Economic Justice, Locally — Buffalo

The State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, and Cornell University ILR sponsor: The High Road Runs Through the City:  Advocating for Economic Justice at the Local Level, Sept. 27-28 2007 , Buffalo, NY.

Local government provides important opportunities and challenges for efforts to address economic inequality.  Living wage ordinances are one example of the recent interest in using local policy to promote  more equitable  economic development.  However, such local initiatives for economic justice frequently raise questions about the relationship between local democratic governance and economic policymaking.  Many cities have failed to enforce their living wage ordinances; many local economic policies are mde outside of democratic processes; local governments are often constrained by “subsidy wars” encouraging a race to the bottom; and local politics is often dominated by narrow interests.   This conference brings together scholars in a variety of disciplines with activists and policymakers to explore the possibilities and challenges for developing progressive economic policies in local government.

Panelists will include Peter Enrich, Northeastern University School of Law; Susan Jones, George Washington University School of Law; J. Phillip Thompson, III, MIT Urban Politics; Annette Bernhardt, NYU Brennan Center for Justice; Jen Kern, ACORN Living Wage Resource Center; Greg LeRoy, Good Jobs First, Stewart Acuff, AFL-CIO; Stephanie Luce, University of Massachusetts Labor Studies; Joel Rogers, University of Wisconsin.   Panel topics will include Shadow Governments and Privatization; New Frontiers for the Living Wage; Subsidy Reform; Building Lasting Institutions from Progressive Coalitions; Green Cities; and Global Connections.  Journalist Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy, will give a keynote address.

For more information, visit or contact Martha McCluskey, Professor of Law and William J. Magavern Fellow, State University of New York at Buffalo,