Resources

The following resources are for union leaders, community organizations, and researchers on how you can join together, go on offense, and “bargain for the common good.” Campaign members can access additional resources here.

Bargaining

Benefits of Bargaining: How Public Worker Negotiations Improve Our Communities | Policy Matters Ohio
Public sector unions bargain for better compensation and working conditions, which can improve the economy and ease recruitment. But do they also bargain for provisions that more directly benefit the community? Through interviews, literature reviews, and examination of collective bargaining contracts, this report seeks to answer that question for four professions: public school teachers, police officers and firefighters, and publicly-employed nurses.

Why Labor and the Movement for Racial Justice Should Work Together | In These Times
The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) has made tremendous strides in exposing and challenging racial injustice, and has won real policy victories. The policies, while often imperfect, are a testament to the strength of the organizing and activism of the moment. Not coincidentally, this uprising comes at a time when income and wealth inequality are at peak levels and the economy for most black people looks markedly different than the economy for their white counterparts.

Education

The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve | Chicago Teachers Union
The Chicago Teachers Union argues for proven educational reforms to dramatically improve education of more than 400,000 students in a district of 675 schools. These reforms are desperately needed and can head Chicago towards the world-class educational system its students deserve.

The Schools St. Paul Children DeserveSt. Paul Federation of Teachers
The St. Paul Federation of Teachers believes that students and families deserve the following priorities in education: educating the whole child, family engagement, smaller classes, teaching not testing, culturally relevant education, high-quality professional development, and access to preschool.

Power of CommunitySt. Paul Federation of Teachers
This report follows SPFT’s earlier publication “The Schools Saint Paul Children Deserve” and features highlights of the innovative programs and initiatives created through that report and our union’s narrative.

I.O.U.: How Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank Have Shortchanged Minnesota Schools | SEIU Minnesota
The report lays some of the blame for a $2.4 billion school shift and other shortfalls in school funding on the practices of the state’s largest banks and their executives.

Homeownership

Underwater America: How the So-Called Housing “Recovery” is Bypassing Many American Communities | Haas Institute
The report highlights the problem of widespread “underwater mortgages” – homeowners stuck in loans for more than their home is worth, which persists in many communities across the country. The report identifies the nation’s most troubled hot spots: the cities, metro areas and communities where the highest proportion of homeowners still have negative equity, or are “underwater.” The report’s authors argue that market forces alone will not bring the recovery to these severely impacted communities, and call for local or federal intervention to reduce mortgage principal.

Rebuilding Community Wealth | Home Defenders League
A plan to preserve homeownership, reset mortgages, and aid local economies.

Do Hedge Funds Make Good Neighbors? How Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & HUD are Selling Off Our Neighborhoods to Wall Street | ACCE Institute and Center for Popular Democracy
A report detailing the sale of troubled mortgages to faulty players and calling for mortgage owners and holders to prioritize the sale of troubled mortgages to good actors who can help homeowners struggling in the aftermath of the crisis.

Wall Street’s toxic lending practices and recklessness created the housing crisis, and now New Jersey homeowners, taxpayers and their families are paying the price. The banks created the housing bubble that led to the economic crash in 2008. Now, without immediate action at the state and local level, residents are facing a multi-billion dollar hit to neighborhoods, communities and schools, undermining our children’s future and the economic recovery we desperately need.


Privatization

Privatization: Why It’s a Bad Idea | Steward Update
Why privatization is a bad idea; innovative ways to bring union strength to black communities; lessons from studying anti-union attacks; and talking about trade with solidarity.

Privatization and the Weakening of Democracy | Donald Cohen, In the Public Interest
At a time when state and municipal budgets are tight, government has contracted out or gone into partnership with more private companies. But the dangers of such arrangements are serious. The author gives examples of how cities and states have lost out and proposes a set of reforms on which he thinks all can agree.

