New State & Local Policies

Chokwe Lumumba, RIP

Jackson, Mississippi mayor and solidarity economy advocate dead at 66

Chokwe Lumumba, a long-time civil rights activist and the newly elected mayor of Jackson, died yesterday, just weeks before the "Jackson Rising" conference–the launch of an ambitious plan to localize and democratize the city's economy–was scheduled to take place (We understand that the conference will proceed as planned).  Our hearts are with the people of Jackson at this tragic moment.

Watch Laura Flanders' interview with Mayor Lumumba, filmed just two weeks ago:


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Illinois Governor's Task Force Moves Forward with Community Wealth Building

Democracy Collaborative contributions highlighted

In April of 2013, Democracy Collaborative Executive Director Ted Howard was invited by the Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation, Enterpreneurship, and Enterprise to present our recommendations for low-cost, high return policies that could build community wealth across the state of Illinois.  (You can read this "Action Agenda" document here.) We're happy to report that a number of our suggestions have been incorporated into the Task Force's new report to the Governor and General Assembly.

Governor’s Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Report 3: January 2014

Governor’s Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise

The Illinois Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise was established by the Executive Order of Governor Pat Quinn on November 2, 2011.1 The purpose of the Task Force is to provide recommendations on how Illinois can better foster an environment to: create, scale, and sustain innovative social programs; build the capacity of nonprofit organizations and government to pursue entrepreneurial ventures; and attract funding to Illinois to support these ventures.  Central to the Task Force’s mandate is to provide a series of reports to the Governor and General Assembly, with recommendations on how to position Illinois to achieve the aforementioned purpose. This represents the third such report

Mondragón and the System Problem

Gar Alperovitz and Thomas Hanna

Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz and Senior Researcher Thomas Hanna discuss the challenge of sustaining and building participatory decision-making structures and organizations within a corporate capitalist system. They note the recent bankruptcy filing of Fagor Electrodomésticos Group, the principle company of the Mondragon Corporation, as an impetus to confront the institutional incompatibilities between the free market and cooperative forms.

The Rise of Community Wealth Building Institutions

More people are turning to economic alternatives in which new wealth is built collectively and from the bottom up

Crossposted from Policy Network, and later published on the London School of Economics website, this blog is part of a debate event hosted by Policy Network in London, UK, that was reviewed in OurKingdom by grassroots activist James Doran:    

Five years after the financial crisis economic inequality in the United States is spiraling to levels not seen since the Gilded Age. While most Americans are experiencing a recovery-less recovery, the top one per cent of earners last year claimed 19.3 per cent of household income, their largest share since 1928. Moreover, income distribution looks positively egalitarian when compared to wealth ownership.