About the Partnership for Working Families
The Partnership for Working Families
By Nikki Fortunato Bas, Oakland Tribune My Word © 2015 Bay Area News Group
POSTED: 05/11/2015 01:44:19 PM PDT
In the Bay Area, we are innovators. We are the home to high tech, slow food, and a wide range of social causes. And we are now reaching a tipping point on innovation on the minimum wage. The public overwhelmingly supports raising wages because we know that if workers such as Shonda Roberts are innovative enough to figure out how to survive on $1,000 a month, surely business is innovative enough to figure out how to pay a few extra bucks an hour.
From Los Angeles to New York, Seattle to Boston, and many places in between, the Partnership for Working Families and our affiliates have developed some of the most successful local hire programs in the country.
This Labor Day, as I take the helm of the Partnership for Working Families, I’m reflecting on the value and dignity of our labor, and also the value and dignity of our lives.
My heart has been heavy since the events of Ferguson. A mother senselessly lost her child, and Michael Brown’s killing has exposed the brutal fact that our lives are not equally valued.
From 2006 to 2012 in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person at least twice a week. That black people in our communities must proclaim that #blacklivesmatter reminds us that there are fundamental issues of inequality based on race that we must overcome before fully achieving the worker rights that we celebrate on Labor Day.
Nearly two million people have been deported by the current administration, separating countless families. That immigrant communities must declare #Not1More deportation is another reminder of the unequal value placed on different lives and the underlying issues that prevent many from fully participating in our economy. Read more...
Monday marks my last day at the Partnership, and the beginning of a new chapter for this incredible network. In August we welcome our new Executive Director, Nikki Bas, who has been a fantastic partner and leader, board chair and friend. You can send her a note of welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until Nikki starts at the Partnership, our capable Deputy Director, Kathleen Mulligan-Hansel (email@example.com), will act as Interim Executive Director. READ MORE
Now more than ever, low-income communities of color need a foothold in the economy. The Partnership and our colleagues at National Employment Law Project (NELP) have teamed up to share policy tools for removing barriers and gaining access to job opportunities for those who need them most. On October 23, NELP and the Partnership hosted “Putting Our Communities Back to Work: targeted hire and ban the box policies,” a webinar attended by hundreds of people in cities across the country.
Partnership Executive Director Leslie Moody has been recognized as a Democracy Champion by National Priorities Project (NPP). NPP recognized Moody, one of 32 allies and partners from across the country, “for exemplary leadership and tenacious commitment to the democratic ideals upon which our nation was founded.”
At the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations’ (NACEDA) national convening in October, the Partnership joined a panel that explored how communities are implementing Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) to leverage local investment for community-based economic growth.
More than sixty municipal waste professionals, progressive funders, environmental justice advocates, and worker justice leaders joined the Partnership-hosted “Transforming Trash for Jobs, Climate and Community Health” webinar on October 17. The webinar offered key lessons for people who want to build environmental and economic resilience by transforming trash and building a recycling economy in their own cities, and shared case studies from around the country.
In September, Partnership affiliates Puget Sound Sage, Working Partnerships USA, FRESC, and ISAIAH showcased and analyzed their housing campaigns before representatives of nearly 40 local and national organizations at an important gathering of organizations working on inclusionary housing nationwide.
Shar Habibi, Research and Policy Director of In the Public Interest (ITPI), The Partnership for Working Families’ resource center on privatization and responsible contracting, spoke on a July 27 panel at the Young Elected Officials Network National Convening. This gathering brought together several hundred young elected progressive leaders from around the country.