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Photo by Matthew Hardy, 2012
The East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy's (EBASE) mission is to advance economic, racial, and social justice in California's East Bay region by building a just economy based on good jobs and healthy communities. In order to support low-income workers and communities of color, and address root causes of economic injustice, EBASE builds power through strategic alliances with labor, community, and faith groups.

Founded in 1999, EBASE developed as the result of a ground-breaking collaboration within the Bay Area social justice community to win the Oakland Living Wage Ordinance and boost wages for city service workers.   In its campaigns, EBASE employs a rich combination of advocacy, research, organizing, and communications to improve the lives of low-wage workers and empower community members.  Since its founding, EBASE's coalition building work has helped improve job access and job quality in key East Bay industries including hospitality, construction, homecare, healthcare, janitorial, security, and other service sectors. EBASE's strategies have resulted in: seven living wage policies, which have brought millions of dollars in increased income to thousands of working families in the East Bay; three landmark local hire policies, which created stronger pathways and access to good jobs for an estimated 1,000 workers in the community; and critical support to organizing and contract campaigns, which have improved workplace conditions for 17,000 low-income workers.

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Photo by Jean Cohen, 2012
EBASE's most recent campaign victory came in June 2012. For five years, EBASE and its partners in the Revive Oakland! Coalition had been working to ensure that the massive redevelopment of Oakland's Army Base into a warehousing and port facility resulted in good jobs for local residents.  On June 19, 2012 the Oakland City Council approved the Army Base project with an unprecedented package of job standards that includes a number of groundbreaking policies for Oakland and for the warehouse industry nationwide:
  • Every worker on the site will receive a living wage
  • A share of the project's construction jobs will be for new people entering the trades, all new apprentices will be from Oakland (in addition to 50% local hire), and construction job standards will be set in a project labor agreement.
  • The establishment of the nation's first jobs standards in the warehousing industry, which limit the use of temp agencies.
  • Local hire provisions for warehouse operations jobs as well as a job center in West Oakland that will ensure community members know where to access these jobs.
  • Employment opportunities for community members who have criminal records.
  • A seat at the table for the long-term oversight and enforcement of these standards.

To learn more about this momentous victory and what it means for the Oakland community, read this op-ed in Oakland Local or visit this fact sheet on EBASE's website.

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Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.