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Denver Mayor Kicks Off Community Action Week to Tackle Poverty

PHOTO: Monday kicks off four days of collaborations, trainings and alliance-building in downtown Denver to address poverty issues and change communities. Photo credit: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons.
PHOTO: Monday kicks off four days of collaborations, trainings and alliance-building in downtown Denver to address poverty issues and change communities. Photo credit: U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons.
May 11, 2015

DENVER – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has proclaimed May 11-14 Community Action Week in sync with a conference bringing together policy makers, nonprofit groups and government and social service agencies for a series of educational, training and planning sessions around poverty.

Amy Beres, assistant director of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Foundation, will present a panel on worker-owned cooperatives.

"There's so much just inequity in our country right now, and co-ops really are a way to address that and create more opportunity,” she stresses. “And a co-op is also democratically operated in that each member has a voice and a vote."

Beres says rural and urban based co-ops, such as Denver's Union Taxi, help boost income for workers. Since there are no shareholders to pay out, workers get to decide whether to put profits in their own pockets or invest to grow the business.

The conference, organized by the Colorado Community Action Association, will feature an intensive poverty simulation exercise where people assume the role of a low-income family member living on a limited budget. Attendees also can catch up on pioneering anti-poverty programs in other states and cities and even learn how to build tiny houses.

Beres says she's excited to present co-ops as an alternative to conventional economics, where people who work for a living have the opportunity to take charge of their financial future.

"To be able to have that kind of voice on the job, and to really create and be a part of collectively creating the kind of workplace that you want to be in, it's really empowering," she states.

The event, open to the public, kicks off at 1 p.m. today and goes through Thursday at the Embassy Suites Downtown Denver.

For information or to register, go to Colorado CommunityAction.org.


Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO