Randa Solick interviews Sheila Carillo, well-known local activist and one of the founding members of Co-Op Santa Cruz, which is trying to democratize our Santa Cruz economy through encouraging worker ownership of local businesses. We already have a few such co-ops here – find out more about them and about October as National Cooperatives Month.
About Sheila Carillo:
I was one to the founding members of CO-OPSC, formed in 2018 with the intention of striving to democratize our Santa Cruz economy through encouraging worker ownership of local businesses. By providing information, education, and resources for local businesses, employees, prospective enterprises, and City officials, we strive to educate our local businesses and community about the potential for economic justice and business stability with this model, while drawing attention to and support for our burgeoning, creative new worker-owner businesses here in Santa Cruz.
In recognition that the month of October was declared National Cooperatives Month more than 50 years ago, CO-OPSC is planning to bring National Cooperative Month to the forefront here in Santa Cruz on an annual basis, beginning this October. There are two already-planned related events in October that we will to plug in to: the annual Think Local First Indie Biz Fair is scheduled for October 16 at the Santa Cruz Civic, and we will introduce the worker ownership model and hope to present you, our local worker co-op businesses, there. We will also participate in the sixth annual Open Farm tour which is taking place on October 12 and 13 and had over 2000 in attendance last year, as cooperative enterprises are more and more critical for the retention and development of small farming and related enterprises.
Most importantly, we are drafting a resolution to present to the City Council to ask them to declare October as Cooperative month in Santa Cruz and to engage their involvement in passing ordinances that will support the flourishing of worker cooperatives in the City.