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.
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.
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.
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.
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.