Mike Rotkin is the vice president for organizing with the University Council of the American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) and a local union president and grievance officer. He serves as the chief negotiator for the librarians in the University of California and on the bargaining team for UC lecturers. He is a former five-time mayor of the City of Santa Cruz, California and served six terms on the Santa Cruz City Council. Mike Rotkin recently retired from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where was a lecturer in community studies and the director of the department’s field study program.

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As a former mayor of Santa Cruz, California, I have had a sustained interest in alternative investment strategies for local communities. Most of the proposals I’ve studied and worked on tend to be either unrealistic about the ability of local communities to function outside of the larger capitalist system, or overly optimistic about the likely …

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