We Own It Campaign

Help us reach our goal and get great perks at our
IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign.

We Own the Map Game

Play ‘We Own the Map’
Attention Roots members and friends! We need your help!

This morning as we came in to work there was a letter taped to the door. It read as follows:

“A Letter from the Top to the Bottom

To whom it may concern,

This morning on March 24th 2014 the Bosses of Worcester selected Stone Soup Community Center as the new Head Quarters for Corporation Incorporated!
We met and all agreed that the Stone Soup Community Center, while an excellent new building, is not going to serve in our interests.
Thankfully, not many of the Stone Soup member groups had moved in so eviction and eminent domain will be far less costly.
Not to worry for those now without jobs, Corporation Inc will provide many new jobs for people in the neighborhood. We also offer predatory loans, gentrification, and wage theft at very reasonable rates!
Minimum wage and temp positions are opening at the Privatized Prisons Lobby, Buy A Bike, the White Men’s Cigar Club, the Worcester Deportations Coalition, the HX Managerial Library, Oil and Bombs, and the Worcester chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Monied People.
From this point on, the Corp Inc HQ building will be run hierarchically with me as its CEO.
Stone Soup is ours.
We Own It.
However, we are open to a little ‘healthy competition.’
We challenge The Workers to a little game.

1) Post a #WeOwnItWorc sticker, flyer or chalk-drawing

2) Take a photo / selfie

3) Post the photo and the location of sticker, flyer or chalk-drawing (smart phone users: current location via map
app) on the Roots facebook with your team’s name.

4) Your team gets points. Each address is worth one point.

5) To take back a location from the opposing team you must have three times as many posts as they do at that location.

6) Teams can pick up stickers and fliers from Techicopia, Stone Soup, Pure Juz.

The team that can claim the most territory will win the game! If the Workers win you can all have your precious Community Center back!
But if we (the Bosses) win you will have to be our wage-slaves forever!

We look forward to the challenge.


The Bosses

Get off our property.”

Everyone we need your help! We need to beat the Bosses!
Play ‘We Own the Map’!

We Own It Campaign Overview

Draft April 2014



  • Movie screenings
  • Speaking events – Co-op Financing, Governance, Conversions
    • Co-op Academy Training/Potluck on Co-op Governance

Wednesday, May 7th at 5:30pm – 7:30pm

at Stone Soup, 4 King St, Worcester

(or by Google+ hangout video conference LINK HERE)

— Potluck

— Intros and updates from Co-ops on their business plans

— Workshop on Governance for Co-ops…

GovernANCE (not governMENT)… rULeS and acTiOns, BylaWs, poLIcies, role of board vs members, managers… who has what authority and other super fun stuff (good governance for small/startup cooperatives, review of Internal Capital Accounts, etc.)

  • Workshop on Converting existing businesses into Co-ops

What are the benefits of converting an existing business into a co-op?

How does it work to convert?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014


at Stone Soup, 4 King St, Worcester

  • Information Sessions
    • June at Worcester Public Library

    • July in Elm Park-Gathering with food and games.

    • Sat, August 16, 2014, 2pm – 3pm at Technocopia, 95 Prescott St, Worcester

  • Encouraging the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy to consider Worcester for 2015 conference

Media & Fundraising:

  • Telegram and Gazette engagement (Article 4-14-14, others)
  • Write our own op eds / articles
  • Buy Co-op Coffee
  • IndieGoGo Campaign

Game / Social Media

  • Youth involvement
  • Own the Map Tag Game (think about how to be more personally engaging next time)
  • Timely posts on twitter, FB, instagram, etc. (structured, with coordinator)
  • #WeOwnItWorc hashtag goes on EVERYTHING
  • Reddit post, all coment and + post and comments
  • Create visibility through a momentum building campaign (it takes time).
  • Everyone involved at Roots and the campaign should commit to posting
  • Contact allies and ask THEM to commit to certain days and times to post on twitter, facebook, and instagram

Training / Co-op Academy

  • Spanish Co-op Academy April-May 2014
  • 2nd Worcester Co-op Academy with 200 level curriculum September-December 2014
  • Co-op Academy potlucks January, March, May 2014
  • Individual incubation support to groups like Printing Co-op, Future Focus Media, Diggers, Neuron



  • Bringing democracy to our places of work by creating new start-ups and via conversions and takeovers.
  • Raising visibility of cooperatives in Worcester, increasing understanding about co-ops and showing why they have value.
  • Tackling unemployment: collaborate with youth jobs movement and jobs not jails coalition
  • Building the local economy, with local control.
  • Creating community wealth
  • Co-ops working together to build the cooperative movement.
  • Worker justice: how do co-ops and unions work together? Collaborate with Community Labor Coalition Community Labor Coalition presentation Weds, June 4th at 10am at 29 Endicott St
  • Starting small businesses that use environmentally just practices, accountable to the community.


  • March-May 2014 IndieGoGo Campaign and We Own the Map Tag Game
  • May-August 2014 Information Sessions, Media Work (Conversion info session Thursday, July 17 at 12 noon)
  • Fall 2014 incorporation of Printing Co-op, Diggers and/or Future Focus Media?
  • 2nd Co-opAcademy, September-December 2014

Celebrating successes:

  • Graduation of Co-op Academy members
  • Party when co-ops incorporate
  • Press conference with multiple co-ops



  • Educate 100 people through the co-op academy
  • Help launch 3 new co-ops
  • Develop and create a permanent co-op resources (I.e. a revolving loan fund)


  • Get 30 new members involved in Worcester Roots
  • Develop 5 new Worcester Roots leaders / experienced co-op spokespeople

Target audience:

  • Centering people disenfranchised by hierarchical economies, those most affected by economic depression, searching for alternatives.
  • Those that have personal affinity for cooperative values that want to start their own business as long-term investment and eventually a reliable source of income.
  • Intellectuals or students looking to support movement, but not work in a co-op.
  • High school age youth


  • Co-op Academy Co-ops
  • Grassroots Organizing Groups (EPOCA, South East Asian Coalition, WUAG, REC, WAFT)
    • POC activists and artists
  • Schools (Colleges and high schools)
  • Local Government
  • Local Business community (Worcester Local First)
  • Youth organizations:
    • Youth Jobs movement: Youth Center, YouthGrow, Pernet, WCAC
    • Big youth service orgs can connect us to youth: Boys&girls club, YMCA
  • Collective Houses

Possible Pitfalls and challenges

  • Unless intentionally done, can benefit mostly white, middle class and educated people.
  • Coop Academies and academic conversations don’t immediately translate to job creation.
  • Tensions between political orientations and those who just want stable income.
    • Overextending, over-promising potential of co-operatives to save local economy without delivering.
    • Vanguardism: Must go to other organizations in a spirit of interdependence, not see communities and other groups primarily as recruits or potential constituents. “Accompanying”
  • Overextending ourselves/staff: Systems intended to create more support will deplete energy if more time isn’t spent on fewer events. Quarterly membership meetings seem achievable.
  • Staff time and resources devoted to campaign not available to other work
  • Campaigns can fail
  • We can get caught up in campaign goals; lose flexibility

Full campaign strategies