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Video: Can We Create Living-Wage Jobs for Everyone?

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?
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What is a good job? Do tax breaks to self-proclaimed "job creators" actually create jobs and if so, what kind of jobs? How do we ensure that public money is spent for public good?

"We see too much emphasis on the concept of a job," Bettina Damiani tells host Laura Flanders in an interview with GRITtv. "We have more low-income jobs, but fewer in the middle where we really need the investment."

Bettina Damiani has worked as the Project Coordinator at Good Jobs First for the past 13 years, coordinating campaigns that fight for economic transparency, fairness and equality for all New Yorkers. She recently announced that she will be stepping down from her position this month to pursue other opportunities. As part of a bittersweet goodbye, we had the chance to interview her about her take on private-public partnerships, economic justice, and creating good, middle-class jobs for everyone.

"No one has been able to convince the academic world or the advocates—citizens that live in these neighborhoods—that these stadiums actually benefit the neighborhoods," Damiani says, recalling the building of Yankee stadium in the South Bronx, one of the dramas during of her tenure at Good Jobs First. "When the project was first proposed, we joked that throwing the money off the elevated train would have had a better economic return."

For more on organizing in New York City, check out our interview with Ana Maria Archila. For more on creating inclusive economic policies, watch Kelly Anderson's interview on gentrification in Brooklyn.


Laura Flanders headshotLaura is YES! Magazine's 2014 Local Economies Reporting Fellow and is executive producer and founder and host of "GRITtv with Laura Flanders." Follow her on Twitter @GRITlaura.

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