Jobs, Income and Regional Equity
Regional equity stresses the region as the fundamental category for understanding and addressing the economic, social, and environmental problems facing working class and communities of color in urban America today. Regional equity emphasizes the economic, spatial, and political dynamics that are the root causes for:
- The dramatic polarization of wealth and incomes;
- The decay of inner city and older inner ring suburban infrastructure; Entrenched racial and residential segregation;
- Sprawl and white flight to ‘opportunity rich’ outer ring suburbs; and
- The fragmentation of local governance across metropolitan regions.
The regional equity movement asserts that it is government policy and not the market that is primarily responsible for the urban crisis. The fate of cities and suburbs are intertwined and interdependent. Issues like transit, air pollution, labor markets and working poverty, and the jobs-housing mismatch do not stop at municipal boundaries. They require regional solutions. Inclusive and equitable regions is important for economic and social justice, and for economic competitiveness. By building regional coalitions that transcend racial, ethnic, and spatial divides, with a broad vision for social, economic, and racial justice, progressive ‘metropolitan majorities’ move power regionally, and implement regional policy promoting smart, equitable and sustainable growth. Social movements for regional equity begin at the local and neighborhood level to address the immediate concerns of working families, then ‘scale up’ to impact regional and state policy. At this moment, we should count on Washington D.C. for leadership in regards to urban policy. It is at the local and metropolitan levels that we find a new labor movement, multiracial faith and community based organizing networks, and emerging electoral majorities that are contending for power and developing the capacity to affect state and national Read More