Policies for Community Wealth Building: Leveraging State and Local Resources
A new report, published by Democracy Collaborative, is a representative survey of some key emerging best practices in state and local policy-making to support community wealth building—designed to support economic inclusion goals, create quality jobs with family-supporting wages, address generational poverty, stabilize communities and the environment, and address growing wealth inequality.
In the report, we have tried to highlight both low-hanging fruit—tested policies with proven track records in multiple jurisdictions—as well as more promising aspirational experiments, pointing towards more systemic economic transformation. It has been our experience, as advocates for community wealth building working across the US and beyond, that policymakers and local stakeholders are much more open to transformative measures than one might expect, but only if these measures are grounded in a foundation of empirical rigor and pragmatic realism about the political and economic constraints faced on the ground. We have also found that policies which mobilize broad coalitions of stakeholders in their implementation are much more robust than policies which are identified with the efforts of a single political actor. The selected recommendations below, therefore, focus in particular on “what works” and what works best when communities work together.