A New Social Contract

We need a New Social Contract for our country. Our economy, democracy and climate have been warped by concentration of wealth in a few hands driven by policies that fuel speculation rather than generating the infrastructure, goods and services that families and neighborhoods need to thrive.

 

A New Social Contract advances comprehensive, transformative, community-led solutions that protect human rights, build equitable systems for everyone and deepen our democracy.

We need a New Social Contract to flip the script on this abusive economy where neither resources nor power is shared equitably. It must address: 

Public Spending and Revenue by:
  • Creating public universal systems for goods and services to meet the fundamental needs of all people in the United States through income and risk solidarity. These systems should ensure access to healthcare, childcare, basic income, equitably funded education, among other needs and rights; and
  • Transforming our system for raising revenue to redistribute resources from where they are too concentrated to where they are needed as well as heavily taxing economic speculation, environmental degradation, and other clear harms to our neighborhoods, cities, and states.

Land, Energy and Housing by:

  • Revisioning our relationship to land and housing through growing alternative ownership models organized around shared equity such as community land trusts for permanently affordable housing, local green energy cooperatives, and municipal controlled green energy.

How we Labor by:

  • Changing the nature of work in America today by guaranteeing decent work through a federal jobs guarantee, supporting more choices in how we work such as worker cooperatives, and giving workers power to greater determine their conditions of work and how their basic rights are protected through worker-driven models for enforcement of rights in the workplace.

Where our Money is Invested by:

  • Refocusing how money flows in our economy away from speculation and towards investing equitably our neighborhoods, towns and cities through public banking, postal banking, and community-controlled investment funds.

Local Democracy by:

  • Ending the cancer of criminalization in our streets, schools, and social systems, and transforming those systems through restorative justice models so all people can participate in our democracy as full citizens;
  • Radically expanding voting rights and avenues voter participation; and
  • Deepening local democracy through strategies such as participatory budgeting, parent and youth participation in school and district level decision-making, and community control of local resources.

This New Social Contract must be people-centered not corporate-centered and driven by human rights values. It must focus on universal solutions for everyone, which requires putting with those that are facing the greatest need and injustice at the center of those solutions. And it must build democratic power at and beyond the ballot box, including in our schools, budgets, workplaces, and neighborhoods.

The New Social Contract is already making waves. Al Jazeera called it an emerging strategy "to push back against the ravages of market fundamentalism and advance a truly transformative agenda." The report was also mentioned in the Human Rights at Home blog and explored in more detail in an interview with Cathy Albisa on the Real News Network, in the Interviews for Resistance series on Truthout and The Progressive, and in an interview with our partners from Rights & Democracy on Equal Time Radio. You can also watch Cathy Albisa give an overview on the report in the video at the bottom of this page.

Over the coming months, we’ll continue to publish reports and host events to explore concrete community-led models that are emerging as the building blocks for an new economy and a deeper democracy. Stay tuned!

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Download the report here

View Photos and Video from the May 24, 2018 New Social Contract launch event

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