Blog & News
Partnership Blog & News
by Pam Fendt, GJLN Coordinator
The Good Jobs and Livable Neighborhoods Project of Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund is working with the Wisconsin Laborers District Council and the Laborers Great Lakes Region Organizing Committee on a campaign to shape Wisconsin’s expanded weatherization program.
On May 27th, FRESC and the Campaign for Responsible Development (CRD) won community benefits at Union Station – a large mixed use redevelopment project located in downtown Denver that will be the hub of FasTracks, our metro area’s future mass transit rail build out estimated at a cost of around 500 million dollars. After three years of organizing, coalition building, research and advocacy, the CRD formalized support of the project to the Denver City Council with a vote 12-1.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act injected unprecedented funding into home weatherization programs in states across the nation, creating an immediate impetus for states to build weatherization programs that really work. This includes reaching a scale that addresses climate change, making a real impact on energy costs for the lowest-income homeowners, and creating many thousands of entry-level jobs in construction that become the first step into sustainable careers in construction for workers who desperately need them.
With the immediate economic crisis exacerbating the long-term decline of the American middle class, the green economy has emerged as a potential savior. In this messianic view, a new wave of green-collar jobs is ready to sweep in to replace the millions of vanished manufacturing jobs, restore the shrinking middle class, and lift up the foundering boats of millions more working poor trying desperately to keep afloat.
The emerging green energy economy offers great promise for rebuilding America’s middle class. Across the Partnership, we are working to ensure that federal, state, and city funds support a new green economy that grows the next generation of construction trades workers with access to family-supporting jobs, and opens career opportunities for low-income communities and communities of color.
Across the country, our Partners are fighting for this goal in ways that support their unique communities:
By Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Executive Director
Working Partnerships USA is a public policy institute that builds partnerships with community, labor and faith organizations to improve the lives of families in Silicon Valley. In 2008, WPUSA scored a series of big victories that will benefit thousands of working families in our community.
Ready for Change?
As we stumble into this new era, it is clear to our movement - broadly defined - that we have been playing defense for far too long. Over the years, many of our partners have achieved incredible victories for working families at the local and regional level, while our national partners monitored the attacks in Washington and calculated the toll on our country on a grand scale. Now, facing an administration open to ideas and innovation, we have a unique opportunity to carry our local victories and innovation to the federal level.
With almost a decade of local victories and policy innovations under our belt, the Partnership’s broad network boasts a lot of lessons that should inform federal policy. A New Urban Agenda for America, the Partnership’s newest publication, outlines these lessons, pointing the way for our new administration to take on the challenging task of rebuilding America’s middle class.
By Eric Altman, OCCORD Executive Director
2008 was an exciting period of growth for Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD). We reached several important milestones in our comprehensive campaign for responsible development in Anaheim’s upscale Platinum Triangle district and launched our new Immigrant and Workplace Rights program with a nonpartisan voter registration and mobilization campaign for the November 2008 elections.
Rally in the Rain
2008 was a year of challenges and great rewards for the Connecticut Center for a New Economy (CCNE). The energy generated by the presidential election gave us the opportunity to reach out to new constituencies, to find new friends and create new alliances.