New State & Local Policies

Policies for Shareable Cities: A Sharing Economy Policy Primer for Urban Leaders

Neal Gorenflo and Yassi Eskandari-Qajar

This policy primer from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center catalogues innovative local policies that city governments have used to help residents share resources, co-produce, and create their own jobs. Focusing on food, housing, transportation, and job sharing, this guide is intended to help cities build community wealth and develop more resilient and democratic local economies. More broadly, the sharing economy highlights how governments can structure infrastructure, services, incentives, and regulations to support this new economy.

Public Money for the Public Good

How public finances can be unlocked for local economic development
Public banks and credit unions weathered the last crisis much better than private banks, benefiting the communities they served as well. And many experts believe that it’s only a matter of time before the next financial crisis hits. To weather the next one well, we need to ensure that our individual and collective resources strengthen the types of financial institutions that are democratically accountable, economically stable, mission oriented, and that are actively helping build and keep wealth locally in our communities.

Greensboro Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) Challenge

As one of three cities that won a U.S. Department of Commerce and Economic Development Administration’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) grant, Greensboro was able to kick off this Challenge to encourage community involvement in identifying innovative strategies to promote Greensboro’s economic development.  Designed as a two-phase competition, the Challenge offers cash rewards to groups or individuals who develop the best plans to nurture the city’s economic growth, and a final $1 million prize to the overall winner.  To encourage community participation, the City created a website through which residents and organizations can propose ideas, and rate or comment on other people’s suggestions.

Guide to Going Local: Building Stronger, Healthier, and More Vibrant Communities

BALLE and The Center for a New American Dream

This new guide offers ideas and advice on how to strengthen the local economy in your town through buying local, highlighting new entrepreneurs, investing locally, and more. With how-to tips, videos, and other useful resources, the Guide to Going Local provides tools in four key areas: building pride in place, fostering local entrepreneurship, buying locally and sustainably, and investing locally.

Democracy Collaborative Offers Paid Internship

Work with us on newsletters and

We are pleased to announce a new intern position at The Democracy Collaborative that will focus on the newsletter and adding web content. For further details, please see the position description below. Remember to submit your applications by August 30!

Towards a Localist Policy Agenda

Stacy Mitchell

At the annual BALLE conference this past June, Stacey Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self Reliance highlighted the importance of building a national policy agenda that supports local ownership. Mitchell addressed why changing public policy is essential, the need for framing a compelling narrative to assert change, the importance of building the appropriate components of a national policy agenda, and indicated some first steps to take. Using compelling examples from specific sectors, such as local food and local banking, Mitchell shows that while real change is occurring, major structural forces impede progress and that remaking public policy is critical to moving past those barriers.

Local Governments Recognize Benefits of Buying Local

Dane County Wisconsin joins ranks of governments incentivizing local procurement

Last month the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, better known as BALLE, had its annual conference in Buffalo, New York, bringing together international thought leaders, on-the-ground social entrepreneurs, policymakers, local economy funders, and philanthropists who are all working to build a new localist economy. The goals of localism are to expand and diversify local ownership, offer import substitutions, and foster business cooperation in a particular place with the result of creating more jobs — and, hence, wealth — per capita, and encouraging greater personal accountability for the health of communities.

Community Organizing for a New Economy

Democracy Collaborative panel highlights transformative work of community-based organizations

Earlier this month at Left Forum, The Democracy Collaborative helped organize five panels on a variety of different topics related to cooperatives, sustainability and growing a new economy. The last session of the weekend, “Community Organizing for a New Economy,” offered a spirited conversation around some innovative new work that is helping build a new economy.