1,000 local, regional, national, and international contacts.

  3. We were able to start the process of training over 100 Jacksonians in the basics of cooperatives and how to start them.

  4. We successfully had a public launch of Cooperation Jackson.

And with your ongoing solidarity and support, we will create a solid national and international network to support Cooperation Jackson and the movement for economic democracy in our city and region.

Next Steps

The next concrete step in the Jackson Rising journey is building Cooperation Jackson. This means transforming the organizing collective that helped facilitate the New Economies Conference into a fully-fledged cooperative network.

We aim to do this by creating a local federation of worker owned and self-managed cooperatives that build and leverage the skills of the under- and unemployed sectors of Jackson that are currently being excluded or dislocated from the work place and their homes and communities. Cooperation Jackson seeks to replace the current economic system of exploitation, exclusion and destruction of communities and the environment with a successful alternative. An alternative built on equity, cooperation, worker democracy, and environmental sustainability to provide meaningful work, eliminate racial inequity in income and wealth, and build community wealth. Building on this, we aim to turn the increasing number of people active in a local democratic economy into a grassroots political force to advance the initiative to build a true democracy, based on direct participation and economic democracy.

Our short-term 1-year workplan and goals for 2014 – 2015 include:

  • Consolidating the operational basis of Cooperation Jackson by securing enough resources to hire administrative, organizing, and specialty staff, purchasing a office and training facility, and purchasing several abandoned buildings and vacant lots to establish various cooperatives

  • Securing adequate training for all of the members of Cooperation Jackson to enable them to recruit and train hundreds of Jacksonians in how to start cooperatives, be good cooperators, and run successful cooperative enterprises to further develop our network and build the movements overall infrastructure

  • Developing our Incubator to support the development of our first and future cooperatives by facilitating investment relationships, coordinating member trainings, providing bookkeeping and accounting services, and legal services and counsel

  • Coordinating an on-going grassroots economic series based on the education and trainings needs identified through extensive outreach before the Jackson Rising Conference and during its many forums and workshop sessions

  • Launch 6 worker cooperatives – Recycling, Construction, Urban Farming, Temp/Day Laborer, Child Care, and Arts and Culture – by June 2015

How You Can Support Us

There are 3 general ways you can help build and strengthen our work:

  1. Advocates: We need solid advocates who will promote our work and seek to build connections between us and cooperatives, social movements, donors, and progressive financers throughout the United States and the world, in full respect to our principles and our fundamental rule of engagement – which is that in the end we have to represent ourselves in all decision making endeavors pertaining to us.

  2. Partners: We need to establish mutually beneficial partnerships that will aid us in helping to educate and train our members, provide us with various types of technical assistance, ongoing publicity and media support, and most importantly trade and other forms of economic exchange.

  3. Donors: We need ongoing donations and gift capital to support our general administrative operations, ongoing organizing and education work, member training and development, business planning, and start-up funds for the various cooperative enterprises. You can donate to Cooperation Jackson by donating either to our LLC or our non-profit (please identify which one you are choosing to contribute to for tax purposes) by writing a check to Cooperation Jackson and mailing it to P.O. Box 1932, Jackson, MS 39215.

To stay abreast of ongoing developments with Cooperation Jackson and the ongoing Jackson Rising education initiative continue to follow www.CooperationJackson.org. For inquirers and more detailed information please contact CooperationJackson@gmail.com.

You can also write P.O. Box 1932, Jackson, MS 39215 or call 601.208.0090.

Together, with your solidarity and support, we will make Jackson Rise through Cooperative Enterprise!

Monday, June 2, 2014