Save the Berkeley Flea Market

$2,699 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 2 months
Created December 8, 2018
35184164_1546815137884269_r.jpegPlease help us save the historic Berkeley Flea Market.

Community Services United (CSU), the organization that runs the Berkeley Flea Market, is in grave danger. Our cash flow is very low and the rainy season has come. When it rains, we can lose a whole weekend's earnings. We will only survive if our community supports us. This is an emergency. Please help us. 

Community Services United is a group of people from different grassroots, political and service groups who have acted as an advisory board for most of the flea market's 40 year history. Our mission guide the market to hold space for working class and poor people so that they can do business, make a living, be their own bosses and also share in the creation of community.

In recent years, we have had increasing overhead costs including rent to BART, workers comp, insurance, minimum wage and more. In addition, we provide security, port-o-potties, and assistance to vendors and the public. We have been reluctant to pass on increases to our vendors because we know how hard they work just to make ends meet. In addition, gentrification has changed the neighborhood around the market and the customer base is much whiter and more affluent than at any time in modern history. 

Unfortunately, now we need help if we want to keep paying the rent, providing the amenities and maintaining the orderly administration of the market.
The good news is that while we had hard financial times in recent years, we have finally stabilized the financial situation. We worked hard to gain a small profit this year but we have already had two weekends called off; one was due to smoke and the other because of rain. There are eight more weekend rains predicted for this winter.  We need help to get through the winter until some of our collaborations can yield results, campaigns launch and grants be submitted. 

* CSU provides opportunities for economic stability supports self-reliance and small business development. 

* The market is internationally known and is one of the last community centers for diverse communities in Berkeley.

* Our flea market is rich with culture and history and community spirit 

* CSU supports homeless people and young people in starting new businesses and collectives as a way of surviving in a more  people oriented economic system.

* This coalition of groups  has a common goal of  homelessness prevention and workforce development.

* CSU is actively exploring new collaborations with various food justice, youth and youth employment groups, workforce development organizations and others. We are dreaming of providing a community center that sells not only new and used items but also produce and agricultural products. 

Yes, but we must first survive the winter rains. 

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$2,699 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 2 months
Created December 8, 2018
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Sine Hwang Jensen
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Allison Shore
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