News & Resources

New Economy Roundup: Right to Clean Air, DIY Democracy, and the Pluralist Commonwealth

In this week’s roundup: DIY democracy, lessons from Germany’s Energiewiend, and the Pennsylvania town that put a right to clean air and water on the books! Plus: Check out the latest articles from our New Economy Reporting Project Fellows!


Stories from the Field

Right to a Clean Environment: Residents of a rural Pennsylvania town worked to craft an ordinance that asserted that they along with natural communities and ecosystems within the Township, possess the right to clean air, water and soil." They then banned activities—including the operation of injection wells—that infringed on those rights. Read how they did it here.

New Deal, Reinvented: The town of Greenbelt, Maryland is reinventing FDR’s “Greenbelt Towns”– planned communities intended to provide work for the unemployed and low-rent housing to the poor. And it’s doing it through a community owned network of co-ops that include everything from a makerspace and newspaper’s to credit unions. Read about Greenbelt in this piece by one of our New Economy Reporting Project Fellows.

Post-Coal Land Grab: A group of central Appalachians frustrated over what they felt were unjust practices of land ownership and distribution are leading a grassroots effort for a land study in the region that looks at how they can reclaim and rebuild coal country. This really isn’t about an academic study…This is about a grassroots effort to reimagine a movement and about who gets the power, and it will develop organically and messily. This movement has an energy that’s really different from anything I’ve ever been a part of,” says on of the movement leaders in this piece for YES! Magazine.


Solidarity Economies Abroad

DIY Democracy: A group of Frome, UK residents were unhappy with the state of politics in their town and wanted a government less guided by party allegiances. Among them was a community activist with the Transition Towns who volunteered as a candidate for a political campaign without expectation— a few years later he was mayor. Today, they’ve replaced the entire town council. Listen to his interview for a DIY guide on building democracy here.

Lesson’s in Transition: Germany’s transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy — a program called the Energiewende — aims to have 80 percent of the country’s energy generated from renewables by 2050. The transition in the Ruhr region — the former industrial coal belt– could hold lessons for the rest of the world. Here’s how Germany is creating a just transition.


WATCH: Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth

Think neither socialism or capitalism will do?

Gar Alperovitz, co-founder of NEC member The Democracy Collaborative, delves into why the US needs to depart from the two major political systems and what a Pluralist Commonwealth can offer in this talk on C-SPAN. Check out new book Principles of a Pluralist Commonwealth online here!


Movement News


Job Board

Internet and Broadband Policy Intern, Institute of Local Self Reliance (Minneapolis)

Office Administrator, Democracy Collaborative (Washington D.C.)

Development and Communications Coordinator, TESA (US or Canada)

Organizer, Northern Plains Resource Council (Montana)

Ujima Fund Manager, Boston Ujima Project (Massachusetts)

Director of Sales and Client Relations, DoneGood (Remote-Massachusetts)

Community Organizer – Public Banking Campaign, New Economy Project (New York)

Deputy Director, BYP100 (Chicago)

Field Director, Resonant Energy (Boston)


Upcoming Events

The 2017 ‘Building a New Economy for Australia’ is being held from September 1-3, 2017 in Brisbane. Building on the inaugural 2016 conference held in Sydney, the 2017 gathering invites people to come together to share stories of success, address challenges and join the broader movement so we can continue working together to build a ‘new’ economic system. (Brisbane, Australia, September 1-3 2017)

Highlander’s 85th Homecoming Celebration

In September, Highlander will be celebrating 85 years of cutting edge social justice work in the South and Appalachia, and the countless people who have contributed to our legacy. As we celebrate the stories of yesterday, we will also analyze the current moment and the imaginative strategies and hopes for tomorrow– join us as we celebrate our legacy and share the hopes of what's to come. Bring lessons from the frontlines. (New Market, Tennessee, September 22-24 2017)

View all NEC member events on our website »

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