Groceries as Communities for Change



It’s been a year since Occupy Oakland. Despite the momentum some might have felt at that time, our communities’ social and economic problems remain. But the movement did illuminate a very important sentiment: People want to have a meaningful role in creating greater social equality and economic resiliency in their communities.

I partnered with Brahm Ahmadi of People’s Grocery last week to submit a piece about how grocers can be a locus for change to the San Francisco Chronicle’s op-ed desk.

Brahm is the founder and CEO of the People’s Community Market, a start-up grocery business in the lower-income neighborhood of West Oakland that faces many of the same challenges seen here in the Mission 20 years ago. Although it has yet to open its doors to the public, People’s Community Market is using a local solution for citizen action – a grassroots community investment campaign. The campaign enables people of all economic backgrounds – including the 99 percent – to actively participate in their local economies by becoming shareholders in this business. This is not a donation. This is real investment, creating community ownership, in a business whose primary purpose is to make a positive impact on the well-being of the community, and bring its shareholders a modest return.

The project is an outgrowth of 10 years of community work by the People’s Grocery. Their campaign, enabling people of all economic backgrounds–including the 99 percent–to actively participate in their local economies by becoming shareholders in this business, needs our help!

Click here to become an investor in People’s Community Market--the sooner they raise the needed capital, the sooner their doors will open and offer healthy food to a neighborhood that now does not have access.



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