Maru Bautista discusses how worker cooperatives could be utilized as an alternative business model to promote the socioeconomic integration of marginalized communities.
Maru Bautista is the director of the Cooperative Development Program at the Center for Family Life in Brooklyn, New York. For the past five years, she has worked with her team and the Sunset Park community to strengthen immigrant-led worker cooperatives in New York City. She oversees all of the program’s groundbreaking scaling initiatives, including the development of a Cooperative Franchise Initiative and Up & Go (upandgo.coop), a worker-owned web application that connects customers looking for residential and commercial cleaning with worker cooperatives. She is chair of the Board of the Democracy at Work Institute and a board member of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. She has an M.A. in International Development from the New School in NYC. When not at work, she is in a park or a playground with her two-year-old daughter.