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Experiments in Democracy

Produced by Douglas Honig, and Patricia Van Kirk, Co-producer

Can consumers run the stores they shop in? Can workers be their own bosses? Can whole sectors of our economy be organized on cooperative principles? "Experiments in Democracy" is a series of documentaries discussing these issues as it traces the history of cooperative enterprises in the Seattle area.

Seattle has a rich but little-known heritage of people working to meet their needs through cooperation. Based on extensive research in historical material at the University of Washington and interviews with over 70 scholars and participants in the cooperative movement, "Experiments in Democracy" explores the development of all types of co-ops - turn-of the century utopian colonies, co-op businesses owned by organized labor, plywood mills run by their own workers and a self-help league formed by thousands of the unemployed during the Depression. The series also delves into the roots of today's co-ops and explores their prospects for the future.

Experients in Democracy
Program guide, Nov 1981

The series of six shows first aired Nov 10 through Dec 3, 1981 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 9 pm. Each program consisted of an hour-long documentary, followed by a live panel discussion with an opportunity for listeners to call in. The series was co-produced by KRAB's Doug Honig and Patricia Van Kirk and was funded by a grant from the Washington Commission for the Humanities. KRAB members wishing a preview of the series are invited to attend a public forum on "The Future of Co-ops" to be held on Sunday, November 8 at 7:30 pm at the Friends Center, 4001 9th Avenue N.E. in Seattle.

Project regulars:

Producer and narrator: Doug Honig
Co-producer: Patricia Van Kirk
Secretary: Suki Cupp
Music consultant: Robin Walls; Pianist: Nick Alison; Vocalist: Peter Constantini
Dramatic readers: Daniel Bradac, Kathy Cody, Paul Stanbery, Stanford Smith, Katy Dunsmore

Original comedy dramatizations by the Emergency Comedy Team
Peggy DeLeers, Abbie DeLeers, Paul Stanbery, Mike Tuel, and David Berger, producer


Nbr 1: The Development of Co-ops in Seattle - KRAB Nov 10, 1981
"Seattle has a rich tradition of people working together to meet their needs. This show will trace the development of the varied types of co-ops that have existed in the Seattle area to recapture the visions of the people who founded them."

This episode discusses the earliest history of Pacific NW cooperatives from the Puget Sound Co-op and Evergreen Dairy Co-ops through to the Group Health, Puget Consumers, and Recreation Equipment co-ops.

tape labelThe voices of the following are heard in this episode: John Affolter, Denny Bader, David Berryman (Commonwealth), Prof Arthur Bestor (UW), Horace Campbell, Avis Cavileto, Bill Corr Sr., John Dembo (UW), Rose Elkins, Mary Farquharson, Emma Harmon, Edward E Henry, Steve Hodes, Irwin Hogenauer, Jerry Holzinger, Bill Jordan (GH), Chet Kingsbury, Randy Lee (PCC), Dr Charles Pierce Lewarne, Jack Lock, Dr Sandy McCall, Frank McCartney, Murray Morgan, Walter Philip, Bernard Pierce, Jerry Richard (The Good Life), Bob Scott, Sandra Seaman, Addison "Ad" Shoudy, Ellen Waters

Listen now Listen now - Nbr 1: The Development of Co-ops in Seattle - KRAB Nov 10, 1981 (58:41)

Recording courtesy Doug Honig, DH0005


Nbr 2 - Co-ops as Businesses - KRAB Nov 12, 1981

This show will examine the role of co-ops as businesses - businesses oriented toward people but operating in an economic system based on the bottom line. But first, what is a co-operative?

tape labelThe voices of the following are heard in this episode: David Berryman (Commonwealth), Prof Arthur Bestor (UW), Hilde Birnbaum (GH), John Burke (UW), Jim Christian, Ed Cray, John Dembo (UW), Walt Hoffman (REI), Kate Hunter (GH), Ken Jacobson (REI), Helen Karr, Randy Lee (PCC), Lyle Mercer (GH), Patricia Mittenthal (PCC), Murray Morgan, Walter Philip, Olwyn Pritchard (PCC), Jerry Richard (The Good Life), Sam Salkin, Bob Scott, Addison "Ad" Shoudy, Helena Togansic, Joan Welsh, Joel Welty (PSCF), Frankie Whitman, Cliff Wilson

Listen now Listen now - Nbr 2 - Co-ops as Businesses - KRAB Nov 12, 1981 (55:09)

