Fixing Los Angeles and Bargaining for the Common Good

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On Wednesday, July 13, nearly 150 representatives of community organizations, unions, think tanks, and universities gathered to look closely at the success of the “Fix LA” movement and discuss the state of Bargaining for the Common Good efforts around the country.

The event was hosted by the Kalmanovitz Initiative and the Rutgers SMLR Center for Innovation in Worker Organization. We are grateful to AFSCME, AFT, NEA, SEIU, the Center for Popular Democracy, People’s Action, Jobs With Justice, and PICO National Network, whose support made the event possible.

The event also marked the release of the Kalmanovitz Initiative’s report on the groundbreaking “Fix LA” campaign, titled Fixing Los Angeles and Remaking Public Sector Collective Bargaining: A Case Study of “Bargaining for the Common Good. The report chronicles the successful efforts of Los Angeles city workers and community activists to unite under a “Common Good” agenda in order to win back thousands of jobs and restore public services. It explores the many challenges and innovations of the campaign and draws lessons for the labor movement going forward. The report was authored by Patrick Dixon, a research analyst at the Kalmanovitz Initiative.

AFT President Randi Weingarten offerred opening remarks.
Panelists and moderators also included:

  • Saqib Bhatti, director of the ReFund America Project (RAP) and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute
  • Patrick Dixon, research analyst for the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor
  • Peter Kuhns, L.A. Director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
  • Joe McCartin, professor of history and director of the Georgetown University Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor
  • Amisha Patel, executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative
  • Matthew Polk, lead bargainer and community organizer for the Pasco Association of Educators
  • Amy Schur, campaigns director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment
  • Pastor William D. Smart, President and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Council of Southern California
  • Marilyn Sneiderman, professor and director of the Rutgers SMLR Center for Innovation in Worker Organization
  • Gilda Valdez, Chief of Staff of SEIU Local 721 and President of the Fast Food Workers Los Angeles Organizing Committee
  • Maurice Weeks, campaign coordinator for housing justice and Wall Street accountability for the Center for Popular Democracy

To connect with this network and find resources that can help your community organization or union plan a Bargaining for the Common Good campaign, visit (new window) or e-mail (new window).