Power means influencing how resources are allocated, possessing the ability to create change, and having a seat at the table. The allocation of power within our workplaces, our schools, our communities, and our political systems has been at the core of major events that have dominated headlines over the past several years: from the Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and “March for Our Lives” movements to the teachers strikes, the Fight for $15, and advocacy to stop repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Each of these movements acknowledges the inextricable link between economic and political power. We are seeing smart, determined, and organized individuals demanding policy changes that strengthen communities, improve equity, and empower workers and families.

The 2018 EARN Conference will celebrate this nationwide momentum, evaluate EARN’s contributions to these movements, and discuss how we can challenge structural and historical disparities of political and economic power. This 3-day gathering will bring together EARN’s nearly 60 groups from 44 states to share stories, discuss strategies, sharpen skills, and plan for the year ahead.

The conference will continue EARN’s tradition of bringing together leading economic thinkers, policy experts, members of the labor movement, social services providers, community organizers, faith leaders, and academic researchers to learn from each other and develop strategies and policies that will improve job quality and economic security, while also considering ways to improve our democracy and make political representation more equitable.

Conference dates: October 3–5, 2018*

*A pre-conference meeting for EARN state group executive directors will take place on Wednesday, October 3rd at 1:00 pm. On-site registration for all attendees will open Wednesday, October 3rd at 4:00 pm. Program will run until Friday, October 5th at 3:00 pm.

Kimpton Hotel Allegro
171 West Randolph Street
Chicago, IL, 60601, USA
Tel: (312) 236-0123

 Detailed agenda

Book hotel room | RegisterContact the organizers

For EARN members: Click here to access previous years’ conference materials.

Agenda items subject to change.

Agenda

Wednesday, Oct. 3

Registration

  •  Registration area
  • 4:00–7:00 pm

Welcome to Chicago! Illinois’ evidence-based education funding model as a blueprint for inclusive policy

  •  Walnut Ballroom
  • 5:00–6:30 pm
  • Plenary

Led by our Chicago EARN partner, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, the conference will open with a presentation on Illinois’ education funding crisis, the inequities baked into the state’s old funding system, and how teachers, parents, policy researchers, and advocates came together to fix it.

  • Ralph Martire, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability
  • TBD

20th anniversary dinner program

  • Walnut Ballroom
  • 6:45–8:00 pm

Details forthcoming.

Welcome reception

  • Savoy
  • 8:00–10:00 pm

Thursday, Oct. 4

Group run

  •  Meet in hotel lobby
  • 7:00 am

Runners of all paces are encouraged to join, as are those who prefer a good walk.

Breakfast

  •  Walnut ballroom
  • 8:00–8:55 am

Housing policy failures: How housing policy has failed workers and served as an obstacle to racial justice

  • Walnut ballroom
  • 9:00–10:25 am
  • Plenary

A shortage of affordable housing– both for renters as well as potential homeowners– remains a central obstacle to working families hoping to accumulate savings, build their wealth, and afford ever-increasing costs of health care and higher education. Given that improvements to working class families’ standard of living can so easily be undermined by housing costs, pursuing common sense housing policies which alleviate the shortage of affordable housing in progressive way, while also remediating historical inequities in access to credit and home-ownership, should be a central part of the progressive agenda.

  • TBD

Session 1.1 10:35–11:50 am

First day fairness: An initiative to build worker power and ensure job quality

  • Imperial
  • 10:35–11:50 am
  • 1.1

Details forthcoming.

  • Celine McNicholas, Economic Policy Institute
  • Heidi Shierholz, Economic Policy Institute

Data 201: Building essential skills for data analysis

  • Palladium
  • 10:35–11:50 am
  • 1.1

Details forthcoming.

  • Ben Zipperer, Economic Policy Institute

EARN in the South Seminar: Championing race equity and inclusion policies in the South

  • Orpheum
  • 10:35–11:50 am
  • 1.1

Details forthcoming.

  • TBD

The Teacher Strikes: Takeaways for the progressive movement and consequences for the future of public sector employment

  • Walnut Ballroom
  • 12:00–1:30 pm
  • Lunch Plenary

Details forthcoming.

  • TBD

Session 1.2 1:35–2:50 pm

Data 101: Making the most of state jobs day data

  •  Imperial
  • 1:35–2:50 pm
  • 1.2

Details forthcoming.

  • Andrew Bradley,  Indiana Institute for Working Families
  • Hannah Halbert, Policy Matters Ohio
  • Brandon McCoy, New Jersey Policy Perspective

Paid family and medical leave and paid sick days: What’s working and what’s not

  • Palladium
  • 1:35–2:50 pm
  • 1.2

Details forthcoming.

  • TBD

TBD

  •  Orpheum
  • 1:35–2:50 pm
  • 1.2

Details forthcoming.

