November 2nd, 2016 06:26

Welcome! Please introduce yourself 馃懁

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Take a moment to let the group know a bit about who you are. Post a comment below. What鈥檚 your role or approach to participation in this group? What should people know about you to understand where you鈥檙e coming from? :walking:

Please be aware when introducing yourself that this is an all-inclusive group consisting of d@w-Group members, members of the website and the general public. Learn more about us here: http://www.democracyatwork.info/

David Brinovec

David Brinovec November 5th, 2016 21:36

Hi, my name is David Brinovec. I was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio. I've lived here basically all my life.

A few months ago I contacted Betsy on the main D@W site announcing my interest in creating a D@W action group for the Cleveland area. I'm also one of the main organizers of the DSA Cleveland group. Things have somewhat suddenly gotten much more active with that group. Because of that much of my time has been taken up there.

All that in mind, I am still very interested in seeing a D@W action group take root in my area. Some of my DSA comrades have expressed some interest in this as well. I think there's alot of overlap between DSA & D@W. At the very least, I intend to keep checking the pulse on this group when I can.

I don't have any local D@W members to invite yet. But, if the main organizers are cool with it, I'd like to see a Cleveland sub-group here on the D@W loomio site. I'd be more than willing to be the point of contact.


Basir Phillip November 7th, 2016 11:13

Hello, I am Basir Phillips. I was a long time native to NYC but recently moved to CT. I was a business owner in NYC and currently working to do the same in CT. I have been involved with democracy at work for about 3 years now.

Betsy Avila

Betsy Avila November 8th, 2016 14:38

Hey everyone! I'm Betsy, the Digital Organizer with Democracy at Work - a native Angeleno transplanted to New York. I'm a former Democratic low-level staffer who became sick of how things worked on the inside and refocused my attention to leftist organizing. I'm completely convinced that we will not have democracy in our politics until we have democracy in our economy, hence my interest and commitment to our mission. Glad to see a lot of other supporters here! :clap:

Matthew Andrews

Matthew Andrews December 28th, 2016 23:07

Hello everyone! I just joined Loomio. I'm glad to see people using alternatives to Facebook! I want to start a study group in Boston beginning with Richard Wolff's book, Democracy at Work. My long term goal is to start a WSDE that does Deep Energy Retrofits on older houses. If you're near Boston or have any experience with these things, let me know!

Patricio Johnson

Patricio Johnson December 29th, 2016 16:43

I am glad to see this vibrant community around such constructive ideas. I am a library worker in Nashville, TN and a life-long Marxist. Born in Spain in the 60's, my family came to USA shortly thereafter and I have grown up with an internationalist bent and dedication to educating the workers about the need to rise up against capitalist hegemony.

I am especially pleased that this app is a cooperative. Before coming to TN, I lived in San Francisco for about 25 years and watched a great city become the very model of profiteering at the expense of human rights. One thing I always wished was that some of the great minds that were creating these amazing tools could provide the opposite - a working model of worker co-op - that would in turn use their success to show other businesses the way. Kudos to Loomio!

Mary Douglas

Mary Douglas February 3rd, 2017 17:24

Hi Guys. I'm Mary- involved in D@W newyork. Working now to get a worker-owned鈥 business bill passed in NY state legislature. Working as a freelancer since the late 1990s I've been part of the corporate constricting of wages and cutting of benefits- now our ranks have grown to 30 million "not actually employees, no need to offer benefits, no need to pay into SS or medicare excellent loophole to cut our wage/labor expenses". It's not sustainable in the long run in a consumer driven economy for employers to see workers as a cost to be cut to prop up their stock price/ short term profit. Worker Ownership with full voting rights is the only way to go.

glad to join you all!

Andrea Iannone

Andrea Iannone February 10th, 2017 01:32

Hi everyone!

My name is Andrea Iannone, and I'm part of the West LA core group. I've been with D@W since last May. My interest in this movement stems from my family and my observations around the inequality in society, both here in the US and abroad. I think worker coops are a viable first step in creating a more egalitarian society, and I want to do my part in achieving that goal!


