A community controlled economy requires the transformation of our most basic economic structures to those that center community control of profits and deep democracy. Many of our businesses can be reorganized as cooperatives or similar community-owned structures to create this change. Cooperatives are owned, controlled, and operated for the benefit of their members. In the extractive economy, corporations are controlled based on the number of shares owned, and they distribute profits in proportion to each owner’s financial investment. But cooperatives operate based on one member, one vote, and share profits with all members based on their patronage (their use) of the cooperative. The Community Controlled Economy Campaign seeks to organize a community controlled economy in Buffalo for our most basic economic needs: land, housing, labor, capital, food, and other goods and services.
The City of Buffalo should allocate 30% of City-owned space and rehab funds to Community Land Trusts (CLTs) and cooperatives.
The City of Buffalo should allocate City budget funds to cooperative technical assistance, cooperative start-up capital, and conversion loans.
The City of Buffalo should create an Office of Community Wealth Building, which:
tracks and reports on cooperative and community-owned business
identifies good candidates for conversions to employee ownership,
creates procurement preference for cooperatives, and
recommends curriculum to the Buffalo Public Schools