Photo via OC Weekly
A burgeoning worker cooperative movement in Santa Ana gained momentum in the form of a resolution passed by city council last night. For the past year, co-ops have gathered for monthly marketplaces in Santa Ana where they sell locally grown produce, art and jewelry. Unlike big corporations, co-ops are owned by the workers who have equal say in the enterprise where profits are mutually shared. The city views the alternative model as a way to become a leader in building a cooperative economy in Orange County by bringing down barriers to development.
“I would like for you to help us progress as a cooperative so that we can make this a better city,” Esther Hernandez said in Spanish at last night’s council meeting. She belongs to the Madres Unidas Creando Arte (United Mothers Creating Art) co-op in Santa Ana. Hernandez’s husband works three jobs and MUCA is her way to contribute to the household income. “I saw this as an opportunity as a homemaker because I have no other way to help.”