Here’s a look back and look forward at some of what’s happening around the network.
For months, Greg Abbott (and now a growing number of his counterparts) have been playing a political game with people’s lives, busing them out of Texas to cities across the country. Seeing beyond the ploy and recognizing the impact on people’s lives, community organizations, local elected officials, and everyday people are working to support and welcome migrants and asylum seekers. In Washington D.C., community groups Sanctuary DMV and the Migrant Solidarity Mutual Aid Network have been leading mutual aid response efforts to welcome and assist migrants and the Council just recently established an Office of Migrant Services. In Chicago, volunteers and elected officials have been working to meet the needs of migrants And in New York City, local elected officials are working to find safe housing and financial assistance and expedite work authorizations for migrants staying in the city.
Guaranteed Income Programs Take Off in Two Cities
Cities are exploring guaranteed income programs as ways to help support more vulnerable populations. In St. Paul, as the number of refugees looking to resettle only increases, the city has contracted a refugee agency to pilot a guaranteed income program for 25 recently arrived families. The goal is to provide an additional safety net to refugees, based on previous St. Paul guaranteed income programs. Meanwhile, in Denver, the City Council recently voted to allocate $2 million of their American Rescue Plan Act funds to the Denver Basic Income Project as they provide cash assistance to people experiencing homelessness. The city hopes this project will help support their “housing first” model to move people experiencing homelessness into stable, permanent housing. Read more →
Lawsuit Brought Against HB1 By 8 Cities in Florida Moves Forward
After HB1, Florida’s anti-protest, anti-local control law passed in November 2021, cities across Florida have been fighting to challenge this blatant attack on racial justice movements and local government. Earlier this month, the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida held a hearing on #HB1 and the lawsuit that 8 cities in Florida brought against it. The judge allowed the lawsuit to continue moving forward with 5 of the 8 original cities. #HB1 threatens local control and strips a locality’s ability to set its own budget. It was passed as a direct response to the racial justice protests of 2020, to curb cities’ ability to hold their police departments accountable, and it’s more important than ever to fight back against this abusive preemption. Read more →
Cities Experiment with Fare Free Transit
In efforts to try to increase ridership and make public transit more accessible and equitable, localities across the country have been exploring fare free transit. Kansas City was the first large city to make transit free in 2019, and since then riders have reported that they’ve been able to shop for groceries, see health care providers more often, and hold a job with their increased ridership. Chapel Hill has had fare free transit for 20 years, and is looking towards expanding their bus lines and bringing in new electric buses. Olympia began a five year pilot after it became evident that the cost of collecting fares wasn’t worth the revenue obtained. They’ve seen ridership increase significantly and will assess the program in 2028 to decide whether to make it permanent. Read more →
Huge Win for Fast Food Workers in California
This past month, fast food workers and progressive legislators in California made history by passing AB257 into law. We join our partners at SEIU in applauding it as “one of the most consequential labor laws in decades.” The law establishes a 10-person council of fast-food workers and their advocates, industry representatives and political appointees from state agencies. Together, they would determine minimum wages, along with working conditions, across California’s fast-food industry – giving workers a real say in how we’re treated. This legislation also allows cities and counties in the state to create their own fast food sector councils. Read more →
Join our upcoming Advancing Workers Rights Webinar
Join Local Progress Impact Lab and the Harvard Labor & Worklife Program for an upcoming webinar on Laboratories of Experimentation: Local Governments at the Forefront of Advancing Workers’ Rights. Join Local Progress Members Jillian Johnson, Teresa Mosqueda, and Brad Lander on Wednesday, October 12th, from 4-5pm ET to hear the growing role of local government in advancing and protecting workers’ rights, with specific examples in Durham, Seattle, and New York City. You can also read more here about examples of local governments advancing workers rights.
🚑 Virtual Community Safety Learning Communities
The CSG Justice Center, in collaboration with the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) is hosting virtual learning communities focused on alternatives to policing in crisis systems, schools, traffic and violence intervention. Attendees will learn about community-led public health approaches to each of these areas through CSG Justice Center policy staff, opportunities for mutual learning, and presentations from attendees and leaders in the field. The CSG Justice Center will be hosting a drop-in office hour on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 and applications are due Friday, October 7.
Remembering Rysheema Dixon
All of us at Local Progress were heartbroken to hear about the passing of LP alum and friend Rysheema Dixon at the age of 35. Dixon was first elected to the Wilmington City Council in 2017, where she was the youngest and first Black woman elected to Council. She was a fierce advocate for racial and economic justice, calling for a COVID-19 recovery that centered racial equity and sponsoring work to launch Wilmington’s first race and gender disparity study on city contracts for businesses. She also successfully pushed the Delaware General Assembly to enact legislation which required consent be included in sex education standards and curricula. She played a profound role within the Local Progress network, helping found the Black Caucus and serving on the Housing Steering Committee in 2019. We will miss her deeply and will honor her legacy in our ongoing work for equity and justice.