Back to top Jump to featured resources

Featured Articles

Featured Article, Resource filed under General | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2016

Decentralizing Economic Power, Reinvigorating Democracy: ILSR’s Impact in 2016

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/2016-annual-report/

Image: Donate ButtonILSR’s forward-thinking, bottom-up solutions have never been more needed.   Please help us expand our impact in 2017 by making a donation to ILSR.


As we head into a turbulent era of government, the values and goals of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) remain steadfast. Every day we help communities tap into their own power to build a more democratic, equitable, and sustainable future. Our 2016 Annual Report: Decentralizing Economic Power, Reinvigorating Democracy illustrates how ILSR’s initiatives have gained important victories, connected with people across the country, and moved the needle on our most important economic and political conversations.

With the generosity of people like you, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has been at the forefront of advancing policies and models that support locally driven economies while protecting the climate and reducing inequality. Please take a look through our annual report and donate to support our work.

Here’s a look at a few highlights from 2016 and what lies ahead for 2017:

  • Working alongside grassroots groups, ILSR is changing the rules so that decentralized solar energy, once viewed as a bit player, is beginning to displace centralized, utility monopolies. This year, we launched a Community Power Map to illustrate these successes, and in 2017, we’ll add a power-packed toolkit to help communities across the country take charge of their energy future.
  • Scores of communities have drawn on ILSR’s resources and expertise as they have built publicly owned telecommunications networks that offer a viable alternative to the big telecom monopolies. Thanks in large part to our work, Federal Communications Chair Tom Wheeler told members of Congress this year that the restoration of local municipal broadband authority should be their “A-Number One” priority. We’ll be working to help more cities exercise that authority in 2017.
  • ILSR’s widely-covered report, Amazon’s Stranglehold, brought new attention to the consequences of corporate concentration and inspired many leaders to join us in calling for a renewal of our once-robust anti-monopoly policies. As we fought concentrated power, we also worked alongside  allies that represent tens of thousands of independent businesses to enact new local and state policies that expand access to capital, address rapidly rising rents, and enable local businesses to thrive.

Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 17, 2017

Solar: Choice, Competition, and Clean Air

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/choice-competition-and-clean-air/

It’s simple to promote solar power as a money saver and clean alternative to fossil fuel generation. But it sells solar short to focus only on savings, when it also gives Americans the freedom to generate their own energy and to challenge the economic and political power of big corporations. Individual Freedom If individuals want… Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 12, 2017

Response to Amazon’s Jobs Announcement, January 2017

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/response-to-amazons-jobs-announcement-january-2017/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Jan. 12 Contact: Nick Stumo-Langer, stumolanger@ilsr.org, 612-844-1330   Statement on Amazon’s Jobs Announcement Amazon is Causing More Job Losses than Gains, and It’s Lowering Wages WASHINGTON, D.C. – Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and co-author of the recent report, “Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip is Stifling Competition,… Continue reading

localism community level planing
Featured Article filed under Composting, Waste to Wealth | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2017

Official Agendas Available, Fourth National Cultivating Community Composting Forum

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/agenda-fourth-national-cultivating-community-composting-forum/

In collaboration with the US Composting Council (USCC) and BioCycle, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance is releasing the agenda for the Fourth National Cultivating Community Composting Forum from January 23rd-24th to be held in conjunction with the USCC’s International Conference and Trade Show, COMPOST2017, in Los Angeles. These events will bring together composters to network, share best practices,… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jan 12, 2017

The Perils of Privatization – Episode 9 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-perils-of-privatization-episode-9-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

Welcome to episode nine of the Building Local Power podcast. For full transcript of the podcast click here. In this episode, Chris Mitchell, the director of our Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews David Morris, a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the director of the Public Good initiative. The two discuss the climate surrounding privatization… Continue reading