Clean Slate Grants

September 7, 2020

Clean Slate awards $425,000 to state and local groups for innovative labor law reform

In honor of Labor Day, we are so pleased to announce the recipients of the Clean Slate for Worker Power grants program.

Since the time we first invited proposals for grants to advance Clean Slate’s vision for labor law reform, the global pandemic and recession have taken hold.  Countless workers are now in even more precarious positions as they navigate an economy that concentrates economic and political power in deeply inequitable ways.

We received an overwhelming response to our request for proposals --we ended with a highly competitive pool of 75 applicants looking to advance worker power locally and at the state level, totaling in nearly $3.5 million in need. With the generous support of our funders and a new partnership with the Labor Innovations for the 21st Century (LIFT) Fund, Clean Slate has been able to more than double our grants program and will be making nine grants in support of labor innovation totaling $425,000.

We are proud to support and partner with the following groups to advance a more equitable economy and democracy, particularly for women workers,workers or color, and low-wage workers:

★       Center for Progressive Reform: Private Right of Action for the Health, Safety, & Empowerment of Poultry Workers in Maryland

★       Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa: Worker-Community Safety Councils in Iowa Meatpacking Communities

★       Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco): Digital Organizing Strategies in Building Chinese Immigrant Worker Power

★       Make the Road New York: Anti-Monopoly Retail, Warehousing, and Logistics Worker Organizing Project

★       National Domestic Workers Alliance:Implementing the Philadelphia Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

★       One Fair Wage: California Service Workers’ Cooperative to Advance Sectoral Bargaining & Workplace Democracy for Service Workers

★       Raise the Floor Alliance: Claiming Our Right to Dignified Work: Advancing Just Cause Protections in Illinois

★       United for Respect Education Fund: Advancing Essential Worker Sectoral Task Forces in Harris County, Texas

★      Working Washington / Fair Work Center: Raising Standards for Standards Boards in Seattle for Domestic Workers and Gig Workers 

Meet our grantees. We hope you will join us on Thursday, September 10 at 12:30pm PT / 2:30pm CT / 3:30pm ET for a Twitter chat. Engage with our grantees as they share the creative ways they are advancing change that centers worker voice. Clean Slate will be hosting the conversation from @WorkerPowerLaw.

At Clean Slate, we are excited to continue activities that advance the Clean Slate vision and build a national, state, and local network of workers,worker advocates, labor leaders, policymakers, scholars, economists and others committed to innovative labor law reform and organizing.   Throughout the coming year, we look forward to engaging with our cohort of grantees, applicants, and others like you in our network to learn and share about how we move forward in empowering U.S.workers.  

With excitement and more to come,

Clean Slate team - Sharon, Ben, Jenny



Change often starts at the local level. Clean Slate for Worker Power is requesting proposals for grants up to $50,000 that advance the project’s vision and recommendations for labor law reform.

The grants will support initiatives, research, and analysis needed to explore, develop, implement or improve programs at the state or local level. Total funds to be granted this year total approximately $175,000. Proposals are due July 15, 2020. Grantees will be notified by late August and the first grant disbursement will be end of September/early October.

Clean Slate grantees will have an opportunity to be a part of the diverse and growing Clean Slate network of workers, worker advocates, labor leaders, policymakers, scholars, economists and others committed to labor law reform.

Clean Slate grants will be awarded to projects and initiatives that are most aligned with the Clean Slate priorities, including projects that:

  • Support development of innovative initiatives or proposals at the state and local levels that would empower working people to build an equitable economy and democracy, particularly for women workers, workers of color, and low-wage workers
  • Pilot a specific recommendation in the Clean Slate for Worker Power report at the state or local level
  • Develop and implement strategies for building an inclusive and innovative labor movement.

Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations whose programs are focused on activities at the state or local levels.

Proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria and factors:

  • Scope of impact
  • Project alignment
  • Sustainability and other funding resources, especially given the limited size of the grant
  • Timeliness and relevance
  • Ability to fill unmet needs, particularly those of populations subject to systemic racial and gender oppression or from historically disenfranchised communities or geographic areas

Applications are due by July 15, 2020 via email to and must include:

  • Cover page with:
  • Name of project
  • Name of organization or fiscal sponsor
  • Contact name, email, and phone number
  • Overall project budget that includes project expenses, revenue, and other funding sources
  • Amount of the Clean Slate grant request
  • Responses to the following (250 words max per question):
  • Describe the project, including the specific activities that the Clean Slate grant would support
  • Describe how the proposed project advances the Clean Slate vision for labor law reform, including the specific recommendation(s) from the Clean Slate report that it would advance
  • Describe the workers that your project will most impact, noting whether they include women workers, workers of color or low-wage workers
  • Describe the stakeholders and partners involved in your project and their support