Kayla Jones February 10th, 2017 23:11

Hi everyone! My apologies in replying to this thread so late; I manage & market multiple businesses and have a 2.5-year-old who is home with me most of the time, so sometimes I'm a bit quieter on here than I'd like :)

I, along with Andrea, am part of the West LA core group and likewise have been involved since May of last year. I grew up in rural Northern California, which as some of you may know is extremely conservative. I've struggled for years to frame a positive vision of a non-capitalist society in a way that could unite working-class peoples of all political stripes and from all backgrounds, and I feel Richard Wolff does that very well--so, naturally, when the opportunity arose to form an action group, I hopped on board. Connecting with so many like-minded folks via D@W-WLA has been a truly liberating and exhilarating experience for me, and I hope this is the start of something that can truly transform our economic reality.

Liz Phillips

Liz Phillips February 14th, 2017 18:59


My name is Liz Phillips, and along with Andrea and Kayla I am part of the West LA core group. Particularly after the 2016 Democratic primary, I lost faith in representative politics being able to achieve the changes I want to see. I decided that if I wanted those changes, I'd better start working on them instead of just asking for them. I believe worker co-ops to be a very important way to bring near-instant results to individuals, families, and communities, that it is possible to build a strong co-op sector within our current capitalist system, and that it can then provide the framework for a smoother transition out of capitalism.
In D@W-WLA, one of my focuses is Content Production, to help make the cultural shift away from preconceived Red Scare or Hippie Grocery Store notions, and towards the idea that this is a powerful tool for change. I've been making pamphlets, flyers, infographics, memes, and 'Revolutionary of the Month' portraits, and some not-yet-released video content.
I'm very proud of what we are doing, and am encouraged by the number of people I'm meeting that are also working towards these same goals!


Chris Rodgers April 24th, 2017 21:58

Hi all,
I just watched the D@W program where I heard loomio explained. I love the ideas at D@W, especially the idea of worker owned businesses. I am a self employed female 'restoration' artist who sometimes works with other artists on a project and have always found women more adept at working collaboratively. I have also played around with having others work with me and not exactly 'for' me while complying with laws pertaining to employment etc. I would like to learn more.

I find loomio and its' mission really exciting. Most of us discover that our skills at collaborating are not well developed and we need someplace to practice or observe. I am in Tulsa OK, so any groups formed around less recognized ideas are small to non existent.

I am also an older worker who is not as 'at home with' computers other than email, looking up information, and some facebook. I do want to try this.

Kenneth Baumann

Kenneth Baumann May 1st, 2017 16:43

Hello everyone -

I'm a retired fellow in the Chicagoland area (Aurora) with a 20 year semi-entrepreneurial IT career, and a 10 year career in entrepreneurial commercial real estate development. I'm a member of the DSA, in particular the West Suburban DSA in Illinois.

I got involved with the DSA, and interested Dr. Wolff's work, primarily due to a deep concern about the future of human labor and welfare vis a vis AI and robotics. What will happen to our fellow human beings when their labor is of no longer of much value?

I feel that some combination of UBI and worker cooperatives is the answer.

I learned about loomio from a recent Economic Update program, and wanted to give it a test drive prior to deploying/recommending in other groups.

I'm a supporter of Democracy @ Work.


Daniel Strokis May 6th, 2017 01:25

Hi everyone,

I'm a developer in Charlotte, NC and a member of Charlotte d@W. I've been following d@W and Dr. Wolff for a few years now. The Charlotte d@W group is just getting started, and we'd be excited to hear from other groups about actions they're taking and how they've grown. :smiley:

Matthew Andrews

Matthew Andrews May 6th, 2017 17:02

Hi Kenneth. I know a bunch of DSA folks here in Boston. The group grew from almost nothing to one of the biggest socialist groups in the city after the Bernie Sanders campaign. I share your concern for workers who are going to be completely excluded from the economic system due to "AI and robotics." That's one reason I'm focused on the construction industry - and green retrofits of homes in particular. If you know any DSAers in Boston that might be interested in D@W, let me know!

John Kantor

John Kantor May 9th, 2017 12:41

Who am I? I'm someone who sees a lot of "wouldn't it be nice if..." fantasizing when it comes to making changes, but I don't see any specific plans 鈥 or anyone with the balls to carry them out. Starting a handful of worker co-ops is not going to destabilize Capitalism, and even programs that are inevitable in some form, like single-payer healthcare, free college, autonomous mass transportation, and a guaranteed basic income, will just be co-opted by the establishment. College, Healthcare, and transportation will be ghettoized, and all the guaranteed wage will accomplish is the Uberization of what's left of our economy. Real change won't happen until the people in power are driven out. But by whom? The Left has been both morally bankrupt and impotent for the last 75 years. The Right turn their backs on their own poor and sick, while the Left turn their backs on the victims of terrorism, despotism, and genocide around the world in the name of a simplistic and pathetic pacifism 鈥 which is really just an attempt to mask their cowardice and hypocrisy. I don't see anyone likely to change things.


