Municipal Enterprise

In the Public Interest

In the Public Interest provides educational resources on privatization and its impacts on service quality, infrastructure maintenance and costs, and works to ensure that public contracts with private entities are transparent, fair, well-managed and effectively monitored, and that they meet the long-term needs of the community. As a resource center for citizens, public officials, and public interest groups, In the Public Interest is focused on guaranteeing that public goods and services are provided to those who need them, managed by people who are publicly accountable, and affordable to all.

Institute for Local Self Reliance-- Independent Business Initiative

This web site, hosted by the Institute for Local Self Reliance, focuses on the efforts to preserve independently owned retail establishments and resist the proliferation of “big box” retailers. On this site, you will find both articles on local disputes, as well as a number of economic impact studies that document the greater local economic multiplier effect of locally owned retail establishments.

Economic Development Directory

Economic development corporations play a critical role in developing many city, county, and regional economic development efforts — everything from traditional business incentives to more innovative efforts based on developing local capacity. This web site contains a directory of websites of over 2000 economic development agencies, consultants and associations worldwide.

Center for State and Local Government Excellence

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence assists municipal governments become better employers, allowing them to attract and retain better individuals in public service jobs. Connecting state and local leaders with respected researchers, the Center works to identify and promote best practices for a variety of issues, including how to address the expanding costs of public employee pensions and retiree health care benefits.

Baller Herbst Law Group

The Baller-Herbst Law Group has specialized in representing municipal utilities in litigation regarding broadband development. Their web site contains a number of presentations and articles regarding municipal broadband and related legal issues.

Municipal Enterprise

Challenging Corporate Domination: The Public Ownership Approach

Thomas Hanna
The Good Society

In the wake of the most crippling economic downturn since the Great Depression, it is becoming increasingly evident that the United States is facing a myriad of serious problems that can no longer be solved by a stalemated political system.1 These challenges will inevitably require the conceptualization of a vision for comprehensive systemic change, and a major component of this is the question of what to do about the large private corporations that presently, to varying degrees, imperil our economy, threaten our democracy, and impede progress on environmental issues. 

The New Barnraising

Gareth Potts
German Marshall Fund of the United States

This new toolkit from the German Marshall Fund offers policies and practices to empower communities to preserve civic assets such as public parks, libraries, and recreation centers in the face of public and private resource constraints. Based on research conducted in Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Baltimore, the guide offers a range of strategies to raise money, awareness, and community involvement for the preservation of community assets.

If it Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It: Potential Impacts of Privatizing the Tennessee Valley Authority

Joel Yudken

This report presents an overview of the debate over privatizing the Tennessee Valley Authority. It evaluates the pros and cons; summarizes the agency’s organizational, financial, and economic situation; and examines the potential implications of privatization for ratepayers, communities, and the regional economy. 

Profiles of Municipal and Community Broadband Networks

Ben Scott, Ryan E. Chesley, Naveen Lakshmipathy, Kartik Ramachandran and Matt Barranca

Democratic Public Ownership for the 21st Century

The Cooperative Party

Noting that a majority of British residents support public ownership of the railways and key utilities, this new paper from the Co-Operative Party calls for modern forms of democratic public ownership. The authors outline how democratic public ownership can lead to productivity gains and protection from government underinvestment in critical infrastructure. The paper outlines what ownership could look like across rail, water, and energy, making actionable recommendations in each sector

Reclaiming Public Services

Satoko Kishimoto, Olivier Petitjean and Lavinia Steinfor
The Transnational Institute

This new report from the Transnational Institute (TNI) explores how localities across the globe are fighting privatization through the “re-municipalization” of goods and services. Drawing on 835 examples in 45 countries, the report finds that public ownership offers greater efficiency, affordability, and democratic control in sectors ranging from healthcare to energy. The report synthesizes trends in public ownership and includes detailed infographics on the findings. 

 

Making the Federal Reserve Fully Public: Why and How

Jordan Haedtler, Andrew Levin and Valerie Wilson
The Center for Popular Democracy

The Power of Community: How community-owned renewable energy can help Ontario create a powerful economic advantage

Judith Lipp and Brett Dolter

This new report from TREC, an Ontario, Canada based developer of community-owned renewable energy and member of the Federation of Community Power Co-operatives, assesses opportunities to build community wealth stemming from Ontario’s Feed-In-Tariff program (FIT), which provides higher payment rates to renewable energy providers. The report recommends focusing the FIT on cooperatively-owned, First Nations-owned, and municipally-owned enterprises, finding that that every dollar spent on such community-owned energy efforts results in $2 more in additional local economic activity. The authors suggest publically-funded loan guarantees to grow the capacity of these enterprises.

Power To The People: Toward Democratic Control of Electricity Generation

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy

This provocative whitepaper explores how public and cooperative ownership in the energy sector can accelerate a transition to sustainable energy while creating democratized wealth, using the historical experience of rural electrification in the United States as a key starting point to imagine a green future.

Localizing the Internet: Five Ways Public Ownership Solves the U.S. Broadband Problem

Becca Vargo Daggett

As Becca Vargo Daggett of Institute for Local Self-Reliance notes, the U.S. has fallen in recent years from first to 15th in high-speed Internet access. But municipal electric utilities are filling the gap. Today over 650 cities own broadband systems, ranging from fiber optic networks that connect public buildings and major businesses to citywide Wi-Fi networks.

Localizing the Internet: Five Ways Public Ownership Solves the U.S. Broadband Problem

Becca Vargo Daggett

As Becca Vargo Daggett of Institute for Local Self-Reliance notes, the U.S. has fallen in recent years from first to 15th in high-speed Internet access. But municipal electric utilities are filling the gap. Today over 650 cities own broadband systems, ranging from fiber optic networks that connect public buildings and major businesses to citywide Wi-Fi networks.

Municipal Enterprise

Municipal enterprises are businesses owned by local governments that provide services and typically generate revenue for local communities. Local governments have long operated public utilities and public facilities such as ports, parking lots and airports. Many are now entering fields traditionally dominated by private companies. This is motivated in part by political resistance to tax increases and new user fees as cash-strapped municipalities seek to raise revenues, as well as public pressure to create jobs as the economy has faltered. Read more about Municipal Enterprise...