The Partnership's work is guided by the following principles:
- Meaningful change comes from where people live and work.
- We must promote equity and inclusion so everyone benefits, not just a lucky few.
- Civic leadership and a strong democracy is built by year-round voter engagement.
- Insightful research, cutting edge public policy and broad alliance building = actionable recommendations for policymakers.
Across the country, cities have proven to be a powerful voice for progressive change. Despite gridlock and even regressive policies at the federal level, cities and grassroots movements have pushed forward, leading the way on raising the minimum wage, ensuring paid sick days and parental leave and protecting consumers and the environment.
Our cities & states, our country and our globe face two urgent crises: climate change and untenable inequality. We have a choice; we can continue to do things as they have been done for decades or we can build a cleaner, greener and more equitable society.
Over the last forty years, companies have increasingly shifted costs and risk onto working families. To maximize their profits, they increasingly outsource work through subcontracting, sending work overseas, hiring temporary staff, expanding the use of independent contractors and misclassifying employees as independent contractors.
At the Partnership for Working Families, we see recycling and zero waste as a social solution at the intersection of two major crises: climate change and economic inequality. And we’re proving that transforming trash is a key step that cities can take as they lead our country toward economic and environmental sustainability.
The shortage of decent affordable housing in our metro regions has reached a crisis point. In many cities, rising prices for housing have brought about the displacement and exclusion of whole segments of the population. This destabilizes neighborhoods and families, with negative effects on health, safety and educational attainment. It forces people to live far from where they work, contributing to sprawl, traffic congestion, pollution and geographic segregation. Yet federal and state resources to address the problem are on the decline. The Partnership network is helping communities and local governments rise to this challenge. We’re using proven strategies to make sure that cities use public resources like land and tax dollars for the public good, leading to more, not less, affordable housing and social and economic integration.
Together with our 17 affiliates, the Partnership is driving a progressive agenda to harness the economic power of cities and influence billions of dollars in public and private investment. Our powerful coalitions of community groups, labor unions, faith networks and environmental organizations are tackling the crises of inequality and climate change that is disproportionately impacting low-income communities of color and women. Our new 2x2 Campaign will improve the lives of 2 million people in 2 years.
We’re working year-round to boost democratic participation and political power in low-income communities and communities of color. In 14 regions across the country, Partnership affiliates conduct year-round civic education and engagement programs. Our collective work will bring more than 500,000 new and under-represented voters to the polls and build an informed and active new majority in our cities.
Our Construction Careers campaign is working in 15 cities to redesign job quality and job access in the construction industry. Through innovative policies we are developing new recruitment and training standards and channeling billions of public dollars into high road employment. Across the country, construction careers programs are creating high quality jobs and training opportunities for low-income workers and communities of color.
While the current economic climate makes real estate development extremely challenging, it also highlights the critical role that government can play in creating opportunity and reducing inequality in urban areas. Now more than ever, we must make sure that development results in shared prosperity, and that public resources are invested for public benefit wisely, with an eye on long-term outcomes.
As a network, we organize, negotiate, and implement precedent-setting community benefits agreements (CBAs) on projects around the country. Our Community Benefits Law Center and extensive peer network promote best practices around community benefits campaigns and negotiations, and fosters and supports progressive municipal policies that benefit working families.