Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) introduced S. Res. 87, designating the year 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. Through the grassroots efforts of National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) members and friends, the Resolution boasted a total of 30 co-sponsors as of May 3.
Of the bi-partisan support that the Resolution enjoyed, NCBA President and CEO Paul Hazen said, “Cooperative enterprise is a vital part of our economy. Cooperatives improve the quality of lives of Americans all over this country, regardless of race, class, gender or party affiliation.”
Prior to the introduction of the Resolution, national organizations serving cooperatives signed a letter in support. That letter was signed by Credit Union National Association, Farm Credit Council, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, National Association of Housing Cooperatives, NCBA, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Cooperative Grocers Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, North American Students of Cooperation, South Dakota Association of Cooperatives, Parent Cooperative Preschools International and US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. The National Farmers Union joined by commending Senators Johnson and Cochran for introducing the Resolution in a press release dated Mar. 4.
In addition to designating the Year, the Resolution recognizes the vital role cooperatives play in the economic and social well-being of the United States urges the establishment of a National Committee for IYC and encourages highlighting the positive impact of cooperatives and developing new programs for domestic and international cooperative development.