Local Jobs Resolution Toolkit

Creating Local Jobs Resolution Toolkit

Table of Contents

  1. Guide to Getting a Resolution Passed in Your Community
  2. Quick Facts about the Miller Jobs Bill
  3. Sample Resolutions Supporting Jobs Creation
    a) National League of Cities Resolution in Support of H.R. 4812 and
    b) More Generic Resolution supporting Good Federal Jobs Bills that benefit local communities
  4. State and City-Specific Jobs/Budget Data for YOUR Community Resolution!
  5. Online Resources

Guide to Getting a Resolution Passed in Your Community

The following is a simple guide to getting a City Council Resolution passed in your community. A City Council Resolution campaign is not a “one size fits all” effort but the following are ideas to get you started.

Gather a Coalition of Local Organizations to Support the Effort

Many communities have existing community organizations, neighborhood associations, peace and justice coalitions. If a coalition does not exist in your community, a City Council Resolution campaign is a great opportunity to launch an effort to amass the power of different groups and constituencies to advance progressive policies in your community. Think outside the box! Gather a host committee with representatives from different constituencies including faith-based groups, students and youth organizations, peace and justice groups, sympathetic business groups, groups that work on poverty, immigrant groups, racial justice organizations etc. Call a first meeting to launch this idea.

Survey Your City/Town Council

If you are unsure about where your City Council stands on your issue of interest, you may want to start by surveying the Council so you can assess who are your allies, swing members, and those that will pose a tough challenge. Call each office and ask the Council Members (or their staff) if they would generally support a Resolution in favor of your effort. This effort can be divided amongst different organizations. Make sure there is a point person who is collecting the results of the survey to report back at the next meeting.

Gather Public Signatures

If you already have a resolution draft in mind that you would like to have the Council pass you may want to spend some time gathering petition signatures from the Councilmember’s constituents. This will help leverage Councilmembers’ support and may help in getting similar language passed by the Council instead of a watered-down version. Ask the members of your coalition to each collect a stack of signatures.

Identify Council Member Allies

Identify your strongest ally(ies) on your City Council and set up a meeting with him/her to discuss introducing a resolution. Bring education packet to share with them including talking points, copies of City Council resolutions from other communities, newspaper articles, costs to your community and signed petitions. Ask the Council Person(s) to take the lead in garnering the support of other Council Members. Ask the Council Person to approve the language in the draft resolution. This process may take a number of days and a fair amount of negotiating.

If the Council Person agrees to take the lead, set up a follow up meeting with the Council Person’s aide. To secure the support of other council members and to move the process along swiftly it is often easier to work with aides.

Hold a Public Education Event

At any point in this process you may want to consider setting up a public event in your city to garner wider support for your initiative, to bring more citizen power into the effort, and to build the peace movement in your city. If there are forums or teach-ins already planned you may want to just work with the organizers of those events to get on the speaking docket and invite the public to your next planning meeting. One way bring City Council Members into this effort early is to set it up as a “town hall meeting” where you have a panel of people presenting the various arguments for (and against) the resolution and a panel of Council Members and citizens listening and asking follow-up questions.

Outreach to the Media

The easiest way to make the resolution effort appealing to the media is to draw the direct impacts on your city. The National Priorities Project is available to help you crunch the numbers on how much the war will cost local taxpayers in your community. This, combined with the budgetary crisis facing many cities, makes a great hook for press.

A public education event or action is a great opportunity to inform journalists about the Cities for Peace campaign. If you are not holding a public education event, consider holding a press conference featuring City Council Members leading the effort and diverse members of your Coordinating body or coalition. If you don’t have allied Council Members you may want to plan the media outreach around an action designed to target the Council Member and expose their unwillingness to support this effort. You may want to hold a Candle Light Vigil at their home or conduct a sit-in at their office.

Draft a press release and send it to your local and regional press. If a Resolution passes successfully don’t forget to do follow-up media work. Hold a press conference and claim a victory.

What to do if you face resistance in your council?

It will prove almost impossible for many cities to pass a resolution. The following are some alternative options for expressing the support for peace in your city:

If you have any allied Council Members ask them to circulate a general letter in support of the measure to other members and other officials in your City Government including the Board of Education, the Mayors office and other municipal departments. Any expression you can obtain in alliance with the legislation will help the national Cities for Progress effort to show national unity.

You can also try different bodies in your city such as University Resolutions supporting the action or legislation, Labor Union local resolutions, Parent and Teacher Associations, or other Civic bodies.

If you have a sympathetic Mayor in your city, ask him or her to issue a statement in support of the action.

Quick Facts about the Miller Jobs Bill (from National League of Cities)

H.R 4812, Local Jobs For America Act, is one of the best venues currently before Congress that will help to create local jobs and stimulate local economies.

  • The legislation, also referred to as the Miller Jobs bill, would provide $75 billion to cities and towns to save and create jobs, cutting out the corruption and red tape at the state level.
  • Through a funding formula based on the Community Development Block Grant program, the bill would direct $75 billion to cities, towns and counties to save municipal jobs and prevent layoffs. Of the $75 billion, $52.5 billion would go directly to communities with at least 50,000 residents, and $22.5 billion would go directly to states to distribute to communities with fewer than 50,000 residents.
  • The bill, which National League of Cities and city officials helped develop, will put 1 million people to work by restoring these services in local communities, in both public and private sector jobs.
  • It also includes $23 billion to help states support an estimated 250,000 education jobs; $1.18 billion to put 5,500 law enforcement officers on the beat; and $500 million to hire and retain fire fighters and $500 million for approximately 50,000 additional on-the-job training slots to help private business expand employment.
  • Further information may be found in a fact sheet on the NLC website.

