2013-11-06 SELC Meeting
On November 6, 2013, a few Sudoers met up with the Sustainable Economies Law Center at LOL with some legal questions regarding Incorporation, Board, and creating a "Metacorporation" with other legal entities with the purpose of co-owning a building. Below is a summary of some things we learned..
How best could we try to maintain a distributed power structure given the innate hierarchy of a 501c*?
- The SELC is a 501c3 who had the same question. Part of how they try to distribute power is by practicing a Holacracy (Wikipedia), whereby tasks and responsibilities are distributed between different self-organized working groups. We could research this and codify it into our corporation's bylaws.
- Form a non-profit cooperative? (we didn't get to talk about this, but it was mentioned)
- A 501c3 is a good option, but only if we can explicitly prove that we serve a charitable or educational purpose.
- We could show that we provide community economic development (a "launching pad").
- Colearning sessions such as our weekly meetups may not be able to qualify as "educational" because they would be seen as providing benefit to members and not the general public. This might just be a matter of how we frame it. Did I get this right, Juul?
- We may want to look into a 501c4 (Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees), 501c8* (Benefit/Mutual Aid Society) and 501c10* (Domestic Fraternal Societies and Associations). *(Eddan could possibly speak more on these)
- As a 501c3 or LLC, we could apply for welfare expemption and not have to pay property taxes.
- Example: The David Brower Center as a whole is able to qualify for a welfare exemption because a certain percentage of their renters are 501c3s. In other words, we could include other corporate entities in the shared building and qualify for a welfare exemption if we meet the baseline percentage (which was...?)
- Non-profit/for-profit joint ventures:
- Read [name of publication] by the Board of Equalization's publication on welfare property tax exemption (one of the SELC people is in the process of looking up the name of the resource for us).