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Revitalize Dutchess with New-Economy, Pro-Small-Business, Innovative Strategies, New Jobs!

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Sign this petition if you agree that Dutchess County should embrace the proven-successful, innovative, new-economy, job-creation strategies below to revitalize our economy locally and turn things around for families in our communities, using these 25 great ideas below inspired by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Democracy Collaborative, Re>Think Local, Civic Economics, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, American Independent Business Alliance, Yes magazine, Sustainable Hudson Valley, and local economy expert Michael Shuman.

The status quo is unacceptable-- the Poughkeepsie Journal ominously reported July 25, 2017 that Dutchess County's "individual unemployment rate has increased in June, both from last month and year-over-year, according to the New York State Department of Labor. The unemployment rate in June 2017 was 4.4 percent, an increase from the 4.0 percent unemployment rate reported by the department for March, April and May of this year. It was an increase over June 2016 when Dutchess County had a 4.2 percent unemployment rate. It's the first time the unemployment rate went up year-over-year in June since 2012." The Poughkeepsie Journal also reported in November 27, 2016 that "40 Percent of Dutchess Households Struggle Financially"-- almost half of us here in our county being the working poor.

Fact: "A market shift of just 10% from chains to independents would retain an additional $475 million in the regional economy every year" (according to 2014 report from Civic Economics done with Re>Think Local, Oblong Books and Music,                           

Here are the 25 ideas (email on these-- we have literally nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying these!):

1. Open a New Small Business Office in our county government to guide business owners through local permitting requirements, and to serve as a liaison between small businesses and policymakers. Models include a Small Business Navigator office such as those in Montgomery County, Md., and Minneapolis, or a Small Business Commission, such as the one in San Francisco.  Dutchess County also needs a Legacy Business Program: Help Preserve and Protect Long-Standing Local Independently Owned Businesses (as in Seattle/San Francisco)!

2. Small Business Jobs Survival Act: Limit Commercial Rent Spikes (as Proposed for NYC)                                                           

3. New Long-Term Lease Options; Recourse to Arbitration; Space Set Aside for Local Owned Businesses in Local Development-- Dutchess County can help encourage local municipalities to require that new development projects reserve a portion of their first-floor space for small storefronts and for locally owned businesses as a condition of permitting, as Austin, New York, and other cities have done. Because of financing incentives and national relationships, new development is often oriented to the needs of large chains; set asides can help close the gap.                                         

4. Buy/Improve Vacant/Abandoned "Zombie" Properties to Re-Sell, Save Local Neighborhoods and Property Values, and Put Back on Tax Rolls (as in Albany);                                                      New Buy Your Building Plan to Help Local Businesses (as Already in Salt Lake City); Facilitate Adaptive Reuse of Vacant Buildings (as in Phoenix and Anchorage). Help turn vacant historic buildings into new businesses. In Phoenix, for instance, the program offers permit-fee waivers and a faster timeline for eligible projects. In Anchorage, Alaska, a land trust works with local entrepreneurs to repurpose derelict commercial properties.                                  

5. New Investment Cooperative to Make It Easier for Local Residents to Help Local Businesses Survive and Thrive (as Already in Minneapolis) 

6. Adopt a Business Diversity Ordinance — A Business Diversity Ordinance can ensure that independent, neighborhood-serving businesses don’t get crowded out by chains. Municipalities around the country, from Fredericksburg, Texas, to Jersey City, have used this tool effectively. San Francisco’s 12-year-old policy is one of the most comprehensive. It requires a “formula” business to apply for a special use permit and meet criteria in order to locate in any of the city’s neighborhood commercial districts.

7. New Public Loan Fund to Target Local Needs (like Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative)                                                   

8. Change Law to Allow Credit Unions to Make Small Business Loans Higher Percentage of Their Lending; Follow Lead of Ithaca's Alternatives Credit Union (Special Certificates of Deposit That Fully Collateralize Loans to High-Priority Local Businesses) and Eastern Bank in Boston (CD That Collateralizes Line of Credit to Equal Exchange, Local Fair-Trade Company)                                                                                          

9. Start Public Bank (as Philadelphia, Oakland, Santa Fe, and Los Angeles are looking into and as Bismarck/ND has long had); Divest County Funds from Wall Street Banks (as Santa Cruz has)                                                                                         

10. Promote Local Currency (Hudson Valley Current); Launch Time Bank (as in Woodstock, Albany, and Long Island)             ;

11. New Locally Owned Import Substitution (as Northern Dutchess Alliance has called for)

12. Help Facilitate Creation of New Worker-Owned Cooperatives (as in Rochester/Cleveland) and Co-Worker Spaces Across Dutchess (like the Beahive in Beacon and across NYS).                                          

