Affiliate Georgia STAND-UP launched its Policy Institute for Civic Leadership in 2005. The intensive course is designed to educate and train leaders in metro Atlanta to examine the relationship between economic policy and social values. Trainees do this by analyzing power structures in the region to develop strategies to help working communities. Since it was founded, more than 350 participants have graduated from the program. Graduates have gone on to pursue public service careers in City Council, County Commissioner and beyond.
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Eighteen years ago, Silicon Valley affiliate, Working Partnerships USA, launched its 1000 Leaders Project based on the belief that ordinary people rooted in the values of their communities can and should be the ones leading our country.
Early on, WPUSA’s leadership realized that if they were going to build a diverse coalition that could make big gains for working people and govern successfully, they needed to create a space where leaders could develop a shared analysis of region issues.
Just last March, twenty leaders from underrepresented and communities of color graduated from affiliate Puget Sound Sage’s Community Leadership Institute, part of our 1000 Leaders Project. These local leaders have been seeking placement on Regional Boards and Commissions in hopes of advancing an equity agenda in Seattle and underserved South King County. So far, four participants have found positions on boards or commissions.
Affiliate LAANE recently honored Kenneth E. Rigmaiden, General President of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) and a founding board member of the Partnership for Working Families. In this inspiring video, GP Rigmaiden describes his personal journey in America’s Land of Opportunity from serving as an apprentice to becoming unanimously elected to the office of the president by the IUPAT.
The Partnership for Working Families is working with a dynamic coalition of community and labor organizations in Nashville to ensure more accountable development in one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Seattle has seen developers and investors cash in on developing the city’s neighborhoods as residents were priced out and pushed from their homes. That is why since its inception, affiliate Puget Sound Sage has advocated for a mandatory inclusionary zoning program. In Sage’s vision, when developers build, the city must capture a public value from this growth in the form of affordable housing.
In less than a year, San Jose resident Lisa Rhodes went from living in a halfway house on probation to starting a new career at one of the biggest, most cutting-edge construction projects in Silicon Valley. Through a coalition program of affiliate Working Partnerships USA, Lisa was introduced to various apprenticeship opportunities. She applied and was accepted to the Cement Masons program, where she started working on the new Apple headquarters “spaceship” campus. Now she has health care and a pension and earns time off and overtime.
Four years ago, affiliate EBASE led its Revive Oakland coalition to a landmark victory. When the city decided to redevelop the Oakland Army Base that had sat abandoned for more than a decade, Revive Oakland mobilized the community to ensure that local residents would benefit. Under the Good Jobs Agreement, the coalition won guarantees that project employers would hire local and disadvantaged residents, as well as provide them with pathways to long-term construction careers through apprenticeship programs and long-term warehouse jobs operating the site. But the fight did not end there.
More than 12,000 drivers serve ports in the Los Angeles area. They do the vital work of moving imported goods from the most important port complex in the nation to rail yards and warehouses. Yet, because these workers have been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees, they lack basic protections such as a minimum wage, workers’ compensation, disability and unemployment insurance.
Partnership for Working Families affiliate CAUSE is organizing farmworkers in California’s Central Coast to raise working standards through a county-level policy called the Farmworker Bill of Rights. While efforts to leverage the power of cities to advance minimum wage increases, sick and family leave, fair scheduling and wage theft enforcement have been concentrated in urban metros, CAUSE is expanding this fight to rural communities.