Publications

  • This report highlights how raising the low-wage floor improves quality of life for the 100,000 workers in poverty-wage jobs in the city, and for a roughly equal number of poverty-wage workers in the suburban counties around city. Long term decline was made more brutal by the Great Recession, leaving workers at the mercy of a dramatic shift from manufacturing into services, declining unionization, and falling job quality. Evidence of the economic crisis abounds, yet Milwaukee’s problems — including racial disparity and residential segregation, child poverty, crime and incarceration, catastrophic drop-out rates, especially for African Americans and Hispanics — are not inevitable.

  • Freight transportation is a critical element of both our national and local economies. Yet, it creates a number of challenges for cities due to congestion, emissions, crashes, noise and other factors. This report provides cities with low cost policy-driven measures to reduce the negative impacts of freight transportation. Increasing the efficiency of freight movement and addressing the social costs and environmental justice issues of freight transportation are not mutually exclusive. The strategies identified in this report can help cities meet their transportation challenges in the years ahead while promoting just, healthy, and sustainable freight practices.

  • Every city has a food economy and most have at least the beginnings of a local food value chain. This means that every city has an opportunity to increase local economic activity, create jobs, and promote healthy, local food by helping local businesses to capture more of this market. Cities should include local food as part of their economic development efforts, and this paper will help them do that. Nationally, the trend is toward local food – cities should take advantage of this.

  • The logic of divestment is simple: we shouldn’t be funding our retirement by investing in companies whose operations ensure we won’t have a safe planet to retire on. Local governments have the opportunity to be leaders in combating this contradiction by divesting their funds from fossil fuel companies. MIP in partnership with Bill McKibben and 350.org, is working to support the local government fossil fuel divestment movement. Building on the example set by Mayor McGinn of Seattle, we’re removing municipal funds from fossil fuel investments, and working with pension funds to do the same.

  • This report is based on the practical experience and struggle of elected officials across the country to move their communities onto the “high road” of shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. Its goal is to arm progressive local elected leaders and advocates with a range of effective policies that, if adopted, would make a significant difference in getting on that high road. They will be able to use better democratic organization to add value, reduce waste, and capture and share locally the great benefits of doing both. Report summary.

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