Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Contra Costa Shelter In Place Order (COVID19), our staff have been working remotely. The pandemic has affected our projects by forcing our small developing cooperatives to reimagine how they can keep their businesses alive in a covid safe way.
At the same time, we are witnessing a new rise in awareness of the importance of Black Lives, with the stream of unjust murders; Ahmaud Arbrey, George Folydand Breonna Taylorthat sparked a new rise and upheaval in the Black Rights, Human rights, and Police brutality movement. These events started a nationwide call to protest and to put a stop to business as usual. With peaceful protests happening in the wake of civil suppression and systematic murder its understandable to act out of fustration, in this case we’ve seen people take their pain out on businesses, city property and private sector industies with no resolve for public ownership, and to this we say again, that we understand the hurt and the fustrations of protesting but ask all to be safe and strategic in our actions. We want to build and not just tear down, instruct solutions and not just yell out in reaction, and create ways to support each other better than ever in the wake of being unheard in our demands to “Please get off me, I Can’t Breathe”. Systematically we have been targeted and continuously oppressed, but collectively, cooperatively we shall rise. In the midst of an explosion in action we’ve seen one of our own worker-owned Co-ops- a pillar in our community take measures to keep their shop safe and to deter vandals from destroying their business while continuing to stand firm with the people, with the call to end police brutality and true upliftment of Black Lives as a Movement; Black Lives Matter.
In these times with a historic start to the new decade we see new challenges to our team and in partnership with our projects we try to think of ways to transform businesses to come out more sustainable to meet the current needs post-Covid. So in working with our coops we’ve begun to develop more information around growing their online presence and customer relations. This pandemic has taught us to rethink our approach as an organization and develop more ways we can be even more effective as we transition a body of our work online. Though this is a rough time, we want to continue to inspire you to develop your dream. We will not give up. Cooperation Richmond projects are pivoting their action plans to develop and build online structures and systems. Worker-owned cooperatives are an alternative solution to wealth building in our economy. The development of these businesses is important to our community. We’re going to keep the momentum of our projects going.