Board of Elections Voting Ballot 2017

Candidates for NYC NOWC’s Board of Directors.

Election date: November 7th, 2017 (In-person or by proxy ballot bellow)

This election is limited to NYC NOWC dues-paying member cooperatives. Select 4 candidates in order of preference.

Carlos Cano, Urban Upbound

Why do you want to participate?

 I have worked developing worker cooperatives for 2 years as Program Manager at Urban Upbound. In this capacity, I have supported the launch of 2 co-ops and are currently working on launching a third and possibly a fourth one (this last one in collaboration with Catholic Charities).

Internally, I have been able to grow the worker cooperative program at Urban Upbound, doubling funding and staff.  In the past two years I have learned much and developed ties to the cooperative ecosystem. And I will want to continue supporting this ecosystem after I move on from my current position. I have no date yet, but I am thinking ahead, and seating on the board of NYC NOWC would be a terrific opportunity to continue supporting cooperatives in NYC.

Rachel Isreeli, Center for Family Life

My experience as a cooperative developer – including collaborating with the 13 cooperatives that CFL supports, developing worker-owner leadership, coaching successful business owners, engaging in political education, training organizations in cooperative development, building organizational relationships – would be an asset on a majority worker-owner board. I am excited to utilize my capacities and access to support NYCNoWC’s sustainability and continue to build out NYC’s solidarity economy network.


Rachel is a Brooklynite, social worker and cooperative developer at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park. Rachel brings a feminist and trauma lens to the cultivation of worker leadership and anti-exploitative work opportunities through direct work with coops and training community organizations to develop coops in their communities. Rachel has been organizing for over a decade at the intersection of gender, labor and sexuality, including around sex work, gender-based violence, LGBTQ homelessness, transgender migrant workers, and immigrant-led worker cooperatives.

Jamila Khan, Palante Technology Cooperative

Why would they be a good candidate for our board?

Jamila has been a part of Palante since it’s founding. They are dedicated to the cooperative economy and eager to help spread it. They have been involved in activist work for years and continue to be.


Jamila Khan is a geek in everything they do; including theater, activism, comics, puppetry, and technology. They have been part of Palante Technology Cooperative since 2010, and a co-owner since incorporation as a cooperative in 2011. A queer trans Muslim punk, Jamila loves that they get to use their geeky skills in support of so many wonderful organizations.

Jessie Lee, Palante Technology Cooperative

Why would they be a good candidate for our board?

Jessie has been instrumental in helping Palante Technology Cooperative grow to our current strength, and I think she would be an excellent representative of what cooperatives in NYC have to offer.


Jessie is a half asian trans woman who has called NYC her home for 8 years. She comes to Palante from an eclectic background of research science and art history. She has taken apart, broken, and fixed computers for fun in her spare time since childhood and has decided to turn that into a career. She is thrilled to be able to use the skills she has learned in support of organizations that she loves and that benefit her community. In her spare time, she games, cooks, and is a social media monster.

Adriana Mendoza, Sunset Scholars

Why do you want to participate?

After being on the board for a bit over a year now it is great to see how far the organization has come since then and I would really like to continue contributing and supporting fellow board members and staff. Additionally, after working with the local coop network in Sunset Park, I have realized that I like working with coop networks as they are a way to live by principle 6.


I was part of the cooperative development team at CFL from April 2015 to October 2016. During my time at CFL, I took on the role of office manager for 4 worker cooperatives (Trusty Amigos, Sunset Scholars, Emigre and Maharlika) and as coop developer assistant. I was the main developer working with Cooperatives United for Sunset Park, a network of 6 worker coops in Sunset I’m a founding member of Sunset Scholars Tutoring Cooperative and have served in their General Advisory Committee (equivalent of a board). I’m also a part of their legal committee, where we oversee that the cooperative remains true to their mission, vision and operating agreement.

Zara Serabian-Arthur, Meerkat Media 

Why do you want to participate?

I’m interested in serving on NYC NOWC’s board because I’d like the opportunity to work with other worker-owners and allies to continue to build and strengthen our local cooperative movement. For the last eleven years, I’ve been a member of Meerkat Media, a filmmaking collective, and worker cooperative production company, where I produce, shoot and edit films in collaboration with non-profits and movement organizations. In addition to my experience as a worker-owner, I’m also a member of SolidarityNYC, a volunteer collective that works to educate, elevate and connect NYC’s solidarity economy, and am a Peer Educator with the Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC. To all of my various roles, I bring a spirit of inquiry and openness, fifteen years of experience in facilitation and strategic planning, and a deep commitment to developing cultures and communities of cooperation, rooted in values of solidarity, democracy, and justice.

I’m passionate about worker cooperatives because they give us a way to manifest our vision of a better world in our daily lives while providing us the opportunity to meet our own needs and the needs of others in our communities. However, our work within in our individual cooperatives can only take us so far. In order for our coops to be successful, and for us to be able to reach our broader social justice goals, we need to work together, and I believe that the need for a strong worker cooperative movement, where worker-owners and allies come together to build interconnected solidarity economies, has never been more critical. I’m excited about the opportunity to help build this movement with NYC NOWC.


Zara Serabian-Arthur is a non-fiction filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. In both her independent and commissioned work, she is committed to helping others tell their stories and using media strategically as a means to shift narratives and support social justice movements.

Zara is a co-writer/co-director of the collective’s award-winning feature documentaries, Stages and Brasslands, as well as many independent documentary shorts, including Consensus and Into the Streets. She has also directed, produced and edited dozens of commissioned short films, collaborating closely with non-profits, foundations and grassroots organizations, including the Tenement Museum, the Participatory Budgeting ProjectFord FoundationRosa Luxembourg Stiftung and Make the Road New York among many others. Alongside her filmmaking work, Zara worked as a teaching artist and arts program administrator in schools and community centers across New York City for over ten years. She has been a member of Meerkat Media Collective since 2006.

Alma Velasquez, Cooperative Home Care Associates

Why would they be a good candidate for our board?

Beginning October 1987, Alma Velasquez started with Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA), the largest employee-owned cooperative business in the country. Alma joined the agency as a home health aide with her own client. For over 30 years, Alma has held various roles in finance, service delivery,  reception, information management and finally compliance. Each role came with more and more progressive responsibility. Alma empowers those who work around her by providing the organizational detail required for workers do their role within CHCA. Alma has served on the board of CHCA twice. She is a firm believer in sharing institutional knowledge and communicating the ethics of being a worker-owner.


Candidates for NYC NOWC's Board of Directors

This election is limited to NYC NOWC dues-paying member cooperatives. Select 4 candidates in order of prefrence.

Candidatos para la Junta de Directores de NYC NOWC

Esta elección esta limitada a miembrxs de NYC NOWC, cooperativas que pagan quota. Seleccione cuatro candidatxs en orden de preferencia.

If you are unable to attend the in person annual member meeting to cast your vote, do you authorize a proxy to submit the choices listed on this form? It is required by New York State non profit law that voting be done in person either by the organization or by proxy.
Si no puede asistir la reunion anual de NYC NoWC para votar en persona, autoriza a un representante para entregar los votos indicados en este formato? Segun la ley estatal en Nueva York, es requerido que votos sean entregados en persona por la organización o por un representante.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *