District Council 57


Public-private partnerships. Charter schools. Private prison quotas. When it comes to privatization, it’s easy to get lost in the details.

But what does “privatization” really mean, and what’s exactly at stake? How’d we get to where large corporations control many of our public assets and operate virtually every type of public service?


Conservatives control an overwhelming 68 of the 98 state legislative chambers in the US. In 23 states, conservative governors lead the executive branch and conservatives have the majority in both chambers of the legislature. We also know that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is pushing bills to expand school privatization while cities across the country are worried about failing infrastructure, how to afford overdue repairs, and wondering if a public-private partnership is the answer to strapped budgets and deteriorating public assets.

We need to be vigilant about the threat of privatization in our community. The group In The Public Interest has developed resources and tools that can help strengthen our campaigns to keep public services and assets under public control. We can use them to bolster community support and to educate elected officials.

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How To Sell Off a City

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has championed the city's long tradition of privatization, replacing civic responsibility with the profit motive. It started with privatizing public housing, moved into parking meters and on to outsourcing public school custodial maintenance. In These Times spotlights it all in "How To Sell Off a City".


 Further reports on efforts to stem the abuse of privatization. 

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Public Employees: Saving Time, Money and Jobs

Public employees and their unions are frequent scapegoats when elected officials seek to score political points or contract out government services. But despite what you may have read, there are many examples of productive labor-management relations in the public sector. Read and share this new report from Jobs with Justice that shows public employees saving taxpayer money and improving the delivery of government services.    Read more . . .


As state and local agencies grapple with this unprecedented fiscal crisis, privatization of public sector jobs rears its ugly head once more. Traditionally, service sector jobs such as custodians and food service workers have been the target. Increasingly we are seeing contracting out proposals in other areas. Billing operations, hospital ancillary services, transportation, and PBX switchboard services are all areas that are among those vulnerable to privatization.  more


Talking Points

AFSCME Local 829 and the San Mateo Labor Council utilize these talking points on Privatization when educating potential candidates for elected office.

Privatization Update from AFSCME

AFSCME leads the way in fighting privatization in all our jurisdictions throughout the country. See the most recent report here.

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