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Issue Area: Economy


Introduction

 

Roosevelters believe in an economy that invests in collective prosperity, rather than one that benefits the richest. We demand an economy built by and for workers that provides job security, collective bargaining rights, and sustainable living wages. In order to enact real solutions, we must counter the stark concentration of economic power in a few hands. That begins with the distorted priorities of the financial industry and ensuring the flow of profits is not contained within the financial industry itself. Instead, we must focus our attention on the real economy and undertake vast investments in housing, infrastructure, and transport. 

We believe in an economy:  

    • that seeks to strengthen, not weaken our public institutions- schools, municipalities, hospitals, and more
    • that constrains private financial power to public accountability
    • that works for all Americans, providing full employment and dignity for every citizen
    • that is guided by rules written by the many rather than the few
    • where workers have the right to organize and negotiate with their employer free from fear or intimidation and/or retaliation

How

Here's a look at the types of policy projects or campaigns you could undertake in the Economy Issue Area: 

  • Research and design a Financialization campaign at your school
  • Campus campaigns to get student representation, oversight, and a vote on the Boards of Trustees at one’s respective university
  • Form or join a coalition of workers fighting for fair contracts and protect against outsourcing
  • Work on a Participatory budgeting campaign
  • Campaign to improve broadband access in your community
  • Support organized workers on your campus/community in their drive to organize
  • Campaign to advocate for investments in Public Transit infrastructure

Active Campaigns

A look at some active campaigns fighting for the public good in the Economy across the nation: 

  • Through various pressures from organizing groups, New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman prosecuted big banks that manipulated the LIBOR rate. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) lost over $600 million to bad deals on interest rate swaps. Schneiderman settled the case for $100 Million between multiple states
  • Participatory budgeting (PB) is a different way to manage public money, and to engage people in government. It is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables taxpayers to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives.The Participatory Budgeting Project creates and supports participatory budgeting processes that deepen democracy, build stronger communities, and make public budgets more equitable and effective. A Roosevelter named J.A. Strub brought participatory budgeting process to his university. J.A. worked with his Graduate Student Association to move forward with implementing participatory budgeting within the CUNY system.
  • Forgo Wells is a campaign to have state and municipalities continue doing business with Wells Fargo Bank. Their predatory lending practices, bad municipal financial deals, and their continued support of other privatization projects that threaten human rights of individuals.
  • Financialization of Higher Education is a Roosevelt campaign that looks to examine the increased presence of the financial industry in managing university funds. At the University of Michigan chapter, they’ve used a variety of tools to lobby their administration and state system.
  • Roosevelt @ University of Tennessee Knoxville has been lobbying their governor and state officials in solidarity with campus custodial and dining hall workers. Their jobs are being outsourced to independent contractors. Our chapter at the University of Tennessee Knoxville have been using various tools from student petitions, lobbying efforts, and meeting with university administrators. Learn more about the issues they’re advocating for here. Similar attempts to undermine unions and collective bargaining structures are in place in California
  • Fight for 15 campaign is "an international movement in over 300 cities on six continents of fast-food workers, home health aides, child care teachers, airport workers, adjunct professors, retail employees – and underpaid workers everywhere" that fights for a minimum wage of $15/hour.

Roosevelt Examples

Some examples of Roosevelt student written policies advocating for the public good of the economy: 

Active Organizations

Resources