Policy Briefs

We believe that public policy can be a tool for advancing equity and justice. However, we also acknowledge that the public policy making process on most every issue – from land use and zoning to policing, education and voting access – has perpetuated racial inequality in our country whether through malicious intent to exclude communities of color or as the impact of race-blind policy making.

The policy briefs in this book cover a range of ideas for communities: from strengthening worker rights and protections, improving public education, expanding transportation and increasing the supply of affordable housing to supporting small businesses, implementing community benefit agreements and more. The framework outlined below focuses on getting to results, but it’s not sufficient without a racial equity lens that focuses on addressing inequities. In addition to this analysis, we encourage you to add to this framework: examine community engagement practices to ensure broad, equitable and substantive engagement; analyze budgets for unequal or discriminatory funding allocations; and grapple with bias and barriers in institutions and governmental structures that put communities of color at a disadvantage to influence outcomes. Continue reading about our racial equity approach here.

You can download a concise two pager summarizing best practices from our network by clicking the links below. To learn more about our policy work, please contact us at info@localprogress.org.

Access and Justice
Climate, Transit, and Infrastructure
Dignity at Work
Equitable Development
Good Government in the Public Interest
Immigrant Protections
Robust Local Democracy and Civic Engagement

Access and Justice

Abortion Access

Access to Healthy Food

Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls

Civil Asset Forfeiture

Equality and Equity for Trans, Nonbinary, and Gender Nonconforming People

LGBT Civil Rights

Local Police Surveillance Technology

Lessons in Taking Drug Reform Local

Policing and Civil Rights

Reproductive Rights for Young People

Specialty Courts and Community Justice

Municipal Cash Assistance Programs

Climate, Transit, and Infrastructure

Creating Green Jobs

Divesting from Fossil Fuels

Equitable Strategies for Renewable Energy

Fracking Bans and Moratoriums

Equitable Infrastructure

Funding Public Transit and Improving Service

Livable Cities

Eliminating Fossil Fuels from Buildings

Dignity at Work

Construction in the South

Ending Wage Theft

Ensuring a Fair Workweek

Ensuring Racial Equity in Public Contracting

Establishing Partnerships to Improve Enforcement of Workplace Standards

Expanding Collective Bargaining to Build Worker Power

Fair-Chance Hiring for Workers with Criminal Records

Living Wage Ordinances

Local and Targeted Hiring

Paid Sick Leave

Prohibiting Job Discrimination Based on Credit History

Protecting Workers in the On-Demand Economy


Community Schools

Comprehensive Sex Education

Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline

ESSA Implementation

Strengthening Our Public Schools

Equitable Development

Artisan Zoning

Community Benefits

Equitable Access to Capital for Urban Manufacturers

Small Business Support

Next Generation Wireless Networks

Local Brand Initiatives

Good Government in the Public Interest

Fighting Back Against Forced Arbitration

Food Procurement Policies and Programs

Making Job Subsidies Transparent

Racial Equity in Our Cities

Raising Revenue Through Municipal Corporate Taxation

Responsible Banking and Access to Credit

Minority & Women-Owned Business Enterprise Programs

5G and “Small Cell” Technology


Addressing the Foreclosure Crisis

Affordable Housing Impact Fee Programs

Banning Source of Income Housing Discrimination

Ending Drug-Related Evictions in Public Housing

Housing Code Enforcement

Preventing and Reducing Homelessness

Protecting Tenants in the On-Demand Economy

Inclusionary Housing

Permanently Affordable Homeownership

Immigrant Protections

Ensuring Language Access

Detainer Discretion

Local Confidentiality Policies

Universal Representation

Eliminating the Use of Gang Databases

Repealing Juvenile Curfews

Cite and Release

Robust Local Democracy and Civic Engagement

Campaign Finance Reform

Confronting Preemption

Digital Democracy and Transparency

Expanding Voting Rights

Participatory Budgeting