Cities at Work: Progressive Local Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class

Author +
Joel Rogers and Satya Rhodes-Conway

Year: 2014

In a new report from the Center for American Progress, Joel Rogers and Satya Rhodes-Conway of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) outline policies that cities can adopt to become more inclusive and sustainable. The authors espouse democratic organization as a critical component to social equity and wealth creation and highlight the critical linking of anchor procurement strategies and employee ownership, as seen in the Cleveland Model, to strengthen local economies and stabilize communities.

Read the report

Table of Contents:

Strengthen local economies and create jobs 

  • Introduction
  • Data-driven economic development
  • Economically targeted investments
  • Anchor institutions
  • Small and local business support
  • Subsidy oversight and control
  • Endnotes
Invest in green and resilient infrastructure
  • Introduction
  • Land-use planning
  • Fix-it-first and build complete streets
  • Public transit
  • Freight transportation
  • Parks and public spaces
  • Waste management
  • Urban water systems
  • Building energy benchmarking and disclosure laws
  • High-performance building requirements
  • Energy efficiency retrofits of buildings
  • Renewable-energy generation
  • Smart grid
  • Endnotes
Raise wage and benefit standards
  • Introduction
  • Communitywide wage and benefit standards
  • Raising job standards via government contracting, procurement,and service provision
  • Raising job standards via economic development
  • Endnotes
Raise needed revenue efficiently and fairly
  • Introduction
  • Progressive municipal tax policy
  • Value-capture strategies
  • Pricing and user fees
  • Leveraging private capital
  • Endnotes
Ensure the availability of good housing for all
  • Introduction
  • High-quality housing
  • Fair housing
  • Stabilize neighborhoods
  • Preserve affordable housing
  • Create affordable housing
  • Fund affordable housing
  • House the homeless
  • Endnotes
Improve the quality of education for all students
  • Introduction
  • Promote and support early care and education, including universal pre-kindergarten
  • Partnerships to strengthen K-12 education
  • City-school partnerships
  • Disconnected youth
  • Endnotes
Build healthy cities
  • Introduction
  • Develop a comprehensive, citywide wellness plan
  • Redefine public health to focus on health in all policies
  • Increase access to healthy, local food
  • Workplace-wellness programs
  • Reducing childhood obesity through physical activity
  • Endnotes
Protect civil rights
  • Introduction
  • Voting
  • Open government
  • Enforcing employment laws
  • Public safety and policing reforms
  • Immigration enforcement
  • Overcoming barriers to social participation for immigrants
  • Hiring Practices
  • ADA compliance
  • Gun control
  • Endnotes