Aug 30th, 2008 by terry
Cooperatives are autonomous associations of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. They are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, cooperative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. People form cooperatives to achieve more collectively than they could individually.
There are consumer, producer, purchasing, worker, farming, credit union cooperatives and many more. Cooperatively leveraging individual skills and resources can result in an effective, powerful force. The National Cooperative Business Association, the National Association of Housing Cooperatives, and Co-op America, changing to Green America on 1/1/09 are national organizations promoting cooperatives as a model that benefits everyone, not just the privileged and well connected.