Community Benefits Agreements: A New Report from The Mobility Agenda

Thursday, December 18, 2008 | Margy's Blog & Updates

Policymakers Should Promote Community Benefits Agreements
A promising strategy for better jobs
 

In a new report released by The Mobility Agenda, the authors, Virginia Parks, Dorian Warren, and Margy Waller, find that over the past decade, community benefits agreements—legally binding agreements negotiated between developers and broad-based coalitions of community and labor organizations—have strengthened local labor markets by transforming thousands of low-wage jobs into good, living wage, and/or union jobs.

“The need to improve low-wage jobs is…important for a healthy overall economy and society—and not just for the workers directly affected… A stronger labor market with better local jobs benefits the entire community,” say the co-authors of this report.

The authors of Community Benefits Agreements: Policy for the Twenty-First Century Economy examine the core components of these agreements that address low-wage work, strengthen local labor markets, and advance the goals of social and economic inclusion. The authors offer brief examples of successful community benefits agreements campaigns, highlighting how and why this strategy works when community resources are at stake.  Finally, the authors recommend policy initiatives to strengthen and increase the opportunities for using these agreements.

“Federal policies…should include incentives that advance community benefits principles. This is an especially important policy recommendation because CBAs emerged out of a context in which there has been a lack of federal action to improve low-wage work, strengthen local labor markets, or advance the inclusion of local communities in economic development decisions,” explain the co-authors.

Full report available here