What is a Community Organizing Credit Union?

We are closer than you think to starting Wisconsin’s newest credit union.

We are not just creating any kind of credit union, however, we are creating a Community Organizing Credit Union.  A community organizing credit union will provide financial services, help foster new cooperatives, and organize our community to stand up to the banksters and Wall Street.

As a community organizing credit union, we will work to create economic democracy: the idea that workers and communities that create wealth should decided how that wealth is used.

We are the first to call ourselves a community organizing credit union, but not the first to practice it.

While forming the United Farm Workers, Cesar Chavez also helped to found the Farm Worker Credit Union.  This credit union helped farm workers with loans to survive the winter months with no pay, and helped finance the strikes lead by Chavez.  Check out a great essay about the Farm Worker Credit Union here.

Closer to home, Stoppenbach Credit Union in Jefferson, Wisconsin helped the workers of Tyson Prepared Foods, UFCW Local 538, when they went on strike in the early 2000s.

Here in Milwaukee, we can use our credit union to achieve the change we need.  

Please check out the articles below for more information about how Chavez and others use a credit union to organize:

Farm Worker Credit Union Article

Malcriado Article “Growing and growing”

Malcriado Article Feb. 1969

When you are done being inspired by Chavez, please visit our Volunteer! page to get involved.  If we don’t do anything, nothing will change.

 

Donate!

Let’s make this happen!

To get this new community organizing credit union open we need to raise, through donations, our start-up and operating expenses for the first few years.

We are partnering with Cooperative Development Services (CDS) to raise the money for these expenses through their 501(c)(3), the Cooperative Development Fund of CDS.  Check out our Donate! page for more details.

How to give online

Our donation form below is embedded here from the CDS GiveMN page, so you will need to take an extra step:

In the “Tribute or Memorial Dedication” box (on the second step of the form), you will need to write Riverwest.

This ensures that CDS knows the donation is for our effort in the 53212 zip code, and not for another worthy project. After you have made your donation, please complete this form (click here), and send it to the address below – or contact us and we will get one to you.

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Donate here:

After you donate . . .

Your donation may appear on your card statement as “K Give MN”.

All donors must complete this form. When you donate, please print this form, and send it to the address below – or contact us and we will get one to you.

How to donate by check or money order

We would gladly accept checks, money orders, or other forms of payment for donations. However you donate, make sure to complete this form. Make all checks or money orders to “Cooperative Development Fund of CDS,” then contact us or send any letters to:

Riverwest & Harambee Credit Union Organizing Committee
P.O. Box 72093
Milwaukee, WI 53212

For more information, please see our Donate! page, or contact us with questions.

Lehman Brothers Day

Almost eight years ago to the day, the financial giant Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.  What has changed in our economy since?  After the September 15, 2008 declaration of bankruptcy we had major job losses – some of which we’ve bounced back from.  But the fundamentals – an economy of, by and for the richest 1% – have stayed the same.

The banksters at the top gambled and lost, and the rest of us paid for it.

To change the fundamentals and stop the reckless behavior that got us into this mess, we need a democratic and cooperative economy.  When communities and workers create wealth, they should decide how that wealth is used – not some shareholder or fatcat.  We are doing a part to make this happen here in Harambee and Riverwest.   That is why this effort is so important – opening this new credit union will be a statement to the banksters, Wall Street, and the richest 1% that we are fed up!

Join us today!

Let’s take back our Economy!

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Sisters and Brothers – eight years ago, the banksters crashed our economy.  The bankers are doing fine, but the rest of us are still suffering.  It is time for us to create an economy that works for us!  We need to reject the banker-run economy for an economy that is democratic, sustainable, and just.

To do this we need to challenge the bankers directly by forming our own financial institution, a credit union.

This is the website for the Riverwest and Harambee Credit Union Organizing Committee, the group starting a new credit union that will serve the 53212 zip code of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  We are starting a basic services, Community Organizing Credit Union.

Scroll down or click a link to the right for more information.

Please contact us to get involved!

Keeping our money Safe . . .

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Happy Saturday, 53212! Last week the good people over at Nick Of Time Moving brought the safe for our new credit union into Riverwest. Thank you to the person who donated garage space to our effort! One more step toward opening Wisconsin’s newest credit union.

2016 People Power! Summer is launched

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Good Afternoon!  On June 5, Evan and Silvia meet with Alex to learn more about our effort and pledge to volunteer this summer!  Both Evan and Silvia are contributing significant amounts of time per week to make our effort a success!

The PEOPLE POWER Summer starts soon

Good Afternoon, Sisters and Brothers:

We will be starting our 2016 PEOPLE POWER! Summer in a week and a half!  Look for updates soon about our volunteer program, and our 2016 PEOPLE POWER superstars!  To be a part of the summer that is going to change Harambee, Riverwest, and the 53212 ZIP Code, please contact us today.