Jonathan Welle
Lead Organizer, founding board member

Jonathan is a co-op developer and community organizer who fights for economic democracy as the Executive Director and a co-founding board member of Cleveland Owns. He first tasted the power of economic democracy in 2009 when a group of working class women in rural Dominican Republic invited him to join them in starting a cheese cooperative. The cheese was delicious, the solidarity even better, and he was all in.

After a year building co-ops in Peru, a year on President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, and public policy grad school, Jonathan moved to Cleveland to learn -- plot twist! -- how powerful capitalists grow their power as a corporate consultant. 

He left in 2018 to start Cleveland Owns with comrades Mordecai, Michael, Deborah, and others. It was a much-needed change. In building an economic democracy ecosystem with Cleveland Owns, his dream job, Jonathan finds energy and purpose similar to what he felt working on the cheese co-op the DR.  

He lives with his partner Molly in the Catholic Worker community in Cleveland's near west side. You can find him playing pickup volleyball with Indigo and friends at Edgewater Park.