Act	
  Local.	
  Get	
  Vocal.	
  Make	
  a	
  Difference.	
  	
  
PA	
  Economic	
  Inequality	
  Action	
  Team	
  
Summ...
Act	
  Local.	
  Get	
  Vocal.	
  Make	
  a	
  Difference.	
  	
  
PA	
  Economic	
  Inequality	
  Action	
  Team	
  
Summ...
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PA Economic Inequality Team 2014 Priorities

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PA Economic Inequality Team 2014 Priorities

  1. 1. Act  Local.  Get  Vocal.  Make  a  Difference.     PA  Economic  Inequality  Action  Team   Summary:  The  People’s  Alliance  Economic  Inequality  work  group   advocates  for  policies  that  ensure  that  all  Durham  residents  have   access  to  high-­‐quality  jobs  that  pay  a  living  wage  with  benefits,  and   the  opportunity  to  acquire  and  make  use  of  productive  assets.    In   addition,  we  advocate  for  progressive  tax  policies  that  ensure  that   businesses  and  residents  pay  their  fair  share  to  support  adequate   public  services.           Contact  Information:  Carl  Rist,  rist@frontier.com     www.durhampa.org       Context     Overall,  Durham  has  a  healthy  and  growing  economy.    Durham  and  the  region  around  it  have   the  lowest  unemployment  in  the  state  and  the  highest  wages.    Yet,  this  healthy  economy  is  not   benefiting  everyone.    Durham’s  poverty  rate  (18%)  is  higher  than  the  statewide  average  and   almost  a  quarter  of  all  Census  tracts  in  Durham  County  are  designated  as  “high  poverty.”    The   top  20%  of  wage  earners  in  Durham  receive  more  than  half  of  the  total  income  in  Durham   County.    At  the  same  time,  almost  half  of  all  households  of  color  in  Durham  lack  a  minimum   threshold  of  financial  assets  needed  for  financial  security.     2014  Priorities:       To  promote  more  widely  shared  prosperity,  we  urge  our  elected  officials  to  act  on  these  policy   priorities  for  2014:       1. Ensure  that  all  who  seek  employment  have  access  to  good  jobs  that  pay  living  wages.    In   particular:   • Support  a  community-­‐wide  living  wage  certification  program  to  recognize  employers   that  pay  all  employees  a  living  wage.   • Expand  the  current  living  wage  ordinances  (city,  county,  and  DPS)  to  include  paid   sick  leave.   • Make  paying  a  living  wage  an  optional  criteria  for  City  and  County  public  contracts   • Pass  a  resolution  (City  Council  and  Board  of  County  Commissioners)  in  support  of   raising  the  federal  hourly  minimum  wage  to  $10.10  and  lobby  NC's  Congressional   delegation  for  passage.   • Consider  following  the  example  of  Asheville  by  refusing  to  accept  HB  74  and  passing   a  city-­‐wide  living  wage  ordinance     2. Leverage  public  investments  in  economic  development  to  promote  living  wage  employment   and  greater  transparency.    In  particular:   • Add  a  wage/benefits  criterion  as  a  base  factor  for  determining  appropriation  of   Durham  County  jobs  and  capital  incentives     • Add  a  requirement  that  all  recipients  of  capital  and  jobs  incentives  from  Durham   County  complete  a  Workforce  Development  Plan.     • Require  Durham  County  to  produce  an  annual  report  on  incentives  broken  out  by   jobs  and  capital  incentives,  including  long-­‐term  liability  of  existing  incentive  deals  
  2. 2. Act  Local.  Get  Vocal.  Make  a  Difference.     PA  Economic  Inequality  Action  Team   Summary:  The  People’s  Alliance  Economic  Inequality  work  group   advocates  for  policies  that  ensure  that  all  Durham  residents  have   access  to  high-­‐quality  jobs  that  pay  a  living  wage  with  benefits,  and   the  opportunity  to  acquire  and  make  use  of  productive  assets.    In   addition,  we  advocate  for  progressive  tax  policies  that  ensure  that   businesses  and  residents  pay  their  fair  share  to  support  adequate   public  services.           Contact  Information:  Carl  Rist,  rist@frontier.com     www.durhampa.org           3. Expand  access  to  free  tax  preparation  to  allow  more  families  to  claim  the  Earned  Income   Tax  Credit  (EITC).    In  particular:   • Provide  a  minimum  of  $5,000  in  City  funding  to  Reinvestment  Partners  to  replace   two  workforce  development  staff  that  are  no  longer  able  to  assist  the  Volunteer   Income  Tax  Assistance  (VITA)  program.       • Increase  funding  from  the  County  to  support  the  VITA  program  from  $5,000  to   $10,000  annually.     4. Ensure  local  public  services  are  paid  for  adequately  by  fair  and  progressive  taxes.    In   particular:   • Replace  new  solid  waste  fee  with  property  tax  revenue   • Publicize  (City  Council,  Board  of  County  Commissioners,  and  Board  of  Education)  the   way  in  which  state  and  federal  tax  policies  and  the  resultant  cutbacks  contribute  to   local  tax  increases  or  lower  service.    

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