📬 LP Network Download | Leveraging federal funds, SCOTUS case, increasing affordable housing & more! | May 2024

Here’s a look at some of what’s happening across the Local Progress network.

Localities Can Leverage Historic Federal Funds for Communities

Did you know that localities can utilize billions of federal dollars for clean energy projects that would directly advance racial, economic, and climate justice? That’s right. Cities, counties, and school districts have a historic opportunity to build public, sustainable energy, lower costs, create good green jobs, and clean up our air. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the federal government will give nearly unlimited funding to local governments and schools for clean energy projects through Direct Pay tax credits. Localities across the country are already investing in clean energy projects that could qualify for Direct Pay tax incentives. San Antonio, TX launched the largest municipal on-site solar program in the state, which enables heat to power more than 40 city facilities. Batesville, AK used $300,000 in cost savings from installing solar panels to raise teacher pay by $15,000 annually. Seattle purchased an electric municipal fleet, which will be partially reimbursed via the IRA Direct Pay tax credit. If your locality has worked on this type of project in 2023, you could be eligible for cash now. Find out more in our new report with the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center here → 

Staying Ready for SCOTUS Ruling on Homelessness Criminalization Case 

As we wait for the decision on the Supreme Court case Grants Pass v. Johnson, local electeds continue voicing their support for “Housing First” – policies that provide people experiencing homelessness with needed housing and resources. Examples include: Houston, TX’s “The Way Home” coalition provides permanent housing and services like case management, healthcare, substance use counseling, and income coaching. After three years in Denver, CO’s supportive housing program, participants avoided police interactions and decreased their visits to emergency departments, and 77% of participants stayed in stable housing. The Supreme Court case would decide whether or not local governments should have the power to make it a crime for people to sleep outside, even when adequate shelter is not available. Read more → 

Moving States Towards Greener, More Accessible Transit Options 

In recent years, some states – like Minnesota and Colorado – have begun passing legislation directing their Department of Transportations (DOTs) to cut Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as part of transportation planning. These moves help actively discourage driving-centric planning decisions and encourage investment in alternative transportation projects, including pedestrian walkways, cycling infrastructure, and mass transit options. Right now, New York is considering a similar move. This month, LPNY members across the state sent a letter to state leaders, advocating for the passage of A4120/S1981, bills that would direct their DOT to reduce VMT by 20% by 2050. Read more →

Minnesota City Takes an Exciting Step in Increasing Affordable Housing 

All of us deserve a safe, stable place to call home. Earlier this month, the Minnetonka City Council unanimously approved a zoning change and financing to build more affordable housing. Local headlines praised the intense and productive community engagement around the project’s approval, with one reading: Dramatic Minnetonka council meeting shows compromise is possible on affordable housing. During the council meeting where the project was approved, Minnetonka Councilmember and LPMN Organizing Committee member Kimberly Wilburn helped address concerns about destiny highlighting that, “The outcome of denying density is denying affordability. Even if that is not your intention, that is the outcome.” Read more → 

 

📅  LP’s 2024 National Convening!

Are you joining us? Our national convening is happening in Oakland, CA on July 25 – 27. Registration is open to all LP Members & Alumni Leaders. More than 250 people have already registered and spots are filling up. Invitations to register were sent to your email (reach out if you didn’t receive one). Deadline to register is June 17! Add it to your calendar:  iCal | Google | Outlook

🤳 Let’s Get Social: LP is on Instagram!

Stay connected with the latest news and inspiring stories from your peers! This month, our Instagram shared our favorite moments from building community in-person. From Culver City to NYC, Nashville to El Paso, we strategized with partners about how we build thriving communities and welcome newly arriving residents and developed our governance prowess to be the most effective leaders possible as a part of the Progressive Governance Academy. Our strength comes from strong community. That isn’t just about physical proximity to one another but about the connections we create and the bonds we nurture. Follow LP on Instagram → 

📣 United for Peace and Justice

Over the past few months, we’ve seen institutions (public and private) violently quell free speech, discourse, and dissent. In particular, academic institutions and local law enforcement have suppressed student protests, peaceful encampments, and calls for a ceasefire. As we continue to create space for hard discussions and peaceful demonstration, we must also recognize that civil disobedience is both non-violent and disruptive. As you navigate situations in your community, we encourage you to reach out to the LP team for support as you navigate this moment. The LP ceasefire sign-on letter remains open to any local elected official who wants to add their name. Sign on here → 

🏡 Building Our Future: Grassroots Reflections on Social Housing

Social housing means prioritizing people over profit. It means making sure everyone can live with dignity and have a say over their homes. Check out this report (and this amazing video) from our friends at PolicyLink on what social housing is and how it can work for us! Download the report here → 

🗳 Building An Election Security Task Force

As harassment against elections officials reaches unprecedented levels and interest in the election process grows, Public Rights Project is hosting a discussion for local elections officials on how to build an inter-agency security task force to protect themselves, their staff, and to ensure free and fair elections. Sign up here → 

🧰 Upcoming Policy & Strategy Primers! 

The Impact Lab’s Policy & Strategy Primers is 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. Whether you’re recently elected or looking to build your knowledge in a specific area, each session will dig in on both policies and strategic approaches to help you use all your local levers to drive change. The series offers different sessions throughout the year focusing on issues related to housing, community safety, economic justice, and communications strategies. Sign up here →

The vast majority of local elected officials are part-time, unpaid, or minimally compensated. And it can be difficult to find work that can sustain leaders alongside their elected roles. That’s why every month, we’ll be sharing jobs available across the movement:

 

Additional job boards: Dino DNA | Jeremiah Program | PolicyLink | Jobs That Are Left

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