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Economic Development in American Cities

The Pursuit of an Equity Agenda

Michael I. J. Bennett, Robert P. Giloth

Publication Year: 2007

Economic Development in American Cities addresses the roles of municipal leaders and civic partners in promoting social equity by examining the experiences of five American cities in the 1990s—Austin, Cleveland, Rochester, Savannah, and Seattle. These five cities were chosen for their activist municipal administrations, robust policy agendas, and viable partnerships. Contributors familiar with each city evaluate the impact of equity investments and extract lessons for municipal leaders and policy agendas. Building on the past experiences of progressive cities, each case study city offers fresh perspectives and examples, told through a rigorous analysis of socioeconomic data and program outcomes combined with engaging stories about specific municipal administrations and policy agendas.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title and Copyright Pages

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CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. vii-

This book was inspired by the vision and commitment of the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and his administrative team. Their efforts in forging an equity agenda during the 1980s served as a model for progressive municipal government leaders throughout the country in that era and the decade to follow. ...

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INTRODUCTION: FULL EMPLOYMENT AND LOCAL WORK FORCE POLITICS AND POLICIES

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pp. 1-21

Twentieth-century U.S. cities played decisive roles in promoting equity and opportunity for their citizens. Cities were the sources of important municipal innovations as well as the social, political, and economic battlegrounds for advancing more equitable policies and conditions. ...

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1. INVESTING IN EQUITY: TARGETED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR NEIGHBORHOODS AND CITIES

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pp. 23-50

Promoting social equity requires explicit investments—in jobs and wealth creation—that are customized to connect low-income families to economic opportunity. Making explicit investments means that local officials make commitments—and hence are accountable not only for the rhetoric but also for the budget and staff allocations, implementation, and results. ...

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2. EQUITY POLICIES AND PRACTICES OF THE HAROLD WASHINGTON ADMINISTRATION: LESSONS FOR PROGRESSIVE CITIES

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pp. 51-80

Like a literary gem that is too young to be a classic and too old to be seen as relevant for the rush of the present, many urban observers wonder whether there is really anything more to be learned from the mayoral administration of Harold Washington in Chicago (1983–87). ...

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3. REFLECTIONS ON AUSTIN IN THE 1990S: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGH WORK FORCE INITIATIVES

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pp. 81-110

Social equity in Austin during the 1990s offers a cautionary tale. Austin clearly is a community with advantages that are the envy of cities across the country. It has a tradition of progressive civic leaders from all sectors, including elected officials, business, education, and the community at large. ...

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4. SEATTLE’S BEST PRACTICES IN THE 1990S: MUNICIPAL-LED ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

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pp. 111-131

Seattle in the 1990s sought to link economic and workforce development to benefit low-income communities and communities of color. The city’s efforts built on the region’s strong, growing economy, which created tight labor markets for much of the decade and, as a result, provided an opportunity to strengthen low-income communities by connecting them to living-wage jobs. ...

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5. THE CLEVELAND EXPERIENCE: MUNICIPAL-LED ECONOMIC AND WORKFORCE INITIATIVES DURING THE 1990S

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pp. 133-158

This chapter describes the implementation of Cleveland’s Supplemental Empowerment Zone (SEZ) begun in 1994. Building on the city’s legacy of equity planning and the strengths of Cleveland’s CDCs, city leaders focused the EZ application and long-term neighborhood improvement strategy on two main components. ...

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6. ROCHESTER: TWO FACES OF REGIONALISM, 1993–2006

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pp. 159-188

In 2003, William Johnson capped a decade as Rochester’s only African American mayor with a quixotic and unsuccessful campaign for county executive of surrounding Monroe County, dominated by Johnson’s history of advocating for “metropolitan solutions to metropolitan problems.” As mayor,Johnson had sought participatory reforms in Rochester’s neighborhoods, made...

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7. THE SAVANNAH STORY: THE ROAD TO EQUITY AND SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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pp. 189-212

In his first year in office, Mayor Otis Johnson, former Savannah State University faculty member and administrator and long-time community activist, sought to make the City of Savannah a more “just and caring community” (Swope, 2005). ...

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8. SOCIAL EQUITY AND TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY CITIES

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pp. 213-235

The question guiding this book has been whether sustained economic growth and tight labor markets in the 1990s altered the economic and political constraints limiting local redistributive policies. Not only did sustained labor and skill shortages lead to increases in wages and benefits and lower unemployment in the 1990s, but they also created more favorable conditions for developing...

CONTRIBUTORS

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pp. 237-241

INDEX

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pp. 243-248


E-ISBN-13: 9780791479841
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791471333
Print-ISBN-10: 0791471330

Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 17 tables, 3 figures
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: SUNY series in Urban Public Policy
Series Editor Byline: C. Theodore Koebel

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Urban policy -- United States -- Case studies.
  • Cities and towns -- United States.
  • Urban economics.
  • Sociology, Urban -- United States.
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