Mujeres Manos a la Obra Gets Banked!
On Wednesday, October 5th, Mujeres Manos a la Obra Virginia Cleaning Co-op opened a bank account at the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU)! While this may seem like a routine event, for folks from immigrant communities and other marginalized peoples, interacting with official bureaucracies can be a huge challenge. The rules under which these bureaucracies operate were written by the privileged and powerful for their own benefit. They often exclude, intentionally and unintentionally, folks more distant from the centers of power.
The cleaning co-op members have been trying for a whole year to get their business banked, so it is exciting indeed to see it take place.
Credit Unions Are People's Banks
Johanna, Lorena, and I want to express our deepest gratitude to ACFCU's Director of Business Lending, Marty Weitzel, for going well beyond the call of duty. He stayed with us for three hours as we navigated the process of opening a business account, including patiently waiting while we gathered some important information that we had inadvertently neglected to bring with us. Mr. Weitzel was kind, patient, and supportive. We would not have been able to walk out of ACFCU with huge smiles on our face were it not for him.
Credit Unions are democratically owned by their members. They are, in essence, people's banks. The service and support we received at ACFCU last Wednesday lived up to that lofty idea in every way, and sure made us feel we were in a people's bank.
We also want to thank Josue Rodriquez, whom you see in the picture above helping Lorena complete the documents needed to open Mujeres Manos a la Obra's business account.
With the paperwork finished, Lorena handed Josue Mujeres Manos a la Obra's first deposit. It will be the first of many, as the three worker / owners work hard to build it into a thriving, democratic work place that serves their customers as it provides them with a just and decent living.