The issue was about community control and community voice," says Gray-Barkan of LAANE
In three years, LAANE
has negotiated a half-dozen such agreements, whose language is written directly into official city documents.
Nearly a decade ago, the Teamsters, LAANE
, and a number of environmental and community groups initiated a joint campaign at the adjoining ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where 40 percent of the nation's imports arrive, mainly from Asia.
Organizers should nonetheless approach a zone-based ordinance with caution, warns Madeline Janis-Aparicio, executive director of LAANE
, which helped launch the Santa Monica campaign.
In Long Beach, it would have been inexplicable but for one all-important particular: The campaign behind the measure was the handiwork of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, commonly known by its acronym, LAANE
The Board of Aldermen is also promoting the kind of community benefit agreements that LAANE
pioneered in Los Angeles.
It recruited its own candidates to run for office, authored its own platform for elections (including support for the programs LAANE
promoted), and won election after election in a majority of council districts.
is the rare group whose close alliances among labor, immigrant, neighborhood, and electoral groups make it a major force in local politics.
pioneered the community benefit agreement (CBA) concept whereby any business seeking to build or operate a new commercial development--a stadium, shopping center, hotel, or big-box store--would agree to meet environmental standards, hire local people at a living wage, pay adequate health-care benefits, and, in some instances, facilitate unionization by mandating employer neutrality during an organizing drive.