Localist Policies

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Localist Policy Conversation Overview

The Localist movement is rewriting the rules that govern economic systems from the grassroots up. By drafting, advocating for, and implementing policies that level the playing field for local businesses, people and nature, innovators are transforming the policy structures that undergird the economy. This session is designed for business leaders new to policy work, as well as more advanced practioners that want to find out what’s happening in the field.

Track Facilitators: Leanne Krueger-Braneky, Jamee Haley


Part A: Localist Policies

We will begin this session with an overview of what’s working in Localist economic development policy, including a report-out from the Localist policy summit that the Rockefeller Foundation hosted after last year’s conference. You’ll hear about The Democracy’s Collaborative’s newest research on the five biggest myths in economic development and learn about the inspiring partnership between the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth in eastern Kentucky, where community organizers and economic developers have teamed up to effect real political change in their community. Be ready to share your learning with policy makers back home!


PART B: Trade Deals Gone Wrong

Truly deep economic evolution requires political and legal change. Many of our partners are currently mobilizing around the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal moving through Congress that has been called “NAFTA on steroids.” The TPP has the potential to block local governments from creating local procurement preferences and enforcing policies that promote responsible business practices. You’ll hear firsthand how a local apparel manufacturer in North Carolina was impacted by previous trade deals and learn how you can take action.