Cleveland Owns

Power through collective ownership

About us

Cleveland Owns is a radical incubator that equips groups to build wealth and power through collective ownership.

We believe who owns what matters. To build an equitable city, we must have an equitable distribution of ownership.

In a Cleveland owned by its residents, everyone has a stake in businesses and commercial real estate and other productive assets. Groups of workers and neighbors prosper alongside the city, and have the power to exercise control over what affects them.

As more people own assets that appreciate in value, we'll shrink the ownership gap, which is inextricably tied to the racial and gender wealth gaps. This is one step towards addressing the historical and present-day effects of white supremacy, patriarchy, and an economic system built on exploitation and extraction.

About us

What we do

What we do
We enable groups of workers and neighbors to turn what they have into what they need to demand their share of the region’s prosperity.

Our work focuses on food justice, and on a just transition to a clean energy economy.

For example, we're working with a group of residents and representatives from local institutions in the Central and Kinsman neighborhoods to see if a food co-op could help meet the needs of local residents.

In the neighborhood of Hough, we're working with neighbors out to build the city's first community solar garden. We're also working with groups from Lakewood, Detroit Shoreway, and Cleveland Heights to found the Cleveland Solar Cooperative, a community-owned co-op that aims to promote energy democracy through democratic ownership of solar infrastructure.


Jonathan Welle

Executive Director, member of the board

Jonathan is a co-op and organizer passionate about closing the ownership gap in his hometown of Cleveland. He spent three years in corporate consulting, where he saw the power of ownership -- and the danger of ownership unaccountable to the people it affects. He worked on President Obama's 2012 campaign and as a Peace Corps volunteer. You can find him catching sunsets during runs at Cleveland's Edgewater Park.

Holley Davenport

Organizer / Americorps VISTA member

After 27 years as a cosmetology manager, Holly decided to step into action by applying to the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP). That journey has since taken her to Edwin's Leadership and Development Institute, a term as manager of Edwin's butcher shop, and a year of service with Americorps VISTA at CEOWorks, a national non-profit organization focused on employment and sustainable skills for individuals reentering the community while on supervision. She created a nonprofit called "Stirring the Pot" and a scratch kitchen catering business, Heavenly Delicious Heart and Soul Cuisine. In Collinwood, she's active with her church and the local youth sport league.

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  • 9/4/2020 03:18 PM

Join us in welcoming Cleveland Owns' newest team member, Holly Davenport! Holly joins us for one year as an organizer through Americorps VISTA. She'll focus on supporting a community-owned solar garden a group of innovative neighbors in Hough are championing.

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  • 6/29/2020 03:11 PM

Today Mordecai, Indigo, Adam, and Jonathan write in the new Cleveland Business Journal that the uprisings in response to the police murder of George Floyd means it's time for an ownership revolution. Nothing less will do. Check it!

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  • 6/16/2020 11:32 AM

Through Americorps VISTA, we’re recruiting a motivated new team member unwilling to accept the inequality in Cleveland today, and ready to act for justice. As a part of the Cleveland Owns team, you’ll work in community organizing and co-op development related to our solar portfolio, including Cleveland Solar Cooperative and the Hough Community Solar Garden.

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  • Cleveland, Ohio, United States