If you’d like to be a part owner of a restaurant in Baltimore and you’re left of left on the political spectrum, have I got an opportunity for you! Red Emma’s is reaching out for new worker-owners. This is what they’re looking for and what it takes to be a restaurant owner there:
For the first time in eight years, we are actively seeking to expand the project, and to bring on several new worker-owners this summer. If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be a Red Emma’s collective member – or what it means to be a Red Emma’s collective member – now is your chance to find out, and consider getting involved in this ever-changing, ever-expanding project.
Check out our call for collective members on the website, and then email us if you want to know more … or come by one of our open Sunday meetings (7PM, every Sunday of the month, except the first:
For eight years, the collective behind Red Emma’s has been keeping a self-managed, consensus-operated, and worker-owned radical space open seven days a week and nearly 365 days a year, while organizing hundreds and hundreds of events, and spinning off new projects like 2640 and the Baltimore Free School. We’ve done this all with a collective of between 10 and 15 people, all working out of dedication to the project and the ideals of direct democracy and autonomous political action it represents.
While our collective is still strong, it’s not strong enough: we haven’t taken on quite enough new collective members in the last year or so to keep up with the work we need to do to keep the doors open, the coffee flowing, and the books stocked; we’re spread thin, and we need your help!
Normally our process of taking on new collective members has been a pretty loose and organic one; while this has given us a lot of time to get to know people, we’ve decided to switch for the time being to a process we hope can be faster and more intentional: we want to get a few more people on board to help keep the space thriving and insure we’ll be here for years to come.
Who are we looking for?
- You thrive in collective settings and love participatory decision making
- You can commit to working a minimum of five hours a week in the store and can attend a weekly collective meeting on Sunday evenings
- You’ll be in Baltimore and able to work with the project for at least a year
- You understand that while we are currently able to make a share of the money earned by selling books and coffee available to people working in the store, we also tend to put ethics before maximizing profit, and spend money collectively on organizing and building radical infrastructure. In practice, this means we earn about $5-$6/hr—-far from ideal as a primary source of income, but it’s more sustainable than depending on purely volunteer labor.
We’re especially (but not exclusively) interested in people who can bring special skills to the table besides a willingness to sling coffee for the revolution; in particular and in no particular order, we need graphic design wizards, outreach geniuses, free software fanatics, book geeks, food nerds, media makers, event promoters and lots more. And above all we need people who want to bring their political commitments to bear on helping self-manage a very visible space dedicated to advancing the cause of collective liberation. We’re also hoping that this new, streamlined and more intentional process will help us diversify the collective—-the more voices and ideas in the project, the stronger it becomes.
(Read on for the details of how this all works)
Interested? Want to learn more? Ready to help us test out our new process for growing the collective? Here’s how it will work:
- Come to a Sunday meeting, and let us know you’re interested in becoming a part of the collective, and what areas of the project in addition to the barista/bookseller part you might like to work on.
- We’ll set up a quick chat with someone after the meeting who works in the area of the project you’re interested in.
- Get oriented to the project and find out if you really want to commit to the process and the project; these three quick trainings will begin to get you up to speed with what we do and how we do it:
- General orientation
- Books orientation
- Behind the bar orientation
- Come to another collective meeting and talk with the whole collective about getting involved; if we think you’re a good fit, you’ll become a prospective collective member at this point.
- Spend a month coming to meetings and volunteering a minimum of five hours a week, so you can get fully trained up to work in the store. After the training period, you’ll start getting paid at the same modest rate that everyone gets.
- At three months, we’ll have an evaluation and let you know if we think things are working out.
- At six months, we’ll make a final decision about whether we want to co-own a radical business with you, and hopefully
you’ll become part of the collective.
Our open collective meetings take place at the store, 800 St. Paul St., every Sunday at 7PM except the first Sunday of the month. If you’ve got questions that can’t wait until a meeting, you can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.