New State & Local Policies

Municipal leaders share visions for cities that build community wealth

A report from our gathering at the CUNY School of Law

How can cities redeploy their economic development resources to focus on building a more inclusive economy grounded in broad, local ownership?  How can policymakers get strategies like worker cooperative development the support and resources needed to reach truly meaningful scale? How can collaborations between communities, local government, and key institutional stakeholders build pathways to economic equity for the people left behind by the traditional trickle-down economic playbook? Read more about Municipal leaders share visions for cities that build community wealth...

City governments building community wealth and cooperative local economies

Exciting news from Jacksonville, Florida, New York City, Austin, Texas and Richmond, Virginia

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of impressive activity at the level of city government, all around policies designed to build community wealth and encourage the growth of cooperative local economies. It's encouraging to see that the work of grassroots developers, local foundations, community activists, and field builders (like ourselves here at the Democracy Collaborative) is beginning to gain a foothold in the world of municipal policy. Read more about City governments building community wealth and cooperative local economies ...

Public Health & Wealth in Post-Bankruptcy Detroit

Suparana Bhaskaran
UC Berkeley

Published by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, this new report discusses the relationship between health outcomes and wealth disparities in Detroit, Michigan. The authors detail how a lack of access to safe housing and water poses the greatest health threats to residents, and call for solutions outside the realm of clinical care. While noting the necessity of Medicaid expansion, the report calls for investments in the social determinants of health—including affordable housing and expanded social services.

Opportunities for Public Procurement Post-Brexit

Matthew Jackson

This report published by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), a UK-based think tank focused on progressive economics, discusses the potential to leverage public spending to build community health. The authors detail how local anchor institutions in Manchester and Preston have already re-directed a significant portion of their procurement to local businesses. The report includes recommendations for scaling this approach across the UK, calling for revised legislation that integrates the economic, social, and environmental value of procurement into public purchasing guidelines.

Nashville Construction Readiness Partnership (NCRP)

Aiming to ensure Nashville residents can access jobs in the region’s growing construction industry, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry catalyzed the Nashville Construction Readiness Partnership (NCRP) to develop and implement strategies that match area employers with skilled county workers and provide training opportunities for residents with no prior construction experience.  The creation of NCRP follows the passage of a 2015 charter amendment requiring that 40 percent of all construction hours on Metro-funded projects be completed by county residents.

6 Steps to Build Community Wealth

Anna Birley

This new guide, published by the UK’s Co-Operative Party, outlines the steps needed to develop a community wealth building ecosystem. Aimed at local officials and public-sector institutions, the guide provides information on these steps, from developing leadership to shifting procurement, a background on community wealth building, a case study of this approach in Preston, England, and recommendations for actions localities can take. 

Boston Worker Cooperative Initiative

The Boston Worker Cooperative Initiative aims to reduce economic inequality and help Boston residents build wealth by supporting cooperatives and other worker-owned businesses.  Tools to boost and grow worker-owned businesses include on-site technical assistance, small business loans, and general workshops to introduce entrepreneurs and businesses to cooperative models.  To help promote existing worker-owned businesses in the Greater Boston area, the City created an online, interactive map as well as charts broken down by key industries/sectors highlighting Boston employee-owned businesses.

Bridging the Two Americas: Employment & Economic Opportunity in Newark & Beyond

Demelza Baer and Ryan P. Haygood

While Newark, New Jersey is home to several major Fortune 500 companies, local residents are largely excluded from this economic growth and hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city. This new report, published by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, explores the origins of this economic divide, which predominantly affects communities of color, noting a history of discrimination and an absence of pathways to middle-skill jobs. The report calls on the City to implement local hiring provisions for city contracts and calls on anchor institutions to develop local hiring and procurement strategies.

Stimulating Smart Investments and Job Creation in Low-Income Communities

Advancement Project , Community Voices Heard, People United for Sustainable Housing and Syracuse United Neighbors

Stimulating Smart Investments and Job Creation in Low-Income Communities

Advancement Project , Community Voices Heard, People United for Sustainable Housing and Syracuse United Neighbors

Jacksonville’s Community Wealth Building Roundtable: Local Government Convenes to Seed a New Idea for Community Development

Michelle Barth

A detailed look at how a municipal government can plan and carry out a successful community wealth building roundtable, from the perspective of the Mayor's Deputy Chief of Staff in Jacksonville, Florida.

Equitable Investments in the Next Generation: Designing Policies to Close the Racial Wealth Gap

Laura Sullivan, Tatjana Meschede, Thomas Shapiro, Dedrick Asante-Muhammed and Emanuel Nieves

Median Latino and Black households have over $100,000 less in wealth than median White households, a disparity that persists despite reductions in income inequality. This new report from the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and CFED puts forward a “racial wealth audit” framework, assessing how specific policies either lessen or inadvertently perpetuate the racial wealth gap. The authors call for “targeted universalism” noting that policies such as Children’s Savings Account and eliminating student debt will only successfully address the racial wealth gap if they focus in particular on low income households.