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The Idea of Creating a Coop

Heylin Rodriguez • Dec 02, 2020

How we started...

The idea of creating a cooperative we had had in mind since the beginning of NOVALACIRO. Due to the lack of information and allies, such as other cooperatives or organizations, we could not do it. It was not until October 2019 when Jeff Elkner and I Heylin Rodriguez traveled to Baltimore for the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy 2019. It was there that we met Josep Cuerton who was our great motivation and gave us the desire to start a project.

When we returned from that conference, we brought nothing but great experiences and motivation to create a cooperative. At the beginning of January 2020 we already had plans and we began to form an alliánza group in Arlington Virginia with other organizations and activists with great ideas. The idea was to start holding a community meeting. I mean to invite a lot of people from all over Arlington. The meeting would take place on March 20, 2020 and the most important thing we would have Joseph Cuerton as host of the night.

Everything was going well, we had flyers that we distributed in the streets, restaurants and laundries. We also surveyed the community and let them know about the idea of ​​creating a cooperative in VA. We had around 50 people confirmed to attend this event and the people who would be hosting this long-awaited day were very excited. Unfortunately, the pandemic arrived and attacked the United States, they closed schools, restaurants, and banned meetings where there would be more than 10 people. The community meeting was moved until further notice but the pandemic did not end soon and we had to cancel it.