Click here to register for EARNCon through Eventbrite!

Click here to download program

At EARNCon, we will convene members from our 55 EARN groups, representing 43 states and the District of Columbia, together with grassroots organizers and labor partners, for much-needed community building after two years of isolation in the pandemic and to develop a shared agenda for state and local policymaking that prioritizes the needs of workers and their families, builds power among workers and communities, and centers Black and Brown people.

We are excited to host EARNCon in Cleveland, a city that for much of its history has been synonymous with innovation and progress. It’s the city where the term “Rock and Roll” was coined, where the first electrified public square was illuminated, and the first automobile was sold. In 1967, it became the first major city in the United States to elect a Black mayor.

During EARNCon, attendees will discuss the most pressing issues confronting workers leading into 2023, ranging from wages and labor standards to climate. The conference will provide a launch point for research and policy development that centers workers, communities of color, and women and serves to advance legislation that improves labor standards and strengthens worker power. This year, we will highlight the wave of unionization and labor organizing that has spread throughout the country and discuss what it means for state and local policymaking.

The work ahead of us is ambitious as we focus on an equitable recovery for all workers and center those that have kept our economy running through a challenging pandemic. We hope you will join us and your fellow network leaders in economics, policy, labor, academia, and community organizing to develop ideas and strategies for building worker power, improving job quality, and building equitable state and local economies.

Click here to view additional details about EARNCon, including our mandatory COVID-19 protocols.

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EARNCon Session: A fairer economy: Uniting unions, advocates, policy groups, and local communities to fight for progressive policies

September 30 @ 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Confirmed Speakers (More to come!)

  • Lindsey Baker (Moderator), Missouri Budget Project
  • Mel Borja, The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis
  • Sana Shah, Connecticut Voices for Children


Session Description

EARN groups recognize that economic inequality has been rapidly increasing for the past several decades and our states’ regressive tax systems are a key contributor to economic injustice. However, states’ economic policy decisions are often controlled by the wealthy, who utilize political and economic influence to increase their wealth. In order to advance economic justice, it is necessary to form strategic partnerships among the majority of us who have not shared the economy’s gains. We all wield different types of power, and by building effective partnerships, EARN groups will be able to fundamentally reform the revenue structure and provide support to working families and boost public investment that would inject hundreds of millions of dollars into our chronically underfunded public systems of education, health care, and social services. These policy changes would benefit all working people who rely on a robust public sector as a lifeline to vital services and a source of living wage employment. In particular, women and workers of color would stand to gain the most from increased public investment and tax reform, as these residents have borne the brunt of austerity policies and our upside-down tax structure over the last few decades.

In this session, panelists will highlight how to build a successful advocacy plan by forming partnerships that lead to an effective “inside” and “outside” strategy to challenge longstanding austerity approaches, expand working families’ power over the state budget by enacting progressive tax reform, and to win dramatic investments in working-class communities.


September 30
8:15 am - 9:30 am
Event Tags:


Economic Analysis & Research Network (EARN) at Economic Policy Institute (EPI)


The Westin Cleveland Downtown
777 Saint Clair Avenue Northeast
Cleveland, OH 44114 United States
+ Google Map
The Economic Policy Institute would like to thank the following funders for their ongoing and generous support for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN): 
  • Anonymous  
  • American Federation of Teachers 
  • Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust 
  • Ford Foundation  
  • International Association of Machinists  
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Kresge Foundation  
  • National Association of Letter Carriers  
  • National Education Association 
  • Marguerite Casey Foundation 
  • Omidyar Network
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • The Rockefeller Foundation
  • Service Employees International Union 
  • Surdna Foundation 
  • United Auto Workers  
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters 
  • United Food and Commercial Workers 
  • United Steelworkers of America 
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

EARNCon 2022

September 28-30

We are thrilled about the prospect of seeing you and hope you’ll join us this year in Cleveland at the Westin Cleveland Downtown from Wednesday, September 28 – Friday, September 30, 2022.