REAP is working hard on a number of issues related to food justice and economic justice for marginalized populations. First and foremost, REAP champions those in stressful situations who are in need of reentering the world of work, and therefore, dignity.
Insisting on tackling heavy duty issues related to the dignity of work, REAP presented ideas about worker owned cooperatives to the Arizona legislature in 2015. This resulted in passage of a bill and was signed into action in March of 2016. Worker owned cooperatives are owned and self-managed by their workers.
This bill was integrated into existing legal language related to cooperatives and the new wording was woven into what was originally meant for farmers’ marketing cooperatives and an electrical cooperative in Arizona. Today, the new law allows for profit making worker owned cooperatives to be formed for businesses that provide goods and services.
The Core Principles of Worker Owned Cooperatives are:
1. Voluntary and open membership
2. Democratic member control
3. Member economic participation
4. Autonomy and independence
5. Education, training and information
6. Co-operation among co-operatives
7. Concern for community