Building a New Movement to Strengthen California’s Communities

In California, the number of working poor grows every year while the number of good jobs shrinks. The majority of the working poor lack job security, a living wage and benefits, while living in neighborhoods with poor environmental conditions and inadequate public services.

At the same time, billions of public dollars are spent to subsidize economic development projects that yield more low-wage jobs without benefits, frequently disrupt neighborhoods and displace residents, and provide few benefits for workers or the community.

The California Partnership for Working Families (CPWF) is a new statewide organization established to uphold the promise of economic development for our communities. CPWF brings together four organizations anchored in the major population centers of California-the Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and Working Partnerships USA in San Jose.

Drawing on the extensive organizing, research and policy experience of our founding members, CPWF is building a statewide movement to transform the economic development process. We believe that the focus of economic development should be good jobs and community benefits, rather than developer profits and sales tax income.

This emerging model of accountable development is based on a common set of principles:

  • Economic development should have as its primary goal the creation of economic opportunity and the reduction of poverty and social inequality
  • Limited public subsidies must be used strategically to support community-friendly development
  • The development process must be transparent and accessible, encouraging substantive community input
  • Policymaking on development must be based on careful assessments of community needs and the impacts of proposed projects

California needs development that brings good jobs, affordable housing and reliable neighborhood services. Together, we can make development work for our communities.