Leadership: The Power of Local Organizing

June 29, 2012 -- Leslie Moody

Photo of Leslie MoodyAcross the country, affiliates of the Partnership for Working Families are answering the question: Is any job a good job?

Our affiliates are exposing unfair policies and challenging our leaders to do better. In Seattle, Puget Sound Sage is exposing the double subsidy that the hotel and tourism industry enjoys, at the expense of taxpayer dollars and worker health and safety. In Los Angeles, LAANE is challenging the region to step up and clean up both job quality and neighborhood impact of the waste and recycling industries. In Denver, the Twin Cities and Seattle, to name a few, we are calling for racial and economic equity from transportation related investments and major transit buildouts. And in San Jose, Long Beach, Milwaukee and New Haven, we are organizing for city-wide reform of wages and job creation programs to truly meet the needs of working families.

Over the past few months, in visiting with leaders from Milwaukee, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Minneapolis, and Santa Fe, I have seen the power of local organizing at work. Allies at the New Orleans Worker Center and the Santa Fe Building Trades have moved broad policy shifting hundreds of millions of dollars in construction spending into Community Workforce Agreements. In Philadelphia, POWER is aligning a broad base of faith and union leaders to raise expectations and tangible benefits from the taxpayer-supported expansion of the airport. In the Twin Cities, ISAIAH is organizing both locally and regionally to ensure equity, opportunity and accountability from public investments and the electoral process. And in Milwaukee, Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund visited nearly 15,000 households 1 ½ times and turned out 77.4% of registered voters in these wards to vote in the recent statewide election.

We are proud to be working with our affiliates across the country to make sure public dollars are being used to create good jobs that strengthen the middle class and create opportunity for all…not just a few.