New State & Local Policies

Worker-Owners Cheer Creation of $1.2 Million Co-op Development Fund in NYC

Rebecca Burns
In These Times

In These Times talks to Hilary Abell, author of the Democracy Collaborative report "Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale," about New York City's move to invest $1.2 million in worker cooperatives.

Worker Cooperatives Address Low-Wage Work and the Feminization of Poverty

Women stand to benefit the most from greater equity in and control of the workplace
Seattle‘s minimum wage ordinance is one step toward lessening inequality and poverty compounded by low-wage work. But there are still many challenges ahead. Cooperative development is one tool in the community wealth building strategy toolbox that can help lift low-wage workers, and especially women, out of poverty.

Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone

By changing the zoning code to permit urban agriculture as a permanent land use, the City of Cleveland catalyzed the creation of its Urban Agriculture Innovation Zone in 2010.  Encompassing 28 acres of vacant land in a “forgotten” inner-city neighborhood, the zone currently includes Rid-All Green Partnership’s urban farm and a farming incubator for local gardeners.  Burten, Bell, Carr Development serves as the Zone’s “facilitator,” a role that encompasses promoting the district, attracting resources, and planning for new development.  Future plans include acquiring additional vacant tracts and developing an Urban Ag Zone Greenhouse Training Program, which will include a food preparation kitchen, a retail store, interior urban gardens, a second aquaponics system, and training for those interested in urban agriculture careers.

Local and Sustainable Purchasing Preference

In 2010, the City of Cleveland adopted a Local and Sustainable Purchasing ordinance, which offers a bid incentive to local producers, local-food purchasers, and sustainable businesses applying for city contracts. Known as the Buy Local ordinance, this policy enables the city to apply a two percent discount on all bids made by businesses that are sustainable, locally-based, and/or purchase 20 percent of their food locally. Preferences can be combined for a maximum discount of four percent.

Building Community Wealth: An Action Plan for Northwest Jacksonville

Steve Dubb and David Zuckerman

This report, prepared by the Democracy Collaborative and submitted to the City of Jacksonville, Florida, highlights key strategic opportunities to leverage existing assets to build wealth in a neighborhood facing concentrated poverty and disinvestment.

Seizing the Moment

Catalyzing Big Growth for Worker Co-ops

In this piece, crossposted from Grassroots Economic Organizing, Hilary Abell summarizes the key conclusions of her recent Democracy Collaborative report, Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale, and discusses how her new initiative, Project Equity, will be working within the strategic framework advanced in the report to build support for worker cooperative  economic development in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Read more about Seizing the Moment...

Don’t Call It Anti-Poverty: New Richmond Office Looks to Build “Community Wealth”

Bill Bradley
Next City

Former Democracy Collaborative researcher, Thad Williamson, will soon begin his new job as Director of Richmond, Virginia’s Office of Community Wealth Building, the first municipal office of its type in the nation. Born out of recommendations from Mayor Clinton Jones’ anti-poverty initiative, the Office aims to address the structural causes of poverty that have left 27% of residents in poverty. 

Theory Test

Tina Griego
Style Weekly

Thad Williamson discusses goals for Richmond's Office of Community Wealth Building in an interview with Richmond-based Style Weekly.

Cities at Work: Progressive Local Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class

Joel Rogers and Satya Rhodes-Conway

In a new report from the Center for American Progress, Joel Rogers and Satya Rhodes-Conway of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) outline policies that cities can adopt to become more inclusive and sustainable. The authors espouse democratic organization as a critical component to social equity and wealth creation and highlight the critical linking of anchor procurement strategies and employee ownership, as seen in the Cleveland Model, to strengthen local economies and stabilize communities.

Florida Times-Union: "Leaders working toward 'brighter day' for Northwest Jacksonville's economy"

Beth Reese Cravey
Florida Times-Union

"A group of Jacksonville leaders trekked to snowy Cleveland in February to check out an economic initiative they hope to use as a model for the struggling northwest part of the city. The people behind that Cleveland initiative, a University of Maryland-based nonprofit called The Democracy Collaborative, held a roundtable in Jacksonville on Thursday and Friday to show a larger leadership group what is working in other cities. Local leaders collectively said they intend to follow through for Northwest Jacksonville, where unemployment is more than double that of the citywide rate."

Mayors Innovation Project Summer Meeting

August 20th, 2014 to August 22nd, 2014
Chapel Hill, North Carolina