The Progressive Fight for Small Business with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, White House Advisor Tim Wu, and Leading Advocates
Momentum is building in Congress, the Administration, and many state houses to rein in monopoly power and level the playing field for small, independent businesses.
This focus could not be more urgent. Small businesses are in crisis. Decades of neoliberal and pro-monopoly policies have fueled consolidation and triggered a sharp decline in small, independent businesses across nearly every sector.
Recognizing the stakes, a growing number of progressive leaders are making small business a central part of their policy agenda and politics.
On Wednesday, January 26th, ILSR hosted a conversation with key leaders and advocates who are driving this shift, including Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Tim Wu, a White House Advisor focused on competition policy.
Stacy Mitchell, ILSR Co-Director
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Tim Wu, Special Assistant to the President for Technology and Competition Policy, National Economic Council, the White House
Panel discussion with audience Q&A:
- Chanda Causer, Co-Executive Director, Main Street Alliance
- Brandi Collins-Dexter, Visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy
- Ron Kim, New York Assemblyman (Assembly District 40)
- Moderator: Katy Milani, ILSR Senior Policy Advocate
Event topics included:
- How a focus on small businesses can help progressive policymakers and advocates achieve an equitable economy and vibrant democracy.
- Growing momentum in Congress and at the state level to rein in monopoly power, rebuild local small businesses, and support inclusive entrepreneurship.
- New initiatives from the Biden Administration to level the playing field and ensure independent businesses can compete and thrive.
- Organizing efforts among small businesses and the growing alliance between small business, labor, and racial justice groups.
|Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
Chair of the Congressional Progressive CaucusCongresswoman Pramila Jayapal is serving her third term in Congress representing Washington’s 7th District. She is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, where she serves as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law. She also serves on the House Education & Labor and Budget Committees and is the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Tim Wu is an official in the Biden White House with responsibility for Technology and Competition policy. He is a legal scholar at Columbia University where he’s authored several books, and was previously a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He’s widely known for coining the term net neutrality in 2002 and championing the equal access to the Internet.
Co-Executive Director, Main Street AllianceChanda Causer is a skilled community organizer, non-profit professional, consultant and small business owner with over 20 years of collective experience in project management, community organizing, and campaign planning. She has recruited, trained, and organized over 2,000 community and business leaders from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
Visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public PolicyBrandi Collins-Dexter is a visiting fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy where she researches, writes, and presents on issues that are core to Black participation in democracy and the US economy, with a focus on the role of technology and information.
New York Assemblyman (Assembly District 40)Assemblyman Ron Kim represents the 40th District of the New York State Assembly. He is the first and only Korean-American elected to the New York State Legislature. Ron is currently serving his 5th term in elected office. He made national headlines last year when he blew-the-whistle on the largest public corruption scandal when then governor, Andrew Cuomo, suppressed crucial nursing home data in New York’s history. He also led the fight against Amazon HQ in NY.
ILSR Co-DirectorStacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative to decentralize economic power and level the playing field for independent businesses. She has produced many influential reports and articles, designed local and federal policies, and collaborated to build effective coalitions and campaigns.
ILSR Senior Policy AdvocateKaty Milani is the Senior Policy Advocate for ILSR’s independent business program where she works closely with coalition partners and policymakers on antimonopoly and small business policy and advocacy. Previously she was Director of Advocacy and Policy at the Roosevelt Institute where she led strategic engagement with allies, partner organizations, and elected officials on a range of corporate power policy areas, including banking reform and corporate governance.