Green Broom Brigade
What is the Green Broom Brigade Co-op?
The Green Broom Brigade is an environmentally friendly cleaning co-op, the first in what is expected to be an association of worker-owner co-ops in Lompoc.
This business fits the criteria we established for the first cooperative. It was important to us to set the stage for success with our first co-op and this was a perfect opportunity. We knew that by starting with a small, service based business, the start-up costs would be manageable and the skills needed to provide quality care and service could be learned without an intensive and expensive training program.
A positive effect on the community is part of our core values. This includes the impacts on our community, our environment, and the people who work at, and own, this co-op. Using “green” cleaning techniques and products is good for both our clients and our worker-owners. It’s important to know that our services won’t cause harm to people in your home or business. It’s also important to protect the health and safety of the worker-owners. By eliminating harsh chemicals, we know that the risk of negative impact is greatly reduced, if not completely eliminated.
Green cleaning is a unique service in our area and will be available at a reasonable price to people who care about their health and the environment.
What is the inspiration for the co-op name: Green Broom Brigade?
In the late 1800’s, Broom Brigades popped up all across the United States. They were groups of women who organized and performed drill exercises in parades and competitions. You might equate them to modern day cheerleading squads, drill teams, or marching bands. Crowds gathered to see them perform precision marching and exercises.
In 1889, at the University of Minnesota, a group of women petitioned the University to be allowed to participate in drill exercises, a popular extracurricular activity offered to the men of the University. Previously, there were no formal exercise or fitness programs available to them. Believing that it would unpopular among women, the administration agreed. They were shocked at the number of attendees. And so “Company Q” was formed. They drilled with wooden guns and practiced daily, all winter long.
Unfortunately, many in the community found the situation rather laughable. In fact, an editorial in the school newspaper sarcastically suggested that a “Broom Brigade” would be an excellent addition to the University.
At the University’s Commencement Ceremony in 1889, the first “Broom Brigade,” Company Q, performed marching drills and exercises to a wildly appreciative crowd.
Women across the country embraced the opportunity to participate in a formal exercise program and Broom Brigades sprung up on college campuses and rural towns alike. Wooden guns were replaced with brooms, and women, empowered and proud, performed in parades and judged competitions.
Modern Broom Brigades are grassroots movements where people come together to literally clean up the streets. After the 2011 riots in London, hundreds of citizens arrived with brooms literally in hand to clean up the mess left on the streets. While our plan is to clean up homes and businesses, the spirit of community outreach is strong in our values.
Read More about Company Q, the first Broom Brigade at the University of Minnesota, click here.
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