This past Saturday, we dragged ourselves out of bed before the sun was up to head to Milwaukee for Co-op Fest! We had an amazing time, and were so impressed with  Riverwest and all the exciting things happening in this vibrant Milwaukee neighborhood.

Hosted by the Riverwest Cooperative Alliance, Co-op Fest is a one day conference that seeks to bring together co-op supporters from inside the Riverwest community and beyond. The theme for this year’s Co-op Fest, “Our. Cooperative. Communities.” and the website notes that this “reflects an emphasis towards our potential to reclaim our cooperative communities and sustain a responsible social legacy for future generations.”

The first Co-op Fest took place three years ago, and the event has grown larger every year. For this year’s Fest, they set up an outdoor tabling area, where participants are able to talk with Co-op representatives in between sessions. We loved learning about the New Barons’ Brewing Co-op, and are so excited for them to get up and running! (We also loved that they brought cookies baked with spent grains from their brews.)

While sadly we were only able to attend a few sessions, and had to leave before the event was over, we learned a lot and made some great connections. The sessions we participated in were engaging and lively, and session leaders were passionate and knowledgable. We were also happy to meet some other Chicagoans there, and see great potential for connection with other groups that share our interest in Co-ops.

Perhaps most importantly, events like this help to demonstrate how feasible Co-ops really are, and solidifies the idea that we are stronger together.

We are counting down the days until Co-op Fest 2017!



An Un-Merry Christmas…

 The end of the year is upon us and Wednesday we will all be exchanging Merry Christmas and Season Greetings (for those of us waging war on Christmas). In this special time let us take time away from our immediate lives to reflect upon those who are less fortunate than we are. These individuals maybe in our families, our friends, or maybe our favorite server or bartender. All of which have someone to love and support and may not have the means to do so. Let’s remember a large part of what our lot in life is largely based on circumstance and we have the compassion to relate to other’s plight. Charles Dickens wrote in the Christmas Carol that we were all “Fellow travelers to the grave”or in other words we are in this together.Regardless of our success or lack their of, we all should work for a just and equitable society.And if you believe it is the responsibility of the individual to make their own live better, then let’s advocate for a living wage for all.

Merry Christmas,

Things to think about Wisconsin…

 George Carlin is the man. We all know this. He was an articulate free thinker that used the art of comedy to point out the hypocracies in  our society. The nice people at put together a little youtube piece that puts Gov. Scott Walker’s assault on Unions in perspective using a clip from one of Carlin’s comedy bits. Check it out below.

Happy May Day!!

 Happy May Day to all the workers around the world!!  Today is a celebration of those who fought and maybe loss their lives so that we can enjoy the fruits of their labor. These courageous individuals stood up so that we could have 8 hour day, overtime, the right to strike and safe working conditions just to name a few. May Day is also the perfect time to reflect on how fragile those rights are and how we must be vigil to protect them.
  This May Day maybe one of the most important one in recent memories. We have the effects of the austerity movement in Europe,the Republican assaults on unions in Wisconsin and Ohio, and the congressional GOP’s goal to end closed shops in America as we know it. Workers are in trouble and we need to all take notice. This is bigger than the Occupy Movement, or the Tea Party Movement. The loss of workers’ rights could fundamentally change the lifestyle of millions of Americans. Those good old days of worker abuse and child labor weren’t as good as we remember. We must make sure we fight so that we can  move forward toward prosperity for all.