As legend has it, in 1837, President Andrew Jackson threw open the doors of the White House to invite the people to come sample a 1,400 pound block of cheese. Presumably, they also petitioned the government while they were noshing. For fans of The West Wing, it may be one of the top episodes.
On Wednesday, January 29, President Obama is holding a virtual “block of cheese” day. It is a day in which the public is encouraged to tweet or post on various social media questions for the President or his administration to consider. Using the hashtag #AshtheWH, and 143 characters, we have the opportunity to raise the profile of worker ownership and worker cooperation within the administration as it engages in its effort to affect the income inequality in this country.
To have any hope of an impact, however, our message needs to rise above the likely millions of tweets. This means using the phrase “worker ownership” or “worker cooperative” and (if there is room) noting the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives or another group, the American Sustainable Business Council.
I have come up with a few tweets that I am happy to share (in fact, I hope people take the opportunity to send them along):
- Worker Ownership creates a sustainable economy, will POTUS make it part of the agenda? #askthWH #ASBC #USFWC
- Washington and Jefferson used worker ownership to rebuild the cod industry, will Obama use it to build a sustainable economy? #askthWH #ASBC #USFWC
- Worker ownership promotes income equity and a sustainable economy. Make worker ownership part of the economic agenda. #askthWH #ASBC #USFWC
Feel free to come up with your own, edit these, or what have you. Please post tweets here as well in the comments. The more of us doing this, the more likely that the idea of worker ownership might get noticed.
The Block of Cheese event isn’t going to change the world, or even change Washington. I certainly don’t expect any sort of sea change to occur because of this, but we need to do even the small things to raise our profile and this is one that all of our members can do from their phones, tablets, and computers.
Next Week: More on the American Sustainable Business Council and the Big Tent of Worker Ownership