📬 The Network Download | Supporting autoworkers, tackling zoning, ballot initiatives, & more! | October 2023

Here’s a look back and look forward at some of what’s happening around the network.

How Local Electeds Supported the UAW Strike and Can Still Show Support for Workers

UAW just announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with General Motors, the last of the Big 3 automakers (alongside Stellantis and Ford) that autoworkers were striking against. UAW members were fighting for a strong contract for workers that includes better pay, cost of living adjustments, the end of their tiered system, and a just transition, and they won historic tentative agreements in line with those demands. Their strike sparked a movement across the country and inspired workers in every industry to reimagine what could be possible. In addition to showing out in solidarity at picket lines and dealerships, members like Detroit City Councilmember Gabriela Santiago-Romero recorded videos to express their support for workers and for this show of worker power. Although there are tentative agreements, they won’t be final unless members vote to approve these contracts, so we’re still showing our support for workers and encouraging LP members to celebrate the brave risks of striking workers. We encourage LP members to put out a video showing appreciation for autoworkers amidst historic wins that will reverberate with workers across the country.

Localities Continue to Tackle Zoning Codes to Create More Housing

Single-family homes define our suburbs, and have been mandated by law for decades. In recent years, states and localities across the country have reformed single-family zoning laws in order to support housing density and affordability. This month, the St. Paul City Council eliminated single-family-only zoning, allowing for the creation of more ‘middle housing,’ like duplexes, triplexes, and other neighborhood-scale apartments. LPMN Co-Chair and City Councilmember Mitra Jalali celebrated the move: “Our city can grow in a healthier way because of this critical action. I am extremely proud to see Saint Paul take this step today.” It’s the latest city – following localities like Arlington, Gainesville, Charlotte, and Spokane – to take such action. Read more →

D.C. Electeds Introduce First-Of-Its-Kind Program for Public Investment in Local News

Local news matters for many reasons – chief among them being that a robust local news ecosystem supports local democracy, community engagement, transparency, and accountability. That’s why LP Members and D.C. Councilmembers Janeese Lewis George and Brianne Nadeau introduced the Local News Funding Act, which would set aside $11.5 million for a voucher-based grant program that allows D.C. residents to decide which local news producers get funding. As local newsrooms get scaled back in size and swallowed up by large-media conglomerates, they become increasingly dependent on reader support. Such voucher programs would allow for direct public investment. Read more →

Ballot Initiatives Provide Potential for Progress

With Election Day around the corner, we’re paying close attention to both exciting races and ballot initiatives moving across the country. In Ohio, Issue 1 on the ballot would affirm a right to abortion, contraceptives, miscarriage care, and fertility treatment in the state constitution. This is the latest in a series of ballot initiatives in states where abortion has been restricted where voters are taking their reproductive rights into their own hands. In Houston, an upcoming proposition would allow any three council members to place an item on the council’s weekly agenda if passed. That is a power that had been reserved for the mayor previously, and could shift more power towards the City Council. In Atlanta, national attention has followed local organizers’ efforts to Stop Cop City. After the measure failed in the Atlanta Council, organizers collected over 116,000 signatures for a ballot initiative. While city and state efforts to shut down the ballot initiative mean that it won’t appear on the November ballot, organizers are hopeful that it will appear on the March 2024 ballot.

🎒 Learning from Leaders in Milwaukee About School Safety

Earlier this month, we brought two dozen local elected officials, community partners, and government staffers together in Milwaukee to learn about the work being done to create real safety in schools. The goal of the two-and-a-half day site visit was to inspire members to take action back home and empower them with new resources for how to create real safety in their schools. Read how the trip is helping inform work across the country →


👋 We’re Hiring!

The LP team is growing and looking to fill three new positions: 

Director of Finance and Operations

California Coordinator

Deputy Communications Director


🧠 Upcoming Policy & Strategy Primers

Our Policy & Strategy Primers are a series of foundational learning sessions on policy tools and strategy designed to help local electeds and staff figure out where and how to get started on key issues. The series operates on a regular, recurring schedule throughout the year focusing on issues related to housing, community safety, economic justice, and communications strategies. Next up through the rest of the year…

📰 Media Strategies on November 29


💭 Are you an LP member with a question? Ask the Help Desk!

The Local Progress Impact Lab works with members on policy, strategy, and communications support related to our core issue areas and other topics, by sharing our own knowledge and resources, making connections to other Local Progress members, and drawing on the issue area expertise of partners. 

If you have a question, ask the helpdesk! Email helpdesk@localprogress.org