The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01363

Submission Number:
Denese Sanders
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am an artist, an educator and an entrepreneur. For the past 5 years I have also been an airbnb host. Being an entrepreneur in the arts, I am also a community builder. My career is not easily sustainable as full time teaching positions in studio arts are extremely hard to come by and in the community where I live, virtually non-existent. Being a visual artist is far more difficult. Airbnb has allowed me to stay true to myself in all ways. I am able to stay in the Monterey area where my husband and step daughters live. With out this revenue stream I would have been forced to look for work in San Jose- over an hour away in commute time. In addition to this being a revenue stream for me, it is truly what I believe in. Two years ago I opened a community art studio for the advancement of fine art on the Monterey Peninsula as well as a place for creative adults to learn, practice and teach personal expression through the arts. It is a shared space and centered on the idea of a shared economy. Over the course of these past 5 years, I have witnessed people's worlds, work and understanding of themselves and humanity, blossom.... not only through my studio, but through airbnb. I am about to celebrate our 2nd anniversary of the studio, and still, I have yet to bring home a paycheck. I have won two local awards for my business plan and for the contributions I am making to our local community and economy and I can honestly say, that with out airbnb, my family income would not have afforded me the time to pursue my dream. I not only want, but need to build community in the arts. I believe connection is paramount to human wellness and the arts, and innovative shared economy businesses like airbnb are making connections and building the human worldwide network in amazing and beautiful ways. If airbnb becomes overly regulated or taxed in ways that no longer make it possible for people like me to participate, it is going to effect all the good in the world that I can do! I am considered a "super host" and 100% of our guests from around the world have been enriched by their experiences in our community, visiting local treasures that may not be in the tourism books, and by staying in our home and have learned about our american family, art and culture. I believe a shared economy is the only truly sustainable and equitable way to balance out the class system in a world of commodity and imbalance. Thank you