Members of the New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative endeavor to adhere to the 7 cooperative principles below.
While cooperatives (pronounced “co-op” not “coop”) may seem obscure, Mayor de Blasio made the largest investment of any U.S. city government to date toward worker cooperative development in NYC last year, declaring June 21st as the first annual “Worker Cooperative Day.” Additionally, Dr. Jessica Gordon Nembhard teaches us that cooperatives have been a core strategy for sustainable economic development in the United States.
What are the 7 principles of cooperation?
The National Cooperative Business Association explains that, “cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.”
1. VOLUNTARY AND OPEN MEMBERSHIP
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2. DEMOCRATIC MEMBER CONTROL
Cooperatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. People serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership.
3. MEMBERS’ ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
4. AUTONOMY AND INDEPENDENCE
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative’s autonomy.
5. EDUCATION, TRAINING AND INFORMATION
Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
6. COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.