The Rockaways will be rebuilt. The question is who will own them?The Rockaways was already one of the most neglected parts of New York City when Superstorm Sandy destroyed thousands of homes and caused billions of dollars in damage to the local economy. The devastating storm, which destroyed many businesses, left tens of thousands of New York and New Jersey residents unemployed.Until now, official rebuilding efforts have been dominated by outside developers.
In the spring of 2012, community members teamed up with volunteers from Occupy Sandy and The Working World to form WORCs: Worker Owned Rockaway Cooperatives.
Together, we held a 12-week cooperative business course and directed economic investment to community members who began to plan and develop their own local, democratically-controlled businesses. Already, two new worker-owned businesses have opened: the Roca Mia construction cooperative and La Mies bakery, and more are planned to open this spring if we are able to continue our work.
“[With our construction service] we can support the development of our community and grow as a cooperative. So the benefit to us in creating a new cooperative business is also a benefit we can give to the local community and the economy, and in this way we can all grow together as a whole.” — Manuel Escobar, Rockaways Resident and new owner of Roca Mia Construction Inc.
The Rockaways will be rebuilt. With your help, we can empower local residents to be the builders and owners of their own future.
Occupy Sandy is an open network. We organize democratically, and operate according to the values of the Occupy movement as we understand them. We welcome participation from anyone committed to Sandy recovery. Our fiscal sponsor is the Alliance for Global Justice, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and therefore your donation is tax-deductible. Their EIN number is 52 – 2094677.