Steve Shapiro May 10th, 2017 16:51

Hi all
I am a member of D@W-Los Angeles and was an activist in the late '60s/early '70s at which point I dropped out and started a work career that had nothing to do with politics. Politics was buried but now that I am retired, it has been dug up and reactivated.
In the '60s, I was a member of a group that did see workers as key to overthrowing capitalism and building a new society. We had concepts of Proletarian Democracy and "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" but, for me at least, as a student and not a worker, per se, had no concept of what that entailed. Now that I am back thinking of these kinds of things, I was inspired by hear of Richard Wolff talks of Workers Self Directed Co-operatives and workers control of the enterprise. Since then I've been reading and listening to YouTube's a lot and getting a better understanding of what it all means.
A few weeks ago I was introduced to Loomio and am encouraging my local group to use it. I have found that it is easy for a few people with interest and enthusiasm to get things started, take control and get the ball rolling but not opening the discussion to everyone interested. This is really the concept of democratic participation and decision making.
I am glad to see that we now have a national group where we can have "big concept" discussions and ideas that we can bring back to our local groups.
Keep fighting...


Jimbo Splice May 10th, 2017 23:55

Hello, new to Loomio and new to this thread. I have been hoping to get something started to the north in Wyoming for a while. Can anyone tell me what sort of action D@W action groups actually engage in?

I have also been considering using Loomio to help with decision-making with some of my other local activist groups. Can anyone attest to the effectiveness of Loomio and briefly explain how it really works? Is this based on the Consensus model? I am extremely wary of the shortfallings of Consensus decision-making among Leftist/Leftish groups over the last ~40 years and wonder if Loomio can really alleviate all of its pitfalls.

Also, how did you manage to recruit your friends to actually use Loomio? Everyone I know uses Facebook and it seems a daunting task to get them to commit to another platform.

John Rhoads

John Rhoads July 4th, 2017 19:01

@jimbosplice Actions include anything that will help businesses, citizens and governments move to implementing worker and consumer based economic democracy. D@W starts the ball rolling by focusing on business implementation but eventually will encompass all sides of the equation (business, consumer, resource management). Actions involve educating people at the low end to actually forming and organizing worker-owned coops. One good place to start is to reach out to local radio and television stations and have them run Wolff's Economic Update program. Motivating people to watch all of Wolff's presentations is also a good place to go. Forming a d@w group in your area and having regular meetings and discussions is paramount. Having people confront their employers about democratization goes without saying. The Democracy at Work organization has some pamphlets that will help and I will post here.

Loomio works fantastic and makes FB look trivial. FB is a passive platform where idle chat and idle information sharing persist although is good for advertising. FB, or Twitter for that matter, has no desire to democratize anything because that would spell its end or ultimate transformation into a public service (see platform coops). Loomio facilitates decision making which is at the heart of any form of effective governance. It's inescapable. No matter how you break it down, having collective discussion and decision making (hopefully based on good science) is the cornerstone of any decent government. Loomio fulfills this admirably and is open source and customizable if some new functionality needs to be added. The only way people are going to move forward regarding FB is if FB implements Loomio functionality (and goes platform coop) or if people actually start to realize that endless banter and babble on FB really goes nowhere in terms of Hard Decisions and Action. Loomio is the "mission critical" class of online platforms and is what you would likely see used in governments and businesses - not so much social entertainment and time wasting. People really need to wake up to their FB induced complacency and sleep.

Thomas Vogel

Thomas Vogel September 28th, 2017 05:23

Hello, I'm Thomas Vogel. I recently moved to Surprise, Az from Spokane, Wa, where I and a few others were starting a democracy at work action group. Sadly I had to move in the first couple months. I am 20 years old, a few credits away from a general AA degree. It is wonderful to see how other D@W groups organize and I look forward to contributing to this action group now that i live in this area.