Community Benefit Agreements

Season 4, Episode 2

In episode 2 of Season 4, we are joined by Virginia Parks, Professor at University of California Irvine, and Roxana Tynan, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Alliance for New Economy (LAANE) for a conversation about community benefit agreements. Steven Waller and Alice Yuan co-host.  The episode describes the history and mechanics of CBAs, tracing their roots in early 2000s Los Angeles and how they have evolved over time to be a tool leveraged by city actors to promote equity and opportunity. We learn how the organizing work undergirding CBA activity in the early 2000s in Los Angeles showcased both the possibilities and shortcomings of CBAs and where the work has expanded in the decades since the modern CBA movement was born. 

Join us for a great conversation!

Special note: We’d like to dedicate this episode to Steven Waller, one of the co-hosts of this episode. Steven was a valued member of our community and a cherished friend. His contributions in this class were just one of the many ways he expressed his dedication to advancing racial equity and social mobility and pursuing inclusive economic development. We hope this episode serves as a tribute to his life and his memory. 

  1. Virginia Parks’s faculty website here 
  2. Virginia Parks & Dorian Warren (2009) The Politics and Practice of Economic Justice: Community Benefits Agreements as Tactic of the New Accountable Development Movement, Journal of Community Practice, 17:1-2, 88-106.
  3. Roxana Tynan’s medium website here and LAANE’s website here 
  4. Roxana Tynan, Nikki Fortunato Bas, and Donald Cohen’s 2018 report, “Unmasking the Hidden Power of Cities” 
  5. Dr. Parks & Ian Baran’s 2021 report on the LA utility training program, “They Made a Path for Us: A Survey of Participants in the LA Utility Pre-Craft Training Program” 
  6. Michael Lipsky’s 1980 book, Street Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services