Municipal Enterprise

The Global Remunicipalisation Project

Over the next few years, The Democracy Collaborative will serve as a US hub for a global project on re-municipalization. The project, hosted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, aims to explore the potential of, and growing movement for, returning services and utilities that have been privatized to public ownership. An important element of the project is a survey to better understand past and present efforts around re-municipalization. If you have been involved in such a campaign, we invite you to take the survey, which is available in multiple languages.  Read more about The Global Remunicipalisation Project...

Our Common Wealth: The return of public ownership in the United States

Thomas Hanna

Public ownership is more widespread and popular in the United States than is commonly understood. This book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the scope and scale of U.S. public ownership, debunking frequent misconceptions about the alleged inefficiency and underperformance of public ownership and arguing that it offers powerful, flexible solutions to current problems of inequality, instability, and unsustainability- explaining why after decades of privatization it is making a comeback, including in the agenda of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party in Britain. Hanna offers a vision of deploying new forms of democratized public ownership broadly, across multiple sectors, as a key ingredient of any next system beyond corporate capitalism. This book is a valuable, extensively researched resource that sets out the past record and future possibilities of public ownership at a time when ever more people are searching for answers.

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City-owned since 1991, GoDurham provides bus and paratransit services across Durham.  In 2016, GoDurham operated 24 bus routes and served 5.9 million passengers.  To help encourage ridership, all of its buses are equipped with free WiFi, and seniors and children ride for free.

City of Durham Sanitary Landfill

The City of Durham Sanitary Landfill is a city-owned landfill containing 3.6 million tons of waste.  Since 2009, the City has been capturing the gas produced as organic material in the landfill decomposes and converting it to electricity.  The effort has the capacity to produce two megawatts of electricity, which is used by Duke Energy to provide power for about 1,900 residential customers.

Tompkins County Area Development

Established in 1964, Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD) helps foster a thriving and sustainable economy by a) growing, retaining, and attracting companies that provide high-quality employment opportunities, and b) creating an environment supportive of entrepreneurship and business development.  In 2017, TCAD supported 22 projects expected to invest $142.9 million in the Ithaca region.  To help entrepreneurs launch and expand businesses, TCAD established its Revolving Loan Fund Program in 1989, an effort credited with lending $3.1 million to 68 companies that have created or retained over 1,100 jobs.  TCAD also provides management and administrative support to two County entities:  1) the Tompkins County Development Corporation, which provides educational and nonprofit projects with access to low-interest rate debt in the tax-exempt bond market; and 2) the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency (TCIDA), which provides economic incentives to projects that will strengthen the County’s tax base and enhance community vitality.  To foster renewable energy generation, TCIDA adopted a commercial solar policy in 2017 that provides a property tax incentive to community solar projects, an effort that is credited with supporting six projects expected to generate 12 megawatts of solar power (i.e., enough to power 2,400 to 3,600 homes).