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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.
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.
What’s the Role of Race in the New Economy Movement? What’s the Role of Race in the New Economy Movement?
by Penn Loh
For the movement to succeed, it must be led by the dispossessed—those for whom the mainstream economy has never worked.
Seattle Wins $15 Minimum Wage—Will Your Town Be Next? Seattle Wins $15 Minimum Wage—Will Your Town Be Next?
by YES! Editors
Activists built support for the ordinance by demonstrating that it would reduce poverty in the city.
"Black Women’s Blueprint" Helps Low-Income Women Get By—Through Bartering "Black Women’s Blueprint" Helps Low-Income Women Get By—Through Bartering
by Laura Flanders
Farah Tanis learned that, of the women in poverty she worked with, 9 out of 10 had experienced violence—so she started a bartering network to help them survive.
The Underground Railroad Was One of America’s First Co-ops: A Black History Tour of Cooperative Economics The Underground Railroad Was One of America’s First Co-ops: A Black History Tour of Cooperative Economics
by Laura Flanders
From slavery to Jim Crow to cities today, African-Americans have been leading the cooperative movement.
Video: Can We Create Living-Wage Jobs for Everyone? Video: Can We Create Living-Wage Jobs for Everyone?
by Laura Flanders
We have plenty of low-income jobs, but fewer in the middle where we really need investment. How can we make sure public money is spent for the greater good?
After Death of Radical Mayor, Mississippi's Capital Wrestles With His Economic Vision After Death of Radical Mayor, Mississippi's Capital Wrestles With His Economic Vision
by Laura Flanders
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.
Video: Can Co-Ops Curb Poverty In New York City? Video: Can Co-Ops Curb Poverty In New York City?
by Laura Flanders
Of the many businesses in New York, only 23 are worker co-ops. But those that exist have a strong record of raising wages and reducing poverty, especially in low-income communities like city councilmember Maria del Carmen Arroyo's South Bronx district.
A Parliament of Mayors: Can We End Inequality By Giving Cities More Power? A Parliament of Mayors: Can We End Inequality By Giving Cities More Power?
by Laura Flanders
In our increasingly interdependent world, mayors may be more motivated to collaborate and possibly more capable than our national governments of effectively working across borders.
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