Alfredo CarlosAlfredo Carlos is a Faculty member in the departments of Political Science and Chicano and Latino Studies at California State University, Long Beach. His particular specialization is in political economy with a focus in economic democracy, which consists in part of worker ownership, workplace and community democracy.  He is also the founder and director for the Long Beach based Foundation for Economic Democracy that seeks to promote the expansion of an economy that is rooted in people over profits. The Foundation’s mission is to create democratically governed community projects and worker owned businesses where workers, their families and their communities can all thrive and live with dignity. Alfredo was born in Jerez, Zacatecas, Mexico, grew up in the L.A. Harbor Area, holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from U.C. Irvine, and is on the Advisory Board of the L.A. Co-op Lab.

cell phone: 310-210-4053

Gilda HaasGilda Haas is an organizer, popular educator, and urban planner who has been helping grassroots organizations build economic projects and institutions from the ground up for the past thirty-five years.  Gilda taught community economic development at UCLA’s Department of Urban Planning for about 30 years, where she also co-founded the Community Scholars Program. Gilda was the founding Executive Director of Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, a co-founder of the national Right to the City Alliance, and has developed business plans for democratic enterprises such as a credit union and land trust. Gilda presently works as a member of the L.A. Coop Lab collective and is a board member of the Financial Cooperative and the Community Revolving Loan Fund.

Cell phone: 323-528-2076

Karen Ochoa is a project manager for Communities Lifting Communities an organization looking to create a system change in bridging the conversation between hospitals, health departments, and community-based organizations in addressing social connections of health.  For the past couple of year’s Karen has focused work on social and economic impact projects and is passionate about building just, sustainable and local economies from bottom up.  She is a collective member of the LA Co-op Lab which is building worker-owned cooperatives in Los Angeles.  She has also, worked with Antioch University’s Bridge Program, which provides University level education for students who not otherwise have access to higher education as a mentor and program coordinator and the Urban Sustainability Program as an Associate Professor.  She has an M.A. in Urban Sustainability and is passionate about building worker capacity in Los Angeles.

cell phone: (323) 823-9504‬

Yuki KidokoroYuki Kidokoro is a member of the L.A. Co-op Lab and is the Climate Justice Alliance’s National Organizer for Reinvest in Our Power, supporting strategies to move money from the extractive economy and towards building local regenerative economies. After graduate studies in Urban Planning at UCLA, Yuki spent 15 years at Communities for a Better Environment as a Youth Organizer, Lead Organizer, and Southern California Program Director. At CBE, Yuki helped lead successful grassroots campaigns, pass health protective policies at the city, regional and state levels, and to build community capacity and power. She also worked to build connections across communities by supporting CBE members to participate in regional, state and national alliances. Raised in Southern California, Yuki helped create a 45 unit affordable housing cooperative at the Los Angeles Eco-Village in Los Angeles where she is an active member. She is trained in conflict mediation and group facilitation, and loves thinking about community governance structures.

cell phone: 213.210.6513

Ashley OrtizAshley Ortiz is a member of the Arizmendi Development and Support Collective and is an Instructor at Dominican University where she teaches a course about Labor and Power. The Arizmendi Association of Cooperatives develops democratically run businesses whose worker-owners are in control of their livelihood. At Arizmendi, Ashley works to support the Association’s network of bakeries, the new construction and landscape design/build coops, and other organizational initiatives. During graduate studies in Urban Sustainability at Antioch University, Ashley helped develop resources for Los Angeles coops and co-founded the L.A. Coop Lab. She is now an Advisory Board member for the Lab and enjoys staying connected to the Northern and Southern California coop communities.

cell phone: 415.405.5196

Brett HeegerBrett Heeger is an attorney with a passion for community economic development, social enterprise, and neighborhood-level work. He supports a wide range of client companies, leveraging legal tools to support all of their goals, from profit and growth, to impact and inclusion. Brett’s law firm, Gartenberg Gelfand Hayton LLP, is a boutique, full-service, corporate and securities firm serving clients in Southern California and around the world. Brett and regularly presents and advises on legal matters for new and existing co-ops and social-impact minded businesses in Los Angeles. Brett previously served as the Food System Director at The Enterprise Center-CDC where he supported local food enterprises in Philadelphia with business advising and technical support. He is a member of the California Center for Cooperative Development, and on the board of Hands4Hope LA.

Phone: 213-542-2122