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Those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change are those without living wages or access to political power. As a result, it is necessary for climate resiliency strategies to adopt a framework of community wealth building. Cities have recently integrated more green infrastructure strategies into their climate resiliency planning; a buildout of green infrastructure projects could create new opportunities for social enterprises and worker cooperatives, which play critical roles in building community wealth, to thrive. This report investigates the state of worker cooperatives and social enterprises in the green infrastructure field, in order to understand the possibilities and strategies for these community wealth building enterprises to seize the opportunity to provide positive jobs in their communities.
This report outlines a series of strategies that can be used to reduce the impacts of climate change through risk management in the Metro-Boston region. It provides recommendations in five major sectors (built environment and key infrastructure, coastal zone, natural resources and habitat, human health and welfare, and local economy and government) that should be taken to make the region prepared for and resilient to natural disasters and climate change.
The $1 trillion public-private infrastructure plan proposed by the Trump Administration would cost an additional $1 trillion-plus in financing and user fees over a ten-year period. This policy brief lays out a variety of funding options that would not increase taxes or the federal debt, would not trigger hyperinflation, would not result in massive privatization of public assets, and would be feasible legislatively. Funding options include direct federal reserve loans for infrastructure, “helicopter money”, creating an infrastructure bank, and more.
This report outlines options local governments can take if they fail to successfully recover from financial crises. The first option is state intervention; the state government (either directly or through its agents) can encourage the local government to make decisions that will improve financial conditions. The second option is bankruptcy, which governments should seek to avoid. This report answers common questions about local government bankruptcy to aid local government decision-makers in understanding what bankruptcy can and cannot do prior to filing for it.
Cities, counties, states, and community organizations have established more than 800 programs to provide financial assistance to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. As these programs provided by local and state governments run out of funds, this report argues that additional federal funding towards these programs is needed to keep small businesses afloat.
The United States’ current healthcare system is driven by profit and governed by insurance and pharmaceutical companies, rather than by the people. This platform calls for improved Medicare for all, which will shift power from corporations and the one percent (insurance & drug corporations), move health care resources into the public sphere (and people into public coverage), increase community control, and combat exclusion on the basis of race, gender, citizenship status, age, and ability. Specifically, this platform provides policy recommendations that will protect existing federal health programs and funding, build a mandate for universal care, and end the overdose crisis and the “war on drugs”.
The global spread of Covid-19 has highlighted the vital need for reliable high-speed internet and the inadequacies of the for-profit, corporate model in delivering it. This report proposes new approaches to ownership and control that will accelerate and democratize digital infrastructure development, by providing full-fibre access to all, reducing corporate concentration and political power, and ensuring that people have power over their own data. Policy recommendations include overturning state-level preemption laws, utilizing federal funding to operate municipal and community broadband networks, and breaking up Big Tech companies and turning their cloud computing services into a public utility.
Due to limited resources and funding, state departments of transportation (DOTs) struggle to achieve their goals of improving safety, alleviating congestion, reducing environmental impacts, and helping to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods. In response to these challenges, DOTs across the country are reevaluating traditional practices, learning new skills, working more closely with stakeholders, and becoming more flexible in their approaches to problem solving. This handbook is a collection of case studies and innovative approaches DOTs have taken to make systems more efficient and effective under eight focus areas: revenue sources, revenue allocation and project selection, pricing, increasing transportation system efficiency, improving options for mobility and access, providing efficient, safe freight access, integrating transportation and land use decision-making, and improving DOT processes.
Urban freeways create barriers to movement within cities, institutionalize social inequities, contribute to environmental degradation, and encourage suburban sprawl. As urban freeways approach the end of their useful lives, decisions on the fate of an individual freeway will be place specific, and must consider policy, budget, current and future transportation needs, and neighborhood impacts. This report outlines infrastructure and policy options for aging freeways, such as converting them to surface boulevards, constructing sunken expressways, relocating, completely removing them, and more.
Michigan has shifted a total of $4.5 billion intended for K-12 public schools to universities and community colleges since 2010. This cut to K-12 education was not done for the benefit of postsecondary education, but to balance the state budget and compensate for General Fund dollars that are increasingly stretched thin due to tax cuts for businesses. Until K-12 schools and programs are financed at levels recommended by experts and that fulfill statutory requirements, the government should commit to using School Aid Fund dollars only to fund Michigan’s K-12 public schools and programs at adequate levels, funding universities and community colleges at adequate levels using General Fund dollars and other existing appropriate sources, and addressing General Fund shortfalls responsibly by increasing revenue sources rather than shifting educational funds away from their intended purposes