  • TBD

Coffee and snack break

  •  Savoy
  • 2:50–3:25 pm

Session 1.3 3:25–4:40 pm

Taking the High Road: Improving the effectiveness and equity of state and local economic development

  • Imperial
  • 3:25–4:40 pm
  • 1.3

All too often, state and local governments pursue “low-road” economic development marked by lowering tax and labor costs for businesses rather than improving business productivity and generating broadly-shared prosperity. This panel focuses on creative “high-road” policy alternatives that ensures inclusive economic growth, builds human capital capacity, connects firms and workers to productivity-enhancing institutions, and leverages existing assets within a community. Examples include equitable development tools like minority contacting, first source hiring, and sector strategies, alongside new ways to convert traditional tools like business incentives into more progressive approaches that genuinely benefit the states and communities using them.

  • TBD

Number stories: The changing nature of work and the erosion of quality jobs

  • Palladium
  • 3:25–4:40 pm
  • 1.3

This workshop will engage participants in an interactive gallery walk session in a dialogue with workers, educators, policy analysts and researchers through 4 visually compelling data stations. Each station will paint a number story using data infographics that highlight key findings on the changing nature of 4 precarious, low-wage industries: retail sector and schedules, gig economy and ride-hailing, temporary help agencies, and independent contractors (including a discussion of Handy bills).

  • Lucero Herrera, UCLA Labor Center
  • Maya Pinto, National Employment Law Center
  • Janna Shadduck-Hernández, UCLA Labor Center
  • Saba Waheed, UCLA Labor Center

Refugee resettlement policy and its potential for revitalizing local economies

  • Orpheum
  • 3:25–4:40 pm
  • 1.3

Details forthcoming.

  • David Dyssegaard Kallick, Fiscal Policy Institute

EARN group excursions

  • Various locations
  • 5:00 pm

Details forthcoming.

Friday, Oct. 5

Group run

  •  Meet in hotel lobby
  • 6:45 am

A group of EARN members will lead a morning jog.

Breakfast

  •  Walnut ballroom
  • 8:00–8:45 am

Session 2.1 9:00–10:15 am

Ensuring retirement security for all

  •  Imperial
  • 9:00–10:15 am
  • 2.1

Details forthcoming.

  • John Burbank, Economic Opportunity Institute
  • TBD

Wins in challenging policy environments: Lessons and reflections on unlikely victories

  •  Palladium
  • 9:00–10:15 am
  • 2.1

Details forthcoming.

  • Andrew Bradley, Indiana Institute of Working Families
  • TBD

State and local policies to expand access to care services and improve workers’ wages

  •  Orpheum
  • 9:00–10:15 am
  • 2.1

Details forthcoming.

  • Laura Dresser, COWS
  • Alexa Frankenberg, SEIU
  • Ken Jacobs, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education
  • Kevin Simowitz, Caring Across Generations

Session 2.2 10:20–11:35 am

Local and state campaigns for progressive taxation: Millionaire taxes, estate taxes, and more

  • Imperial
  • 10:20–11:35 am
  • 2.2

Details forthcoming.

  • Phineas Baxandall, Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
  • TBD

Manufacturing’s rebound: Analyzing the effectiveness of state industrial policy in creating equitable access to good jobs

  •  Palladium
  • 10:20–11:35 am
  • 2.2

Manufacturing has gained back more than 1 million jobs since 2010, reversing a decade-long decline. The panel will discuss how automation, re-shoring, trade, an aging workforce and changes in job structure have created a different manufacturing sector. Panelists will provide an analysis of how state policy can accelerate the impact of manufacturing recovery on communities while creating a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable sector.

  • Teresa Córdova, University of Illinois Chicago Great Cities Institute
  • Steve Herzenberg, Keystone Research Center
  • Andrew Stettner, The Century Foundation

Making the Point Visually: How to change minds and expand your audience with effective (and doable) graphics

  •  Orpheum
  • 10:20–11:35 am
  • 2.2

For wonky organizations high on research and low on marketing budgets, simple graphic content—charts, shareables, infographics, and data visualizations—can multiply your reach by orders of magnitude. But you don’t need a design firm to take your graphic game to the next level. You can go a long way with a few basic principles of design, readability, and messaging. In this workshop, we’ll show what works and what doesn’t, and share tools, tips, and templates for more effective graphics—even if you don’t have a designer on staff.

  • Eric Shansby, Economic Policy Institute
  • TBD

Session 2.3 11:40 am–12:55 pm

Towards a workers’ agenda for new technology: Implications of new technology for the economic justice movement

  •  Imperial
  • 11:40 am–12:55 pm
  • 2.3

Details forthcoming.

  • TBD

TBD

  • Palladium
  • 11:40 am–12:55 pm
  • 2.3

Details forthcoming.

  • TBD

TBD

  • Orpheum
  • 11:40 am–12:55 pm
  • 2.3

Details forthcoming.

  • TBD

Charting a course for the next 20 years

  • Walnut ballroom
  • 12:40–2:15 pm
  • Plenary

One of EARN’s allied national organizing partners will lead a discussion among longstanding EARN leaders and newer executive directors on how state research and policy organizations can best contribute to the progressive movement and help shape a more equitable future for the country.

  • Taifa Smith Butler, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute
  • Amy Hanauer, Policy Matters Ohio
  • David Lujan, Arizona Center for Economic Progress
  • Joel Rogers, COWS