Monthly Archives: October 2009

Toward a “New Economy”

Photo: Annie McShiras

Photo: Annie McShiras

The Sunset Park cooperatives are in the news again! YES!, a nonprofit magazine that promotes “a just and sustainable world,” published an article about the Beyond Care Cooperative.

Jackie Amezquita isn’t your typical nanny. During the workday, she cares for her clients’ young children, educating and nurturing them. But as president of Beyond Care, a 19-member childcare cooperative based in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, her reach extends far beyond those individual families…

Jackie explains that the cooperative forms a valuable support network for its members, who would otherwise be independent contractors: “I have a backing—a backing of a group of women, working for dignity and respect, working to empower the children that we are helping develop in this world. I have a real sense of solidarity with these women.”

Read the whole article here. If you are interested in Beyond Care’s services, check out their web site.

In September, the We Can Do It! Cooperative was featured on CNN and recognized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in D.C. In recent months, the coops also appeared on the TV show On the Money, on NPR’s Weekend America and in Indypendent magazine.

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Filed under Fair Work, Immigrants in NYC, Worker Cooperative Project

Brooklyn Food Conference: Join Us at the Sunset Park Neighborhood Group

by Vanessa Bransburg

logoIn May 2009 I attended the Brooklyn Food Conference at John Jay High School and PS 321 in Park Slope. The conference was organized by the Brooklyn Food Coalition, a grassroots initiative that aims to increase access  to sustainable, healthy and delicious food for all. With over 2,500 people in attendance, the event was such an incredible success that organizers started thinking and planning for the next steps almost immediately.

In the last few months there has been a large effort to reach out to multiple neighborhoods in Brooklyn to get residents, workers, activists, and others involved in their particular neighborhood groups. Neighborhood groups have been discussing and selecting issues that concern them. Some of the issues that have been chosen by groups include getting healthier lunches in schools, organizing community gardens, food coops, and addressing workers’ rights issues.

In September, we had our first Sunset Park Neighborhood group meeting at the Sunset Park Recreation Center. About 20 people attended, mostly organizers and activists at local organizations. Unfortunately the meeting attendees did not fully represent the diverse demographics of Sunset Park. A few of us made sure to bring this up and made a commitment that we would all recruit more workers and residents from Sunset Park.

The main themes that were brought up by the attendees were workers’ rights issues, access to fresh food, and education around nutrition and various types of foods that are sold at green markets and community gardens.

The next meeting will be on Monday, October 19th at the Adult Employment Center of Center for Family Life (443 39th Street, 3rd Floor), where we will decide which issues we will tackle as the Sunset Park group. Anyone and everyone is welcome to join us for the exciting venture into the food world! For more information about the upcoming event, contact me at (718) 633-4823.

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Filed under Food & Culture