Sustainable Equitable Economic Democracy New Mexico (SEED NM) is a coalition working to advance policies that promote an equitable and sustainable economy benefiting all New Mexicans. This coalition aims to center the needs and voices of sustainability-concerned businesses, organizations and individuals, with a focus on populations underrepresented in economic development discourse including immigrants, women, and people of color.
SEED NM seeks to explore and advance effective business models that reflect community values, elevate the needs of workers (including employees and freelancers/gig workers), and create a more sustainable, democratic and equitable economy. We believe that a sustainable economy supports community wealth, human wellbeing, environmental protection, and social justice.
SEED NM builds upon the work of other groups pursuing sustainable business goals such as the American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN), which informs business owners, policymakers and the public about the need and opportunities for building an inclusive, vibrant, broadly prosperous, sustainable economy and advocates for policy change. We aim to affiliate with similar groups to build collective power.
SEED NM aims to:
- Amplify the voices, needs and concerns of sustainability-minded small- and medium-sized businesses and their community networks.
- Develop and advocate for evidence-based business and ownership models that advance the interests of these businesses, and their workers and communities.
- Develop policy and support networks to enable businesses to pursue sustainable paths.
- Create a community-based coalition where small and medium businesses may confer with each other, consider various business models and practices, share experiences and resources and cohere around a set of principles and priorities for which they advocate collectively.
- Advance discussion about the appropriate role of capital in a sustainable economy, the dynamic between traditional financing models and growth assumptions, and how public banks may offer alternative financial models.
- Advance policies to support equitable, inclusive, scale-appropriate access to capital, both public and private, with a focus on serving community-focused businesses.
- Advocate for policies that support infrastructure and resources for small and local businesses beyond access to capital: broadband access, language access, access to financial and legal professionals, mentorship and training opportunities, etc.
- Help evolve the definitions of prosperity, democracy, inclusivity, equity and sustainability, in the context of economic development (see also Values & Principles on the next tab).
- Serve as a resource to support the creation of a more democratic economy and more democratic, worker-centered small and medium businesses in NM.
- Develop relationships with community-based organizations and policymakers who are aligned with these values.
- Create and support policy, legislation and funding streams to catalyze this work.
Values & Principles
As a values-driven organization, SEED NM will work to advance a common language and definitions for our key values and principles. We recognize many of these terms are used loosely, and that clarifying what we mean by certain terms and phrases will help advance our work towards a sustainable economy, defined below.
- Community economic development: An approach to building an economy that prioritizes community values, sustainability, inclusivity and equity.
- Community-based: A business that values its community foundations and is committed to its relationships with its local community.
- Economic democracy: An economic system that includes workers, customers, suppliers, neighbors and communities in economic and business decision-making.
- Inclusivity and equity: Best practices to maximize access to opportunities and resources for people and communities who have historically been excluded, marginalized and/or disempowered.
- Language access: An essential facet of inclusivity and equity in New Mexico.
- Prosperity: A condition of flourishing or well-being in terms extending beyond financial metrics, including socio-cultural and health measures.
- Responsible business: A business that is accountable to, and recognizes its connections with, its community and its workers. A business that observes responsible, ethical business practices.
- Sustainable economy: An economy that shares prosperity broadly and equitably, protects our natural resources, and encourages human flourishing within ecological limits.