Handbook on Community Benefits Agreements Updated

Posted by on August 19, 2005

[posted from Comm-Org]

Handbook on Community Benefits Agreements Updated, Re-Issued

Good Jobs First and the California Partnership for Working Families announced the release of an updated version of their handbook on Community Benefits Agreements.

CBAs are innovative contracts between developers and community-labor coalitions to ensure that development projects really benefit local residents.

“Community Benefits Agreements: Making Development Projects Accountable,” was written primarily by attorney Julian Gross, legal director of the California Partnership. It draws heavily upon the work of Los Angeles community groups and unions in negotiating a recent series of agreements, including the landmark Staples Center deal and a CBA around the expansion of Los Angeles International Airport.

These agreements include benefits such as living wages, local hiring, affordable housing, environmental improvements and funding for other community needs such as health clinics and youth centers. The report also includes a section on monitoring and enforcement of such agreements, as well as verbatim excerpts of key agreements.

“These agreements are the most comprehensive contracts ever won by labor-community coalitions,” said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First. “They are best-practice models for any group seeking to make development dollars really pay off for workers, communities and taxpayers.”

“The power of these agreements is that they are legally binding,” said Madeline Janis-Aparicio, executive director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), an organization that has played a key role in the Los Angeles agreements. “We now have the ability to make sure developers really follow through on their promises.”

The report is available at Good Jobs First’s website at http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/cbarelease.htm and at the California Partnership’s website at: http://www.californiapartnership.org/article.php?id=120

Julian Gross is a civil rights attorney with a solo practice in San Francisco. He represented LAANE and other community-based organizations in negotiating the Community Benefits Agreements described in the monograph. Julian works with non- profits across the country on issues of social and economic justice.

Good Jobs First is a national resource center promoting corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families. It was founded in 1998 by Greg LeRoy, author of the new book The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation.

The California Partnership for Working Families is a coordinated program designed to reform the economic development practices of governments and government agencies in four major regions of California. Its four founding organizations include: the Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego Center on Policy Initiatives in San Diego , the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy in Oakland, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, and Working Partnerships USA in San Jose. These groups are engaged in research and policy analysis, labor and community organizing, and coalition building with the aim of fostering economic and social justice in their regions.

Greg LeRoy
Executive Director
Good Jobs First
Email: goodjobs@goodjobsfirst.org
Phone: 202-626-3780 ext.27
Web address: http://www.goodjobsfirst.org

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