Recording courtesy Doug Honig, DH0006


Nbr 3 - The History of Co-ops - KRAB Nov 17, 1981

This show examines the history of worker co-operatives, enterprises owned and operated by the people that work in them; enterprises where labor is management.

tape labelThe voices of the following are heard in this episode: Denny Bader, Debra Barrows, Philip Bereano (UW), Bob Burke (UW), Mary Deaton, John Dembo (UW), Steve Hodes, Chet Kingsbury, Phil Kritner, Randy Lee (PCC), Dr Charles Pierce Lewarne, Violet Miller, Deborah Oppenheimer, Renee Perry (CC Grange) Terry Pettus? (talking about Newspaper strike), Jerry Richard (The Good Life),
Al Schreiber (UW), Sandra Seaman, Leann Vasquez, Kathleen Wilson, Workers at Cause Celebre Café, Jerry Youle (Tacoma Plywood)

Listen now Listen now - Nbr 3 - The History of Co-ops - KRAB Nov 17, 1981 (58:21)

Recording courtesy Doug Honig, DH0007


Nbr 4 - Co-ops as Models of Democratic Control - KRAB Nov 19, 1981

This show looks at co-ops as models of democratic control. Co-ops are enterprises owned by the people who use them. Each member gets one vote in the running of a co-op regardless of how much money they have put into the co-op. This arrangement differs from the way most businesses in the United States are run.

tape labelThe voices of the following are heard in this episode: John Affolter, Philip Bereano (UW), David Berryman (Commonwealth), Hilde Birnbaum (GH), John Burke (UW), Horace Campbell, Bill Corr Sr., Ann Fleck (Phinney St Co-op), Emma Harmon, Danny Hays (REI), Penny Herrick (PCC), Walt Hoffman (REI), Mike Hoganson, Jerry Holzinger, Kate Hunter (GH), Ken Jacobson (REI), Bill Jordan (GH), David Kositzski, Phil Kritner, Randy Lee (PCC), Members of the Central Co-op, PCC and REI, Lyle Mercer (GH), Dr Ward Miles (GH), Walter Philip, Olwyn Pritchard (PCC), Jerry Richard (The Good Life), Sam Salkin, Al Schreiber (UW), Addison "Ad" Shoudy, Dick Spady, Terry Tafoya, Ellen Waters, Joel Welty (PSCF)

Listen now - Nbr 4 - Co-ops as Models of Democratic Control - KRAB Nov 19, 1981 (55:30)

Recording courtesy Doug Honig, DH0008


Nbr 5 - The Co-operative Vision - KRAB Nov 24, 1981

Today co-operatives offer members a chance to save money and make decisions democratically. Historically, they have also offered a vision - a vision of a whole society based on people working together and sharing equally in the proceeds. This show looks at some of the movements and people who have shared those dreams.

tape labelThe voices of the following are heard in this episode: John Affolter, Carol Bergin, Prof Arthur Bestor (UW), Hilde Birnbaum (GH), Bob Burke (UW), Horace Campbell, John Dembo (UW), Rose Elkins, Mary Farquharson, Ann Fleck (Phinney St Co-op), Edward E Henry, Steve Hodes, Jerry Holzinger, Kate Hunter (GH), Phil Kritner, Randy Lee (PCC), Dr Charles Pierce Lewarne, Jack Lock, Lyle Mercer (GH), Dr Ward Miles (GH), Jack Miller, Violet Miller, Renee Perry (CC Grange), Olwyn Pritchard (PCC), Jerry Richard (The Good Life), Sam Salkin, Al Schreiber (UW), Addison "Ad" Shoudy, Joe Ben Ware (PCC), Ellen Waters,
Kathleen Wilson

Listen now Listen now - Nbr 5 - The Co-operative Vision - KRAB Nov 24, 1981 (58:47)

Recording courtesy Doug Honig, DH0009


Nbr 6 - Prospects for Co-ops in the Future - KRAB Dec 3, 1981

This show looks at the lessons of co-operatives past and present and examines their prospects for the future.tape label

The voices of the following are heard in this episode: Judith Gillle, Steve Hodes, Patricia Mittenthal (PCC), Jerry Richard (The Good Life), Matt Smith

Listen now Listen now - Nbr 6 - Prospects for Co-ops in the Future - KRAB Dec 3, 1981 (56:33)

Recording courtesy Doug Honig, DH0010


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