AMIBA National Engagement

While AMIBA has built our reputation on helping pro-local community groups thrive, we also work nationally raise awareness of the economic, civic, environmental and cultural importance of community-based enterprise and the destructive impacts of centralizing wealth and power.

Below are a few of the issues we’ve impacted nationally and some of our current initiatives.

  • We submitted amicus briefs in both Citizens United v FEC (pdf) and Western Tradition Partnership v Montana (pdf), arguing against enlarging corporate power over elections. We used the opportunity to educate people nationwide via radio and TV, in major newspapers and through our online communications. In Citizens United, the four dissenting U.S. Supreme Court Justices quoted our brief, drafted by Daniel Greenwood and our allies at Demos, in their opinion.
  • We engaged in Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado at the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing in public and via an amicus brief that allowing businesses to discriminate threatens civil rights progress. Our engagement in this case is part of our broader Business Against Bigotry initiative, summarized below.
  • AMIBA has informed our followers that mandatory arbitration is an enemy of small businesses as well as consumers through newsletter briefs and commentaries. Far from being “pro-business,” forced arbitration is a tool that often enables corporate giants to rip off small suppliers, contractors and business customers.
  • Countering the corporate narrative that weak environmental and public land protections are “pro-business” in media commentary and PSAs. We’ve also defended and promoted Montana’s landmark right to a clean and healthful environment (our home base).
  • As part of our ongoing work against monopoly, AMIBA played a key role in thwarting Walmart’s attempt to enter commercial banking. We published commentaries, engaged independent trade groups, and offered in-person testimony to the FDIC. Approval of Walmart’s bid would have driven out countless community financial institutions, creating a more dangerous concentration of power.

Business Against Bigotry
We know more cohesive and inclusive communities are critical to broadening economic opportunities and helping new businesses start and grow. This program prods and assists business owners to build a culture of inclusion and equity in their own business and then go further to take a public role in building a more inclusive and welcoming community.

Indigenous Business Alliances
We recently began work with Indigenous Business Alliances in Montana and Minnesota to adapt some of the lessons and materials developed in non-native communities to advance their work at accelerating Native entrepreneurship.  Adapting our “buy local” campaign expertise to Indian Country has been an early focus, and the Minnesota group currently is crafting an “indigenized” version of our campaign guide.

Join with AMIBA or donate to advance our work as we build a powerful presence uniquely positioned to challenge corrosive institutions precluding democracy and equity, and start shifting national law and policy.

The Center for Community Ownership
A resource and advisory hub to empower people particularly (in both rural and urban areas) to fill urgent local needs through developing community-owned businesses. These low-investment, democratically-governed businesses also create jobs and build opportunity for additional businesses while plugging major leaks in local economies. We’re currently accepting applicants for pilot communities for this program.

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