Other Legislative Vehicles for Job Creation

There are some other good pieces of legislation currently in the US House of Representatives. Cities for Progress believes that all of these vehicles will improve the currently dismal jobs picture.

H.R. 4179: SHARE (Shortening Hours and Retaining Employees) Credit Act of 2009

  • The bill, introduced by Rep. John Conyers, proposes that the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 be amended to create a refundable work-share tax credit, keeping the private sector stimulated and giving employers an alternative to laying people off.
  • Jobs creation in the private sector would cost $22,500 on average.
  • If employers of 60 million workers reduced work hours by an average of 5 percent, then it should lead to the creation of 3 million jobs-before taking in to account any multiplier effect
    - Press Release: Rep. Conyers Introduces SHARE Bill
  • H.R. 4191: Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act of 2009 Imposes a tax on financial transactions to fund jobs creation and deficit reduction
    These transactions include those related to stocks, futures, swaps, credit default swaps, and options.
  • The measure exempts transactions for securities in tax-exempt retirement accounts, health savings accounts, education accounts, and regulated investment companies.
  • Half of all revenue will be put into a jobs creation fund, and the other half will be marked for deficit reduction.

Your City Council, Letter Writing or Petition Campaigns could center on any of these pieces of legislation, or more broadly, of the best that’s in all them to demonstrate local community support for comprehensive solutions to the current State and Local Fiscal and Jobs Crisis.

Sample Resolultions Supporting Jobs Creation

Sample Resolution (from the National League of Cities) on the Local Jobs For America Act

WHEREAS, our nation is going through one of the most difficult economic times in its history with the national unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent;

WHEREAS, despite signs of an economic recovery at the national level, economic conditions in cities and towns across the country continue to worsen with more municipal governments facing significant budget shortfalls and increased demand for services;

WHEREAS, the City of __________ employs ________ workers who provide critical services to our residents ranging from public safety, community and economic development, infrastructure maintenance, trash collection, and waste water treatment;

WHEREAS, the unemployment rate in the City of _________ metropolitan statistical area has risen to ____;

WHEREAS, the City of ____________ is facing a ________budget shortfall and may have to choose between laying off employees, eliminating services, and raising taxes to balance its budget; and

WHEREAS, such action to counter the recession’s impact on the City of _________ would contribute to an increase in the lack of fiscal stability for this community and further contribute to the nation’s unemployment rate just as the economy begins to recover; and

WHEREAS, federal aid will be necessary if the City of __________ is to avoid public service worker layoffs including fire and police, teachers and other important city workers or significant increases in taxes to pay the salaries of these employees.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of __________endorses H.R. 4812, the Local Jobs for America Act because it will help create one million public and private jobs in local communities this year, including in the City of ________;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of __________ supports the Local Jobs for America Act because it will help ensure that our city can continue to provide services essential to families in our community;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of __________ supports H.R. 4812 because it would help prevent state and local tax increases, while helping governments avoid making the choice between eliminating services and raising taxes; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of __________ supports H.R. 4812 because it would help stimulate local businesses and create more jobs in the local economy;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of __________ Congress and the President to adopt H.R. 4812 into law immediately so that cities and towns across America can retain existing employees and provide employment opportunities in the public and private sectors.

A printable version of this sample resolution is available here, and NLC also provides a sample letter to your representative in Washington here.

Sample Resolution for More General Support of Good Federal Jobs Bills that Quickly Benefit Local Communities

SAMPLE RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL FISCAL RELIEF AND LOCAL JOBS

WHEREAS, our nation is going through one of the most difficult economic times in its history with the national unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent;

WHEREAS, despite signs of an economic recovery at the national level, economic conditions in cities and towns across the country continue to worsen with more municipal governments facing significant budget shortfalls and increased demand for services;

WHEREAS, the City of __________ employs ________ workers who provide critical services to our residents ranging from public safety, community and economic development, infrastructure maintenance, trash collection, and waste water treatment;

WHEREAS, the unemployment rate in the City of _________ metropolitan statistical area has risen to ____;

WHEREAS, the City of ____________ is facing a ________budget shortfall and may have to choose between laying off employees, eliminating services, and raising taxes to balance its budget; and

WHEREAS, such action to counter the recession’s impact on the City of _________ would contribute to an increase in the lack of fiscal stability for this community and further contribute to the nation’s unemployment rate just as the economy begins to recover; and

WHEREAS, federal aid will be necessary if the City of __________ is to avoid public service worker layoffs including fire and police, teachers and other important city workers or significant increases in taxes to pay the salaries of these employees.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of __________endorses any legislation that will help to create and save significant numbers of private and public jobs in local communities this year, such as H.R. 4812, the Local Jobs for America Act, H.R. 4179, the SHARE act, and H.R. 4191, the Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street act.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of __________ supports this type of legislation because it will help ensure that our city can continue to provide services essential to families in our community;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of __________ supports this type of legislation because it would help prevent state and local tax increases, while helping governments avoid making the choice between eliminating services and raising taxes; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of __________ supports this type of legislation because it would help stimulate local businesses and create more jobs in the local economy;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of __________ Congress and the President to adopt such legislation as H.R. 4812, H.R. 4179 and H.R. 4191 into law immediately so that cities and towns across America can retain existing employees and provide employment opportunities in the public and private sectors.

State and City-Specific Jobs/Budget Data for your Community Resolution

The National Priorities Project has created a state-by-state fact sheet to assist in legislative efforts to promote job recovery. Each fact sheet compiles statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Recovery.gov and various other government sources. Please use the following link to access your community’s projected recovery plan. State-by-State Fact Sheets

Online Resources