The Democracy at Work Institute and the National League of Cities have developed The Municipal Playbook for Employee Ownership to assist with integrating employee ownership into municipal economic and workforce development strategies. It offers three approaches that address specific pain points faced by many municipalities:
Job Creation and Preservation
COVID-19 has devastated the small business community, and the clock is ticking on permanent shutdowns of small businesses. 45 percent of businesses believe they have less than six months until a permanent shutdown is unavoidable. Tens of millions are still unemployed. Millions of Americans will fall off an “income cliff” when unemployment benefits end.
The development of worker cooperative child care providers, from centers to in-home providers to nannies, should be included as part of a long-term strategy to address affordable childcare in New York City. This report, co-authored by DAWI and FPWA, spells out key recommendations that the Mayor’s office and City Council could implement to increase access to child care while increasing the quality of child care jobs.
In the last few years, persistent, high unemployment has taken over as the headline of the Great Recession, driving an urgent need to create more jobs and get Americans back to work. But when the financial crisis first hit, it prompted a wave of anger and criticism against the corporations and financial institutions that own and direct capital across the globe, and its aftermath has continued to expose longstanding fissures in the U.S. on virtually every measure of economic well-being.
In an era where employment has become the main preoccupation of citizens and governments alike, a job preserved is often as good as a job created. And contrary to what is often implied by Schumpeter’s famous metaphor on the “creative” aspect of enterprise destruction in a capitalist market economy, plant closures and job losses are not always redeemed by some positive outcome elsewhere. Sometimes they are simply a waste of human talent and a pure economic loss. As Stiglitz noted in his analysis of restructuring, it is much easier to destroy enterprises and jobs than to create them.
Cities are built for sharing. It’s what makes cities engines of prosperity, innovation, and cultural exchange. Well connected cities have the unique capacity to raise per capita production and innovation while using dramatically less energy. For this reason, cities may be our best hope for achieving widespread prosperity within the earth’s natural limits. We believe that fostering the growth of the sharing economy is the single most important thing that city governments can do to boost prosperity and resilience in times of economic crisis and climate change.
This is an overview of the University of Winnipeg's anchor-led model for community economic development. It positions the Winnipeg model as a robust example of an anchor institution strategy, and includes a broad survey of US worker cooperative development and movement-building efforts of the last 30 years.