Bringing our collective brilliance to public decision-making

Vibrant democracy means more than casting a ballot every few years. People of all backgrounds should be actively involved in making the decisions that shape our daily lives.

The Challenge

Far too often, choices that intimately affect us all — from how we fund schools and parks, to how we prevent crime and repair harm, to what protections we have at work — are made behind closed doors. Corporations write campaign checks and hire expensive lobbyists to skew laws in their favor, excluding those with lived experience from having a real say in our future.

  • In most cities, public budgets are shaped by a small group of powerful elites, who siphon off public resources into private hands. Exclusionary practices favor the wealthy and well-connected, resulting in budgets that leave Black, brown, and working class residents without the community centers, transit lines, after-school programs, and other resources we need to thrive.
  • When people organize locally for things like higher minimum wages or stronger renter protections, corporations often block these policies at the state level. They hand sample legislation to the state politicians they paid to elect, taking away the freedom of local leaders to care for their communities.

Our Approach

We’re transforming how we govern on our home turf — our towns, cities, and counties — so decisions reflect the needs and voices of poor, BIPOC, and gender-oppressed people.

  • We’re equipping community members to bring their lived experience and values-driven leadership to the halls of power, whether they’re testifying at city council, serving on public boards, or holding elected office.
  • We’re organizing diverse local alliances to shape people-powered budgets. We’re bringing excluded communities into the budget-making process so our shared resources serve the common good.
  • We’re unmasking the corporations that seek to privatize our public services, and reclaiming our freedom to set standards for decent jobs, affordable rents, and fulfilling lives.

We should be making the decisions that shape our lives — add your name

Get the latest research and updates on our campaigns to transform how our cities are governed:


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