Our country has an abundance of resources to provide everything we need, but too few people control those resources and the people in power, who are making decisions in our regions, have created or bought into a false sense of scarcity.
A lack of real public investment has left our communities without the basic elements people need to live their lives well. The dream of safe affordable housing and public transit that gets us to work, school, or a visit to the doctor is out of reach for too many of us. In many places, we can’t count on clean and affordable drinking water, or even send our children to healthy school buildings free of lead and toxic chemicals. And as extreme storms and weather become more common, our need for resilient infrastructure and a clean energy transition has never been clearer.
Wealthy corporations make decisions to maximize shareholder profits, not to achieve what’s best for our families and communities. By hoarding wealth, suppressing wages, and avoiding paying their fair share of taxes, they undermine our ability to fund the things that serve us all in the long-term.
Then, as we struggle to meet our people’s basic needs, corporate interests tell us that they are actually the solution to our problem. Private entities are taking over our roads, our water and our schools — the building blocks of our cities — to create more profit for themselves. It isn’t working for us. The rich are getting richer and our people are suffering.
We are fighting for community-controlled, public infrastructure that builds community wealth and health and puts power into the hands of the people who live and work in our communities. The Partnership is launching a campaign across multiple cities: distinct place-based campaigns with a unifying vision, shared strategies, and common values:
Put people at the center. Infrastructure should benefit our communities and be locally controlled. By infrastructure we mean all the things we agree to build together for our communities. Beyond roads and bridges, it includes our public schools, libraries, and community facilities and public spaces.
Ensure new infrastructure helps existing communities to thrive. All people have the right to remain and new infrastructure should not displace long-time residents. Instead, we can create and protect housing so that everyone can live in healthy, beautiful, and safe places, and use our investments to create union jobs that pay a living wage for locals. Public infrastructure should support small businesses, which contribute to the unique character of our neighborhoods and help hold together our communities.
Impacted local communities take the lead. Women of color, low income working people, formerly incarcerated people, disabled people, and immigrants — should have decision-making power over public spending and what, where, and how we build our infrastructure through both official roles on decision-making bodies and democratic community processes.
Build thriving economies that provide dignified, productive and ecologically sustainable livelihoods that are governed directly by workers and communities and away from extractive, climate-damaging industries
Keep infrastructure public. Public goods advance us all. We will resist those who seek to profit from our infrastructure at the expense of those who create and use it, meaning no privatized roads, tolls, schools, water systems, or transit systems, and fight for a return of currently privatized public goods to the public domain.