Author Archives: John McNamara

About John McNamara

John spent 26 years with Union Cab of Madison Cooperative and currently helps develop co-op in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration and Masters in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions from Saint Mary's University. He has served on the board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Board of Governors for the late, great Democracy at Work Network. He currently sits on the Co-op Circle for Sociocracy for All. He has taught on worker co-operatives and democratic management in the summer at The Evergreen State College and Presidio Graduate School.

All Systems Go! Working Systems Co-op

In July of 2018, while the Main Street Employee Ownership Act was working its way into the Omnibus Defense Bill and NWCDC was preparing its Legacy Project aimed at raising the profile of worker ownership, I got a call from … Continue reading

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My 2nd Birthplace: Union Cab of Madison 40 years on

I am a bit glad that this post came so late in the month. I needed some time to get back in the practice of blogging before taking tackling this–so many thoughts and emotions run though my mind that this … Continue reading

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Burial Grounds: Rising Up

Burial Grounds Workers Collective

I am currently providing technical assistance for an incredible group of people who work at the Burial Grounds coffee house in Olympia, Washington. The business has been around as Burial Grounds since 2010 with the stated mission: … Continue reading

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A Co-op to Die For: People’s Memorial

Washington and the PNW have a rich diversity of Co-ops: preschool, housing, consumer, producer, worker, multi-stakeholder and death. Washington “toddler to grave” co-op economy used to be “cradle to grave” but then Group Health Co-op sold itself. Still, there is … Continue reading

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Self-Help and Grit City

One of the key concepts of cooperation is the value of Self-Help. At some level, this means that if you don’t like your options in the market, create a co-op to meet your needs. Co-ops exist to meet the needs … Continue reading

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Own the Internet: Clatskanie Co-op

There was a lot of talk about net neutrality a few years ago with regard to FCC repealing rules on Net Neutrality in 2018. This change in regulation restored power to the internet service providers to control content and charges … Continue reading

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Co-op Accounting: Business Services Co-op

One of the major contradictions that worker co-ops need to grapple with arises with the way they are forced to manage the books. For instance, if a co-op’s mission is living wages and a safe work environment, those mission items … Continue reading

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Power in Purpose: Part 3-Strategies

This is just a short post.
It was an incredible day at this Co-op Round table. We shared stories and strategies.  We discussed how to help the Co-op Movement keep its incredible momentum.
As we enter the final week of National Co-op … Continue reading

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Power in Purpose: Part 2-Policy Breakout

The first break out group considered the barriers to cooperatives and what policy changes can occur to break down those barriers.
My group (and many of the others) focused on three central areas: Education, Awareness, and Incentives.
Education needs to begin at … Continue reading

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Power in Purpose: The NCBA/CLUSA Olympia Roundtable

Morning Presentations

Diane Gasaway, Executive Director of NWCDC, starts the session discussing the variety and number of co-ops in the Pacific Northwest. More importantly, how these co-ops focus on core needs: housing, food security, employment.

The day begins with brief presentations … Continue reading

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