Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Progressive Policies for Cities to Rebuild the Middle Class
Press Release

RELEASE: Progressive Policies for Cities to Rebuild the Middle Class

Read the report.

Washington, D.C. — City governments have the potential to play a critical role in increasing mobility, strengthening the middle class, and getting the country back on track to broadly shared prosperity, according to a report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Authored by Joel Rogers and Satya Rhodes-Conway of COWS (Center on Wisconsin Strategy), the report includes more than 100 recommendations for how cities can blaze the trail toward a more equitable and prosperous future.

“Across the nation, progressive leaders in city governments are taking a number of steps to build an economy that works for everyone. They are striving to create jobs, boost incomes, cut costs for middle-class necessities, and lower the risk of falling behind,” said Karla Walter, Associate Director of the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “With federal gridlock making congressional action more difficult, we need to help more local governments implement agendas that will advance opportunity for all. This report provides a roadmap to do just that.”

The policies discussed in this report are many and varied but all represent steps along the high road for local governments. In all the policy areas discussed, a comprehensive approach is needed to implement high-road economic development; repair and green our infrastructure; create good jobs and improve the quality of existing ones; expand municipal revenue options; provide high-quality, affordable housing; reform our education system; promote healthy communities; and protect civil rights.

“Cities and the metropolitan regions they anchor are the source of most of the wealth and innovation in America. Well-managed cities are also leaders in global sustainability and generally more progressive in their values than other areas. For these reasons, cities are the natural pillars of the high-road economy and society that we want to build. That’s their promise. We believe that this report will provide city leaders with tools to help them fulfill that promise,” said report author Joel Rogers.

The policy ideas highlighted in the report were discussed at a CAP Action event in Washington today featuring Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Héctor Figueroa, president of 32BJ Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, the largest property services union in the country.

Read the report: Cities at Work: Progressive Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class by Joel Rogers and Satya Rhodes-Conway

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To speak with an expert on this topic, contact Katie Peters at [email protected] or 202.741.6285.