About We Own It

About We Own It

Co-op leaders have called on members to reengage with the businesses we own. Here we are.

Co-op members across the nation are waking up to their role as owners

Our Mission

Catalyzing citizen action for democracy, participation, and excellence in cooperatives, through member education and organizing. Our vision is an economy that works for all of us, with many democratically-owned businesses working to build civic leadership and local assets, equity and economic security, and long-term sustainability.

In 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, leaders of the international cooperative movement and national cooperative business sectors called for a fundamental shift in how co-ops engage with their member-owners, and vice versa.

Whether to ensure that the co-op will still be in business in the face of changing markets, or to ensure that the co-op is well-run and serving the needs of its members and community, or to make cooperatives the preferred business model by the end of the Cooperative Decade, or to bring cooperatives into the movement for a just transition to a New Economy, the prescription is the same.

Members must rediscover their role as owners of a democratically-controlled enterprise.

Why We Founded We Own It
We Own It: the national network for cooperative member rights, education, and organizing was founded in 2015 to serve an unfilled need for a national association that represents co-op member-owners, rather than a trade association of cooperative businesses. We aim to bring the 130 million members of co-ops into the movement to build a cooperative economy, and to help both member-owners and their co-ops navigate the necessary transition in how they engage with each other.
Our People
Staff and Fellowship Team
Jake Schlachter
We Own It Executive Director
Ana Babovic
We Own It Fellowship Lead Trainer and Executive Director, Leading Change Network
Dusan Stojicic
We Own It Fellowship Trainer and Master's Candidate, Brandeis University
Liz Veazey
We Own It Network Director
Ben Zolno
Board of Trustees
Dulce Anayasaenz
Realtor, Entrepreneur, Political Strategist
Kate Anderson
Environmental Sociologist, University of California - Berkeley
Don Kreis
Consumer Advocate, State of New Hampshire and We Own It Board Chair
Nathan Schneider
Journalist and Media Scholar, University of Colorado-Boulder
Board Members Emeritus
Jim Blaine
CEO (retired), North Carolina State Employees Credit Union
Patrick Cox
Historian and Author
Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions that aren't on our list? Let us know.

What is We Own It?

A 501(c)3 non-profit started-up in 2015 to create the national network for cooperative members' rights, education, and organizing.  Join us to connect with a community of co-op reformers, champions and experts and learn about member- owner organizing and reform efforts around the US.

Is We Own It only interested in electric co-ops, or all sectors?

We're creating an organization that supports excellence in all consumer cooperative sectors, and while we're initially focused on electric co-ops, we intend to add a credit union focus later in 2016. Several of our founding members came from the food co-op sector, rounding out the big three.

Take Action
Change comes to a co-op when member-owners get involved. Find out how you can start big changes at your co-op by joining with others and engaging your co-op.