Federal Advocacy Roundup | November 2023

Welcome back to another edition of the Federal Advocacy Round Up, where every few weeks we distill what’s happening at the federal level, 
how it’ll impact localities, and what you can do to influence change.

Most of you likely know that local governments are prohibited from directing jobs on federally-funded projects to local residents and marginalized communities. But did you know that this federal policy originates from the Reagan administration’s efforts to stop local governments from boycotting or penalizing contractors that were invested in apartheid South Africa?

The good news is that the federal Office of Management and Budget has proposed a rule change which would lift this ban on the application of local and targeted hire requirements to federally-funded projects. Many Local Progress members and local governments have pioneered local and targeted hire ordinances and programs to ensure that public money supports job opportunities for local residents and marginalized communities, which now stand to have a much larger impact. The proposed rule also clarifies that a variety of pro-worker and pro-equity procurement measures are not prohibited by federal rules, including scoring mechanisms that incorporate job quality, use of project labor agreements, and community benefits agreements.  

👉 Click here to add your name here to support this expansion of local authority, and to see our comment. 

For more information on this historic change led by our partners at Jobs to Move America, please see this factsheet.

Supreme Court to decide if gun bans for domestic violence suspects are constitutional

The United States Supreme Court heard arguments early this month in United States v. Rahimi. The case concerns the legality of a federal law that makes it a crime for people under domestic violence restraining orders to have guns. The case comes from an appeal of a lower court ruling striking down a law that was intended to protect victims of domestic abuse by banning convicted abusers from owning firearms as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

NLRB issues final rule on joint employer status

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) published its final rule establishing a new standard for determining when two entities may be considered joint employers for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and thus jointly responsible for collective bargaining and the unfair labor practices of each other.  This rule matters, because businesses that use a franchising model (like national fast-food chains) could now be required to negotiate with a union at an independently owned franchise location if the NLRB decided they both jointly employed the unionized workers. The rule will take effect on February 26, 2024.

💵 New Resource on How to Use IRA Direct Pay Tax Credits to Create Good Jobs

Check out this new explainer from the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center that provides a Step-by-Step Guide to Worker Protection Requirements for Direct Pay projects as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. The guide illustrates how local governments (and nonprofits) can protect workers and build a clean energy workforce. It goes through partnering with a union, determining the prevailing wage, hiring registered apprentices, and establishing a Community Benefit Agreement with local stakeholders.


❄ Register for the Mayors Innovation Project Winter Meeting

All US Mayors are invited to register for the Mayor’s Innovation Project’s 19th Annual Winter Meeting in Washington DC, Jan. 19-20. The conference this year will feature panel discussions on voting access, building decarbonization, zoning reform, best practices for succeeding at competitive funding opportunities, as well as a keynote address from Executive Director and Co-Founder of Protect Democracy, Ian Bassin. MIP is a national peer learning network for mayors committed to supporting cities in advancing equity, sustainability, and democracy. Learn more and register today.