This is María García – CEANYC’s Membership and Programs Coordinator – with an update about our recent work. Our members are building cooperation with new alliances, piloting an Adopt-a-Co-op campaign in the Bronx featuring the Cooperative Home Care Associates, and much more. This is why I’m excited to ask for your support to ensure we can make our ambitious plans a reality.
We were thrilled to get to know Bronx-based Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) when two of their members participated in our Cooperative Leadership Intensive this past Summer. A quick reminder: Since 1985, CHCA’s 800 worker-owners and 800 worker-members have provided quality home care to thousands of New Yorkers, making CHCA the largest worker cooperative in the U.S. – and one led by women-of-color. As a unionized worker cooperative, they share profits, make decisions democratically, and are proud members of the powerful local 1199-SEIU – United Healthcare Workers East.
In the words of Adria Powell, CHCA’s President and CEO: “We know that our success depends on building a solidarity economy, to ensure that models like ours continue to survive and thrive. We see big potential in leveraging our membership in CEANYC to work with our natural allies – other groups of the solidarity economy and our very own fellow-union members.”
To that end, CHCA, 1199 and CEANYC are launching an innovative pilot project to grow CHCA’s business and spread the values of cooperative economics. As the first step in this pilot, CEANYC and 1199 just uncovered that 2,734 1199 union members live in the largest housing cooperative in the U.S., Co-op City in the Northeast Bronx. The potential to cooperate among cooperatives couldn’t be clearer. Working with those union leaders in the coming months, we will be helping Co-op residents access the quality and values-aligned homecare many of them need. We will introduce CHCA’s unique approach to care to Co-op Citiers through texts, calls, a health fair and old-fashioned door knocking. Achieving our collective goal of CHCA gaining 250 new clients will mean serious impact for our movement.
This of course is only the beginning of the cross-movement alliances we need.
As CEANYC board member and 1199 Vice President Shaywaal Amin puts it: “Since NYC is a union town, with one of the highest union densities in the country (21% in 2022), the field is wide open to seed similar union/co-op collaborations across the five boroughs. Especially in NYC neighborhoods where both are most likely to be found: elsewhere in the Bronx, Washington Heights, across Harlem, the Lower East Side, Western Queens, Central + Eastern Brooklyn and beyond. Your support this year will help ensure that our Adopt-a-Co-op pilot is successful, and can be replicated to meet our communities’ needs for food, housing, banking and more.”
María García – CEANYC Membership and Programs Coordinator