Ron Kim – New York State Assembly

Hello, my name is Ron Kim, and I’m from Queens, New York. I represent the people of New York in the State Assembly. I am here today to support the Platform Cooperative Conference and to advocate for the expansion of worker-owned cooperatives worldwide. Our current economy leaves thousands, if not millions, of workers behind every day. We cannot continue with the same business mindset, plugging people into traditional banking and businesses, because the pathways that once connected people from point A to point B no longer exist. We need to empower workers to own their futures, which is the core of the cooperative movement. In communities like mine, many immigrants and migrants, often unbanked, struggle daily to integrate into the mainstream economy. These individuals frequently fall into the informal sector and, being unbanked, attract violence and exploitation. Our goal is to empower them, recognizing their worth and value to our economy. Building worker cooperatives is one effective way to engage them meaningfully, enabling them to take ownership of their futures.

I look forward to collaborating with colleagues around the world who have pioneered this work, designing cooperatives that empower workers on the ground. I am eager to deepen these collaborations moving forward.