What a year it has been! Across our network, Partners are bringing communities together to fight for real change, and scaling up to effect major policy changes to improve the lives of thousands of workers and their families. Time and again we are realigning our regions around a shared, big picture vision: that by lifting up workers, communities and the environment together we can achieve shared prosperity and sustainability for our cities and country.
Blog & News
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
2008 will long be remembered as a year of change – a time of shifting political landscapes, economic uncertainty, and renewed hope in the power of community organizing. Here at the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE), we have found ourselves even more deeply grounded in the struggle to make the economy work for working people and facing new challenges with passion and commitment.
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.
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
Community Labor United (CLU), working in the Greater Boston region, has had a successful year strengthening our partnership of base-building community and labor organizations. Our focus has continued to be growing new organizing in our region, building power for working class communities and counteracting the growing gap between rich and poor. We achieve these goals through collaborat