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Welcome to Commonomics

A series from YES! Magazine on how we can build local economies that are strong enough to include everyone. Stay tuned for ongoing coverage from our Local Economies Reporting Fellow, Laura Flanders of GRITtv.


What's The Role of Race in the New Economy Movement?

For the movement to succeed, it must be led by the dispossessed—those for whom the mainstream economy has never worked.

photo by Stephen Melkisethian

W.E.B. Du Bois

Featured Video:

A Black History Tour of Cooperative Economics


Photo by Laura Flanders.

After Death of Radical Mayor, Mississippi's Capital Wrestles With His Economic Vision

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba implemented only the first steps of his plan to address Jackson's extreme income inequality, which most seriously affected black residents. Now the city faces a choice between vastly different approaches to economic development.
New Factories Have Jobs You’d Really Want—and These Chicago Kids Are Skilling Up to Get Them New Factories Have Jobs You’d Really Want—and These Chicago Kids Are Skilling Up to Get Them
by Laura Flanders
Manufacturing jobs are returning to the U.S., but to fill them we’ll have to train a new generation of workers. That’s what this school is doing in a struggling neighborhood that once hosted the country’s biggest candy empires, as factories return.
Investing in Renewables Can Relieve Our Planet—While Reviving Our Economy Investing in Renewables Can Relieve Our Planet—While Reviving Our Economy
by Anthony Giancatarino
Carbon reduction alone cannot solve our climate crisis, because it is continuously fed by our economic crisis. But renewables can be a critical driver in building a healthier economic system, free of the fossil fuel industry.
How Jamaica Plain Is Building Working-Class Leadership in the New Economy How Jamaica Plain Is Building Working-Class Leadership in the New Economy
by Carlos Espinoza-Toro
How can potential leaders from underprivileged backgrounds tackle economic inequality and climate change when they spend most of their time trying to earn a decent living? Here’s what we learned in Massachusetts.
To Build a New Economy, a New Government Comes First To Build a New Economy, a New Government Comes First
by Jacob Swenson
National People’s Action Campaign is training the next wave of progressive candidates for 2016. Here’s how they could win.
What Housing Organizers in Buffalo Learned from the ’70s What Housing Organizers in Buffalo Learned from the ’70s
by Aaron Bartley
Why did some of the cooperative institutions built in the ’70s—especially food co-ops—get to scale and thrive in subsequent decades, while others faded away?
With an Economy that Worked for All, Mike Brown Would Still Be Alive With an Economy that Worked for All, Mike Brown Would Still Be Alive
by Ed Whitfield
“Our full humanity is expressed only when we have the capacity and the opportunity to be productive, to do for ourselves, meeting our needs in our communities.”
Want to Build an Economy that Works for Everybody? Next Week, We’re All About It Want to Build an Economy that Works for Everybody? Next Week, We’re All About It
by Mary Hansen
Next Monday, YES! and the New Economy Coalition kick off New Economy Week—five days of national conversation about the ideas, strategies, and projects that make up the movement.
Workers in Maine Buy Out Their Jobs, Set an Example for the Nation Workers in Maine Buy Out Their Jobs, Set an Example for the Nation
by Rob Brown, Noemi Giszpenc, Brian Van Slyke
For the new worker-owners of the Island Employee Cooperative, the transformation into a co-op will create profound changes in their lives.
Kentucky Town Beats High Gas Prices—By Opening a Public Gas Station Kentucky Town Beats High Gas Prices—By Opening a Public Gas Station
by Thomas Hanna
Gas stations aren’t great for the climate, but the move is a step toward local control over economic decisions—a model that holds great potential for developing renewable energy in the long term.
How Seattle Led the Country’s Wage Revolution How Seattle Led the Country’s Wage Revolution
by David "Goldy" Goldstein
Seattle's path to a $15 minimum wage is a winding tale of effective organizing, smart messaging, and blind dumb luck. It is also a roadmap for bypassing partisan gridlock—one city at a time.
Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around Poverty Is Not Inevitable: What We Can Do Now to Turn Things Around
by Dean Paton
Having poor people in the richest country in the world is a choice. We have the money to solve this. But do we have the will?
Breaking the Grip of the Fossil Fuel Economy: If It Can Happen in Appalachia, It Can Happen Anywhere Breaking the Grip of the Fossil Fuel Economy: If It Can Happen in Appalachia, It Can Happen Anywhere
by Laura Flanders
Coal production is gradually leaving Appalachia—having already extracted much of the region's natural wealth. Local people are figuring out how to build a new economy based on shared vision and community knowledge. If transition can happen here, it can change the debate everywhere.
These Young People Are Pioneering Appalachia's Post-Coal Economy These Young People Are Pioneering Appalachia's Post-Coal Economy
by Joe Solomon
The Appalachian Transition Fellows are young people who will spend this year building diverse job opportunities in the coal-country counties that need them most.
These Women-Run Co-ops Push Back Against the “Feminization of Poverty” These Women-Run Co-ops Push Back Against the “Feminization of Poverty”
by Sarah McKinley, Violeta Duncan
Two-thirds of the country’s low-wage workers are women. That’s why they stand to benefit the most from greater equity in and control of the workplace.
Worker-Owned Co-ops Get $1 Million in NYC Spending Worker-Owned Co-ops Get $1 Million in NYC Spending
by Liz Pleasant
New York City's newly approved budget allocates $1.2 million for developing and supporting worker-owned cooperative businesses.
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