Privatization ResourcesIn the Public Interest
In the Public Interest is a comprehensive non-profit resource center on privatization and responsible contracting. The resources below are produced by ITPI, members of the ITPI Scholars Network and other close allies. The publications are intended to provide educational information and inform winning campaigns to ensure that public services and assets are publicly controlled and contracts with private entities are transparent, accountable, effectively monitored, and that those contracts meet the long-term needs of communities.

The Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda | In the Public Interest
Eager for quick cash, state and local governments across America are handing over control of critical public services and assets to corporations that promise to handle them better, faster and cheaper. Unfortunately for taxpayers, not only has outsourcing these services failed to keep this promise, but too often it undermines transparency, accountability, shared prosperity and competition – the underpinnings of democracy itself. The Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda will help taxpayers reclaim control of our democracy. And state and local lawmakers who champion these proposals will stand on the side of taxpayers – and plain common sense.

Financialization

Financialization Is at the Core of Inequality and the Shrinking Public Sector | Bargaining for the Common Good
The financial crash of 2008 ushered in the largest economic downturn in this country in 80 years and exposed the underlying structural problems that underpin our economy and our democracy: The financialization of our national economy and the concomitant growth in power of finance capital. The Wall Street business model now in place is premised on extracting value—or “economic rent”—from the real economy, including the public sector, and investing it back in the financial sector, where it benefits a relatively small group of high-wealth individuals and corporations. This model has on the one hand fueled growing inequality and on the other led to burgeoning public and private debt. This debt-based economy in turn has allowed the financial sector to transfer massive amounts of wealth from Main Street to Wall Street.

No Small Fees: LA Spends More on Wall Street than Our Streets | Fix LA
When Wall Street recklessly crashed the economy in 2008, it brought a world of hurt onto many people. But Wall Street banks and corporations hardly felt the pain. Throughout the recession, Wall Street profited off Los Angeles. Just last year, Wall Street banks made $290 million in fees at taxpayers’ expense. At the same time, hundreds of millions in cuts have been made to critical city services that keep LA neighborhoods healthy, clean and safe. LA stopped or deeply slashed sidewalk and street repairs, speed bump replacement, sewer inspections, alley clearance, vehicle abatement and a whole lot more. Our communities stopped getting what they need to thrive.

The Looting of Oakland: How Wall Street’s Predatory Practices Are Costing Oakland Communities Millions and What We Can Do About It | Reinvest Oakland
Oakland has faced down record budget deficits over the past five years as a result of the economic crash that Wall Street caused. These deficits have forced the City to make cuts that have crippled the City’s ability to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe, limited access to libraries and recreation centers, and deprived our youth of meaningful programs to keep them off the streets. However, while public officials again debate which services to slash and which bills to pay, the one option that would dramatically improve the financial health of the community is never on the table: Holding Wall Street banks accountable for their illegal and predatory practices that have cost Oakland taxpayers nearly half a billion dollars.

Dirty Deals: How Wall Street’s Predatory Deals Hurt Taxpayers and What We Can Do About It | Refund America Project
The financialization of the United States economy has distorted our social, economic, and political priorities. Cities and states across the country are forced to cut essential community services because they are trapped in predatory municipal finance deals that cost them millions of dollars every year. Wall Street and other big corporations engaged in a systematic effort to suppress taxes, making it difficult for cities and states to advance progressive revenue solutions to properly fund public services. Banks take advantage of this crisis that they helped create by targeting state and local governments with predatory municipal finance deals, just like they targeted cash-strapped homeowners with predatory mortgages during the housing boom. Predatory financing deals prey upon the weaknesses of borrowers, are characterized by high costs and high risks, are typically overly complex, and are often designed to fail.


Hedge Funds

The Hedge Papers
 | Hedge Clippers
A series of reports that pull the curtain on the mechanisms hedge funds and billionaires use to influence government and politics in order to expand their wealth, influence and power. The #HedgePapers expose the collateral damage that billionaire-driven politics inflicts on our communities, our climate, our economy and our democracy. They call out the politicians that do the dirty work billionaires demand and call on all Americans to stand up for a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.