Worker Owners​​

NONI SESSION
Executive Director
[email protected]

OJAN MOBEDSHAHI
Finance Director Board Treasurer
[email protected]


Noni is a 3rd generation West Oaklander, Assistant Librarian and Cultural Anthropologist. Her research and organizing work spans national and global arenas. In her doctoral work under the umbrella of the UNDP in Nairobi, Kenya, Noni carried out ethnographic analysis of international humanitarian strategies and their on-the-ground consequences. After a 2016 run for Oakland City Council in which she garnered more than 43% of the vote, Noni came to believe that her community’s clearest pathway to economic justice and halting rapid displacement was an independent cooperative economy. Noni holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Black Studies, cum laude, from San Francisco State University, and an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Cornell University. 
​​Ojan is a 2nd generation Iranian American born and raised in the Bay Area. His past work, ranging from healthy urban land use to real estate development, informs his holistic view of finance, with a triple bottom line that includes people and planet along with profit.

Ojan lives in a co-op in Oakland and works as a contractor and regenerative landscape designer revitalizing land throughout the East Bay. While earning his B.A. in Economics from Pitzer College, Ojan was inducted into the Economic Honors Society and organized a local chapter of the Occupy movement.


MARISSA ASHKAR
Director of Community Relations 
Board President
[email protected]


SHIRA SHAHAM
New Projects Director
Board Secretary
[email protected]



Born in Los Angeles into a Southwest Asian/North African and European American family, Marissa has lived in and around Oakland for 20 years. Before co-founding the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative in 2016 she spent 15 years in political organizing and institution building. She has worked with a community land trust in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, with an international development corporation in Vietnam, and with a cooperative credit union. Marissa is currently organizing with People of Color Sustainable Housing Network and coordinating outreach at Northern California Community Land Trust where she works with BIPOC communities to create sustainable,cooperative housing. Marissa believes that collective land stewardship and cooperative living will be an ever-growing part of the global healing and regenerative movement. She holds a B.A. in the Political Economy of Africa and the Middle East from San Francisco State University and a J.D. from West Los Angeles School of Law.
Shira is passionate about design and the environment and strives to bring the world closer to sustainability through integrative approaches. She has nearly 10 years experience leading teams and managing custom design projects and businesses. She played a key role in the growth of a food cooperative start-up in New York from the initial meeting of some 20-odd people to a successful business open six days/week. She currently manages high end residential construction projects. Shira holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a minor in Sustainable Environments. Returning to the Bay Area where she was raised, Shira works to give back to the communities that have nurtured her.

GREGORY JACKSON
Partnerships Director
Equal Justice Works Fellow
Sponsored by Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

[email protected]



Greg is a native of Oakland with deep family roots who feels fortunate to live within blocks of his family that now spans three generations. He is deeply committed to achieving economic equity in the East Bay through collective ownership and democratic decision-making. Recognizing the many social problems rooted in the unequal distribution of wealth and decision-making power, Greg focused his law school research on international cooperatives. During his internship with Sustainable Economies Law Center he created a pilot program for youth-led cooperative development. As a 2018 Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow, Greg aims to increase collective decision-making and cooperative-ownership in East Oakland. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from San Diego State University, and a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law.
Our Mission and Vision
Our mission is to develop cooperative, affordable real estate alternatives that empower people to create intentional communities that are ecologically, emotionally, spiritually, culturally, and economically regenerative. Our movement is People Of Color (POC)-centered with a focus on creating deeply diverse communities.

We envision a world in which safe and healthy housing is a right and not a privilege. Everyone is empowered to create thriving communities that nurture the minds, bodies, and spirits of each community member.


Points of Unity

This is not an exhaustive list and it is a work in progress. For now, EB PREC has adopted the following points of unity.

We believe in:
  • Right of Return - the right of displaced people to return to their community
  • Collective Power - healing, building, and transforming for freedom happens together
  • Collective Land Stewardship - in honor of indigenous people and practices we are about the care of the land together
  • In it for the long term - permanently removing land from the capitalist market
  • Serving and working with Black Indigenous and People of Color - the lens in which we see all of this transformation
  • Open hearted open space to simply be - space to heal and create
  • Sharing resources - and information for collective function
  • Building productive capacity - cultivate coop business on the land multi-use properties​

The Basics​

A PREC is structured as a cooperative corporation, which has at least three built-in perks:​​
  • A cooperative’s primary governing body is chosen and major decisions are made on a one-member one-vote basis, meaning that democracy is embedded in the legal structure.
  • Cooperative corporations are limited in their ability to pay high returns on capital, meaning they cannot be vehicles for making the wealthy wealthier.
  • The Sustainable Economies Law Center recently helped write and pass a law that gives California cooperative corporations a securities exemption, allowing them to raise capital by selling membership shares for up to $1,000 each.

Governance structure: The envisioned governance structure of PRECs empowers members to self-organize. Groups of members can search for properties, raise capital, and shepherd housing into the cooperative, with support and approval of a governing board.

Title and long-term protection:
The cooperative holds title to the land and housing and adopts multiple restraints on its own ability to sell properties. To keep it off the speculative market in the long-term, the cooperative preferably gives multiple land trusts and other PRECs rights (through deed restrictions, easements, co-ownership, and purchase options) to enforce affordability restrictions and to take ownership of projects that are abandoned.

Homebuying:
Members who live on the cooperative’s properties will pay a “purchase” price for a long-term lease, and the experience will simulate direct homeownership in many ways. Resident control: The cooperative will set minimum standards of maintenance, but the residents will control most decisions related to the property. Limited returns: When a member “sells” their lease, they will receive a pre-determined price that will give them a modest return (likely tied to the Consumer Price Index or a similar index) on their purchase price, as well as compensation for improvements.

Our Story

The East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative, Inc (EB PREC) was born out of a collaboration between the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network (POCSHN) and the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC).
POCSHN
SELC
The People of Color Sustainable Housing Network is a resource network for people of color building intentional, healthy, collective and affordable housing communities in the Bay Area and beyond.  By supporting the creation of indigenous, low-income and people of color-led housing and land projects that focus on collective land ownership & stewardship, resident-controlled housing, and cooperative economic models, the People of Color Sustainable Housing Network hopes to foster long-term replicable strategies and tactics for housing, food and land-use movements. 
The Sustainable Economies Law Center cultivates a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. They provide essential legal tools so communities everywhere can develop their own sustainable sources of food, housing, energy, jobs, and other vital aspects of a thriving community. They provide essential legal resources to support the transition to more just and resilient local economies. The Law Center conceptualized the core PREC model.

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