Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Congressional leader for the national cooperative movement, especially urban co-ops, today introduced the National Cooperative Development Act.
“It’s high time for Cooperatives — a great idea that has emerged from and gained success in our urban neighborhoods as well as rural communities – to move onto the national radar,” said Fattah, whose Philadelphia district includes numerous thriving co-ops. “This legislation brings federal resources and a policy priority to the effort.
“Cooperatives are a special kind of economic stimulus. Cooperatives benefit the communities they serve while building opportunities for shared wealth. Cooperatives are truly vehicles for protecting the middle class and creating economic growth,” Fattah said.
The Fattah bill, H.R. 3677, authorizes $25 million a year through 2016 to create and fund the National Cooperative Development Center.
Cooperatives are owned and controlled by the people who use the co-op’s services or buy its goods. They range in size from the local corner store to Fortune 500 companies, and can include insurance, healthcare, housing, recreation materials and equipment as well as more traditional uses such as rural electricity. Overall, U.S. cooperatives account for more than $3 trillion in assets, over $500 billion in total revenue, $25 billion in wages and benefits, and nearly 1 million jobs.