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.


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