The National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) is using the opportunity of a new session of Congress to educate the members of the U.S. House of Representatives about the benefits of cooperatively owned businesses. On March 29, 2011 Representative Fattah (who happens to represent all of South Philadelphia west of Broad Street) and Representative Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) will hold a congressional briefing on “The Role of Cooperatives in Rural and Urban Communities,” from 2–3 p.m. in room 2362-B of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. According to the NCBA, all members of the U.S. House of Representatives have been invited to attend. They are trying to get people to contact their own representatives in Congress and ask him or her to put this on her calendar. They even provide customizable text of what the message should be (scroll down). So if you live in South Philly west of Broad Street you can contact Congressman Fattah here. Obviously since he's hosting the event he will be attending (in theory) but it's always good to let him know that you're grateful for what he's doing AND that such a thing as the South Philly Co-op exists. (In my letter to Congressman Brady I made sure to mention that the Co-op is something "which our group is trying to start with the support of nearly a thousand of your constituents." They love big numbers. Especially big numbers of voters.) With Weaver's Way AND Mariposa already in his district, Fattah should be aware of the good work that Co-ops do in general. In the drop down menu for topic I suggest "Education/Labor." Congressman Fattah is big supporter of education and it's likely to catch his staff's attention. If you live east of Broad Street (like me) you'll want to use this link to contact Congressman Brady. Brady is not likely aware of this little start-up movement yet so feel free to include as much as you want about the co-op and how important it is to you and a couple thousand of your closest friends. For the message subject, I chose "Small Business" since, for a member of Congress, being against small business is like being against puppy dogs or beautiful spring days. If you're just a big fan of what we're doing and don't live in either of those two districts, you can find your representative's website here.
If you support a co-op contact your member of Congress!
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