Placing a critical spotlight on the ways states and municipalities have underwritten Amazon’s exponential growth, we provide communities with tools to challenge these wasteful giveaways. We support efforts to force Amazon to pay in communities it locates, rather than receiving billions in public support.
Good Jobs NY
Between 1999 and 2016, our Good Jobs New York project led the charge for reforms at the New York City Industrial Development Agency. We won major disclosure and democracy-process reforms, including Local Law 69 for sunshine and procedural reforms in how IDA meetings are announced, resulting in a huge surge in public participation.
A growing number of “green jobs” create renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, and reduce the emissions that cause climate change. But securing them requires intentional policies to ensure that publicly funded green jobs pay well, provide decent benefits and give workers a free choice to join a union.
No one has published or trained more on how job subsidies affect land use patterns and the quality of a region’s jobs than Good Jobs First. Incentives can promote transit-oriented development and more equitable access to good jobs – or they can exacerbate sprawl and undermine good union jobs.
Hidden Taypayer Costs
Lower-income workers often turn to taxpayer-funded healthcare programs when they are ineligible for coverage through their employers or the cost is too expensive. In effect, this creates a subsidy for low-wage, low-benefit employers such as Walmart. In the early 2000s, activists pressed state governments to reveal which large employers had the most workers using safety net programs. Good Jobs First documented these disclosures.
Walmart and Big Box Retail
Even though big-box retail stores pay poorly, fail to provide most employees with full-time hours, steamroll existing retail employers, and exacerbate sprawl, they continue to attract massive subsidies in the name of “economic development.” Our studies and projects such as Walmart Subsidy Watch demonstrate the hidden taxpayer costs of big-box chain stores.
Americans for Transit
Together with the Amalgamated Transit Union, Good Jobs First launched Americans for Transit in 2012, a non-profit to create, strengthen and unite grassroots transit rider groups. The new group built upon two previous community-labor “boot camps” that trained grassroots advocates and local union leaders in 95 cities on how to organize successful campaigns for improved and affordable transit service.