Founded in 1976, Durham People’s Alliance (PA) is a grassroots, membership organization working to foster a more just and equitable Durham and North Carolina. Committed to broad participation and democratic decision-making, PA makes all major decisions at its full membership meetings and encourages members to lead new organizing efforts. PA is credited with being the driving force behind Durham’s “livable” wage ordinance and securing funds to support free tax preparation services. To incentivize private employers to pay a living wage, PA developed the Durham Living Wage Project, which certifies and publicly recognizes employers that pay at least the City’s current livable wage to all full- and part-time workers. PA currently has over 1,000 members.
Adopted in 2014, San Diego’s Urban Agriculture Zone Program aims to create new green spaces, build community, and increase access to produce in neighborhoods lacking fresh food. To do so, the program offers owners of blighted properties a lower property tax rate if they submit plans to turn their parcels into community gardens or other agricultural uses. To foster community involvement, property owners’ plans must include some type of public engagement, which could include the distribution or sale of food, educational activities on the site, or community access to garden space. The program also promotes sustainability by requiring property owners to meet organic farming standards. The City estimates that the program could help transform up to 2,000 eligible parcels.