Every year, federal, state, and local governments spend nearly $2 trillion of our public tax dollars to purchase goods and services — everything from buses and bridges to hard hats and paper clips. This is public purchasing — and it keeps our communities running year-round.
Imagine if our trillions of dollars went even further. Imagine if every dollar spent on public purchasing also created good jobs in communities that need them most. Imagine if our public dollars also tackled racial and socio-economic injustices, countered climate change, and helped build community power.
We don’t have to imagine. We’re working to make it happen.
Public goods for the most public good
Cities and states use our public dollars to purchase goods and services by entering into contracts with private companies. Typically, there is nothing in these contracts that holds companies and manufacturers accountable for creating good jobs in the U.S. — the kind of jobs that support working families.
Jobs to Move America has developed a framework that empowers cities, states, and public agencies to use their public purchasing power to encourage private companies benefiting from public dollars to create good jobs and other community and environmental benefits in neighborhoods across the country.
Research shows that the $2 trillion we spend on public purchasing each year could create up to 20 million good jobs if cities and states embraced our model of “purchasing for the common good.”
Under this model, and together with our partners, we have created policy tools aimed at ensuring that communities and workers benefit from the billions of public dollars dedicated to rebuilding our country. From Los Angeles to New York, thousands of workers are benefiting from this program. We’ve played a pivotal role in getting rail and bus companies to build factories and create hundreds of good jobs in California, Illinois, and Massachusetts. And we’re just getting started.
Now is the time for public officials to use their power and influence to create good jobs, advance equity, and curb climate change. We can rebuild our infrastructure and our communities if we make our public goods work for the most public good.