13. End Corporate Welfare for Large Companies Paying Their Workers Poverty Wages (Fact: As of July 2017 Seattle's unemployment rate (3.5%) is much lower than Dutchess County's (4.4%)— and all the workers in Seattle at companies with 500 employees or more make $15 an hour. Let's phase this win-win solution here by 2020 for workers at large firms, saving $40 million annually by Dutchess County taxpayers spent on corporate welfare locally subsidizing government benefits to supplement poverty wages, extrapolating a 2015 Jobs with Justice/University of Connecticut report for Dutchess County.  Dutchess County also should reorient economic development incentives as Michael Shuman and the Institute for Local Self Reliance has pointed out— economic development incentive programs disproportionately favor big companies, and what’s more, they often don’t work. Instead of giving public dollars to big businesses, cities should redirect these resources to foster local businesses, as some cities, like Grand Rapids, Mich., are doing. Another model can be found in Portland, where the city has several initiatives to accelerate the growth of minority-owned businesses.                 

14. New Office of Community Wealth to Lift All Out of Poverty (as in Richmond/VA)    

15. Make Sure Gateways to Entrepreneurial Tomorrows is Fully Funded for Microenterprise Loans for Budding New Small Business Owners

16. New Community Choice Aggregation: Save on Electricity with New Green Jobs (as already in Beacon, Fishkill, and Westchester County; soon in Ulster County with help of county government there)               ; 

17. Make Sure: High-Quality, High-Speed, Affordable Broadband for All; Work with Workforce Development Institute to Make Sure Current/Prospective Employers Matched Up With Current/Prospective Employees to Close Skills Gap (Chicago's Manufacturing Renaissance Center also model for this)                                                                         ; ; 

18. Create New Green Jobs with Solar/Geothermal/Wind Moving Towards Zero Waste for All-- Protecting Clean Air and Water = Tourism Dollars Moving towards a fossil-fuel-free future for Dutchess, according to a 2013 report from Cornell/Stanford, would create literally 67,000 new green construction jobs here in our county, over 800 permanent new green jobs, saving $537 million annually on energy/electricity costs, and 59 lives (from cleaner air and less carbon emissions).  Recycling and composting creates ten times more jobs than incineration or composting.               ;                                                            

19. Ramp Up Farm-to-Table in Local Restaurants, Schools, and Restaurants 

20. Level the Playing Field for All Businesses in Dutchess County-- Make Sure that Businesses Who Make Large Campaign Contributions to County Officials/Candidates Can't Get Large Dutchess County Contracts (as in both Rockland and Orange counties and municipalities across NJ, and as the Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance has called for) ; 

21. End School Property Taxes Fund Schools Thru Income Taxes Instead; Some Bipartisan Support For This Already in Dutchess County

22. Slash County Property Taxes for Small Businesses and All of Us with Smart/Sane Criminal Justice Reform to Safely Lower Jail Population ;

23. Slash Health Insurance Costs for Small Businesses: Single Payer for New York (Single-Payer Would Save NYS $45 Billion Annually)                                                       

24. Enforce Anti-Trust Laws to Stop Amazon from Crushing Competitors; Break Up Amazon to Prevent Anti-Competitive Conflicts of Interest        

25. New FDR-Style New-Deal-for-New-Millennium Infrastructure Jobs Program for Dutchess County                                                                     Given record-setting $59.6 million county fund balance announced in May 2017 (budget surplus triple average of what it was from 1996 through 2012), every nonprofit in Dutchess should be fully funded; recall recently approved $274 million jail expansion bond boondoggle-- we need a comparable investment in human infrastructure here locally-- expanding home care for all seniors and disabled who need it, making sure every student in our schools gets the individual attention they need and deserve, making sure those struggling with addiction get the treatment (not jail) they need and deserve, making sure those with mental illness/depression get the therapy and connection with community they need and deserve, making sure our streets, roads, parks, and other places are free of litter and garbage, expanding/restoring county/city mass transit bus service for all who need it, and creating open-hiring businesses to help formerly incarcerated rebuild lives, become taxpayers.   ;

Joel Tyner, Dutchess County Legislator, Clinton/Rhinebeck, 324 Browns Pond Road, Staatsburg, NY 12580 Host of "Working Class Dutchess" on Facebook and 950 AM Saturday mornings 8 am to noon 845-464-2245/876-2488 

Today: Dutchess County Legislator Joel is counting on you

Dutchess County Legislator Joel Tyner needs your help with “Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro: Revitalize Dutchess with New-Economy, Pro-Small-Business, Innovative Strategies, New Jobs!”. Join Dutchess County Legislator Joel and 155 supporters today.