EVERGREEN

EVERGREEN COOPERATIVES (USA)

EVERGREEN COOPERATIVES (USA)

Launched in 2008 by a working group of Cleveland-based institutions (including the Cleveland Foundation, the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, and the municipal government), the Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is working to create living wage jobs in six low-income neighborhoods (43,000 residents with a median household income below $18,500) in an area known as Greater University Circle (GUC). The Evergreen Cooperative Initiative is based on a vision of “community wealth building.” Community wealth strategies aim at improving the ability of communities and individuals to increase asset ownership, anchor jobs locally, strengthen the municipal tax base, prevent financial resources from “leaking out” of the area, and ensure local economic stability.

EVERGREEN

The primary purposes of the Initiative: (1) promote, coordinate, and expand economic opportunity and wealth building through a network of green, community-based enterprises, (2) promote community stabilization and revitalization of the disinvested neighborhoods of Greater University Circle and similar areas of the City, (3) promote public understanding of cooperative principles and how cooperatives and other community wealth building models function; and (4) encourage and enable cities and other areas throughout Ohio and the United States to implement their own local programs based on these principles, models, and strategies.

Ivo Valkenburg

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