Monday, August 23, 2010

SF Community Congress Economic Plan

Posted on August 13, 2010 by sfcommunitycongress

Guiding principles

1. Economic development policies must contribute to the health and well-being of the city’s neighborhoods and residents, provide decent wages, have a positive impact on the urban environment, and promote alternative ownership models.

2. Local government is a key driver of the local economy, both through infrastructure development and public sector employment.

3. Economic policy must balance “external” market linkages with the powers of local government to create more democratic and accountable development. [don’t understand this one – rephrase?]

4. The city’s existing financial resources should be mobilized to fund economically viable social enterprises.

5. Local government must provide means for shaping economic development, through new forms of participatory governance that encourage representation of constituents typically excluded from decisionmaking.

I. Financing and Promoting Local Development

1. Establish a Municipal Bank of San Francisco by amending the City’s charter, to be incorporated as a federally insured credit union, and funded with an initial investment of [$100 million] of City reserves, with additional increments thereafter, to invest in community-based economic development, such as small businesses, local clean energy, social enterprises and cooperatives, and other projects that provide economic benefits to low income residents of San Francisco.
2. Establish a publicly-owned Municipal Development Corporation (MDC) to undertake large-scale production of goods and services to be sold at competitive rates, such as clean energy (see #3), medical marijuana cultivation, and a city-owned fiber optic network, with surpluses used to invest in community-based economic development.
3. Begin investing in large-scale, renewable clean energy projects funded through a combination of local revenue bonds and funding from a local Municipal Bank, with the goal of entirely supplanting PG&E from the local market, and using surpluses to invest in community-based economic development.

II. Reforming Local Governance

1. Consolidate the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, as well as relevant economic development aspects of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and the Department of City Planning, into a Department of Community-based Economic Development, to be overseen by a commission jointly appointed by the Mayor and Supervisors, and charged with insuring the economic development policy is implemented in accordance with the City Charter and the General Plan.
2. Establish Local Community Councils consisting of members from a diverse range of San Francisco neighborhoods and sectors, with official [consultation status] within the new Department of Community-based Economic Development, and with seats on the boards of both the Municipal Bank and the MDC, to ensure that policies address the needs of a broad spectrum of San Francisco residents.

III. Fiscal Reform of Local Government

1. Implement a long-term progressive tax revenue plan, by convening a post-election working group in early 2011, to conduct research into the impacts of taxation schemes on private sector investment, develop recommendations, and guidelines for implementation.
2. Establish a Community Budgeting process in conjunction with progressive taxation, the Municipal Bank and the MDC, with councils from each of San Francisco’s electoral districts, charged with developing initial recommendations to the Board as part of the annual appropriations process, to insure greater participation in the budgeting process.

IV. Labor and Development Standards

1. Require all contractors with the City to implement just cause termination procedures, and require card check neutrality agreements with local non-profits as a condition of receiving City funding to give employees choice in whether they wish to be represented by a union
2. Require all developers to negotiate with the San Francisco Building Trades Council to insure targeted hiring requirements are applied to local construction jobs
3. Require all future approvals of large-scale development projects to adhere to strict local hiring mandates, and require developers to insure that at least 75% of all project-related jobs (including those that are subcontracted) to pay the local living wage, and fees to provide seed money to local work center organizations to conduct oversight of fair hiring and remuneration standards.
4. All employers located in any City-approved major development shall be required to give hiring priority to residents from surrounding neighborhoods, to low income individuals and those earning less then 80% of city medium income, in conjunction with “first source” hiring offices to be administered by the Department of Community-based Economic Development.
5. Enhance the effectiveness of the Community Jobs Program through controlling legislation and examination of existing strengths and weaknesses in implementation of the CJP.
6. Establish a San Francisco Green Jobs Corps to provide paid on-the-job training to those facing barriers to long-term employment in doing energy audits and assessments, assisting low-income home owners and small businesses in obtaining loans and rebates for energy efficiency retrofits, and performing “low-tech” energy retrofits, such as caulking, weather-stripping and insulation. The training program would place people in long-term green jobs in workers cooperatives that would perform the energy retrofits funded by loan and rebate programs.

V. Investing in the Arts, Worker Coops, Small Business, Urban Manufacturing, and the Green Economy

Cultural Economy

1. Consolidate existing arts programs in a new Cultural Economy Department, to commission work by local artists, and sponsor and promote local art, music, and performance festivals; creatie ongoing earned income opportunities for San Francisco artists by seeding their participation in international projects; and identify locations for arts centers and arts industry incubators on public property (like Port land).
2. Consolidate the current 1-2% for art developer fees, to be directed towards community arts activity, providing space support through rent subsidies and other programs that support culturally-based arts industries.
3. Create a municipal cultural works program, similar to the New Deal’s Federal arts, music, and theater programs.

Solidarity Economy & Worker Cooperatives

1. Create a Cooperative Technical Assistance Center, a Cooperative Loan Fund, and a Cooperative Business Incubator site, to support worker cooperatives and other alternative worker-owned, worker-run business endeavors, as well as supporting the development of Community-owned corporations.
2. Implement procurement policies for all city agencies and other public agencies (such as the universities and hospitals), to prioritize procurement from existing and emerging worker cooperatives, other social enterprises, and locally-owned small businesses.

Small Businesses and Urban Manufacturing

1. Develop a comprehensive commercial corridor and “Back Street Business” assistance, retention, and attraction program.
2. Link workforce development and placement (and community college programs) to the employment needs and entrepreneurship potential of San Francisco small businesses, Back Streets enterprises, and emerging green economy and worker coop sectors.
3. Create regulation to ensure that all neighborhood economic development entities and business improvement districts truly represent local residents, workers, and small businesses, not just property owner interests.

Green Economy and Urban Agriculture

1. Mandate public procurement of local, healthy, living-wage foods, and provide subsidy support to programs that sell local healthy foods in low-income neighborhoods, to be funded through new progressive taxes on unhealthy and/or expensive foods.
2. Create urban agriculture zoning designations and begin conversion of surplus city-owned properties for urban agriculture, including portions of the city’s golf courses into farms and orchards, employing San Francisco’s new Green Job Corps workers.
3. Develop an urban agriculture outreach and education program, including workforce development, neighborhood tool libraries and materials depots, and R&D into roof gardens, vertical farming and aquaculture.
4. Commit to the comprehensive seismic and energy retrofit of 100% of San Francisco’s existing multifamily and rental housing units by the year 2020, to be funded through a rotating capital improvement fund created by the pooling of renters’ security deposits.
5. Create a green business incubator with a focus on R&D and manufacturing of appropriate technologies, including recycling and remanufacture businesses.

VI. Institutionalizing an Alternative Economic Development Agenda

1. Establish a new, independent think tank to undertake ongoing research, feasibility and analysis for progressive revenue, governance, and economic development policy.


  1. Jct: And how about accepting human time as collateral for a loan?

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