Co-op Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about our Organizing Cooperative below. Or send your questions directly to one of our Co-op Organizers:

For questions about the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative of Greater Milwaukee, contact Anna Dvorak at - (414) 469-0118

For questions about our Radio-Active campaign, contact Terri Williams at - (414) 218 5384

For questions about the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative of Western Wisconsin area Co-op, contact Jeff Smith at - (715)579-9811

Interested in starting up a Co-op in your area? Contact Kevin Kane at - (414) 550 8280

What is the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative?


The Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative is a bold, new way to organize for real, progressive change. We are a member-owned coalition progressives that started off in the Greater Milwaukee area - and now are going beyond - organizing to achieve social, economic, and environmental justice. Member-owners of the Organizing Co-op develop strategic issue campaigns and work to empower more Wisconsinites to get involved!

Why was the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative created?

What's the history of the Organizing Cooperative?


After years of damaging attacks on our state, it was clear that what Progressives had been doing wasn't working anymore. The founding member-owners of the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative came to the conclusion that, to build a successful grassroots movement in Wisconsin, the people actually needed own their organization in order to fight for the issues that matter to them the most.

So back in the Spring of 2015, a group of progressive activists from the Greater Milwaukee area met with Citizen Action organizers to plan an innovative way to organize. Their new idea was simple: Launch a local advocacy organization owned by its members (an "Organizing Cooperative") and hire a Professional Organizer that the members direct, who will work to unify and strengthen the influence of existing progressive individuals and groups in the Greater Milwaukee area, and recruit and train more individuals to get involved.  

The organizers of this project knew that in order to make this member-funded cooperative possible, they had to find 200 or more people in the area to pledge to pay small monthly dues to fund this organizer position. So they set a 60-day deadline, and spent two months recruiting over 200 progressives to be member-owners!

Now the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative hundreds strong and growing!  Our long term goal - what we are most excited about - is to expand this Cooperative organizing model all over the state of Wisconsin! We hope to have professional organizers working with people in La Crosse, Eau Claire, Janesville, Appleton, Green Bay, Superior - anywhere people want to organize to make Wisconsin a better place to live and work! This will increase our power state-wide, creating a more unified and organized network of progressives.


Who are the member-owners of the Organizing Cooperative?


Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative member-owners are individuals, advocates, leaders and supporters who live in relative proximity and belong to all different kinds of organizations: labor unions, political parties, grassroots groups, faith-based groups, and nonprofits.  Where these groups have worked separately in the past, they come together as member-owners of the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative!

Who does the Co-op organizer actually work for?


Citizen Action of Wisconsin trains, houses and supervises the Professional Organizer.  Citizen Action also takes care of the nuts and bolts required to have an employee, like providing their wages, a union contract, benefits, nonprofit status, collecting tax information, etc. 


However, the Professional Organizer is held accountable by our contributing member-owners through the democratically elected Steering Committee, comprised of 15 member-owners. All member-owners should feel free to reach out to any of their elected Steering Committee members. Click here for a full list of Steering Committee members with contact information.

What are my membership contributions used for?


100% of member contributions will be used to hire, train, supervise and provide the wages and benefits of the Profession Organizer working with co-op members.  It will also cover mileage reimbursement, cell phone and other miscellaneous expenses. All contributing member have access to quarterly breakdowns of expenses upon request.

What issues will the organizer work on?


Your membership in the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative means that you have a say in what issues they (and the Co-op) work on.  Member-owners interested in the same issue can form their own Issue Development Team. Issue Development Teams are comprised of member-owners who care about the same issue and are willing to meet regularly, research an issue, and develop an issue campaign. Member-owners who wish to form an Issue Development Team can contact the Organizer - - for help in starting their own Issue Development Team, finding others to get involved, and for guidance in developing their issue campaigns.


In addition, Citizen Action of Wisconsin is always happy to suggest issues that we find to be strategic and have the most potential to succeed.  For example, we believe that addressing the skyrocketing cost of healthcare, creating good, family supporting jobs and cleaning up government are issues that appeal to many people.  These issues provide a variety of opportunities to make a difference at the local level (city and county), as well as at the state level, and would help us recruit more new members.

Who can I talk to with further questions?


For questions about the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative in Greater Milwaukee, reach out to Anna Dvorak anytime!

  • Call or text - (414) 469-0118
  • Email -
  • Twitter - @ADvorakWI
  • Facebook -

For Questions about the Citizen Action Organizing Cooperative of Western Wisconsin, reach out to Jeff Smith anytime!

  • Call or text - (715)579-9811
  • Email -
  • Facebook -


Want to start up an Organizing Cooperative in your community? You can reach out and talk to Kevin Kane, Organizing Director at Citizen Action of Wisconsin anytime!

  • Call or text - (414)550 8280
  • Email -
  • Twitter - @KevinKane
  • Facebook -