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Dear Colleague,

Welcome to our August newsletter.
I am pleased to let you know that The Democracy Collaborative has just re-launched our organizational website. The site brings together our Community Wealth Building advisory, research, and field building work in one place for easy access. The site also features information about our ongoing “system change” initiative, co-chaired by our co-founder Gar Alperovitz and Senior Fellow Gus Speth. You’ll also find many other resources: upcoming staff appearances, ongoing projects, videos, and, publications, as well as point of contact for media inquiries, among other features. We invite you to visit regularly and value any feedback you might have. 
In other recent developments:
  • The Democracy Collaborative is delighted to welcome Jessica Bonanno to our staff as a Community Development Associate. Jessica recently completed her M.B.A. at The University of Notre Dame, where she was also a Forte Foundation Fellow. Her primary areas of expertise include impact investing, organizational design, and business development, with a special emphasis on start-ups, social ventures, and small to medium sized enterprises. Jessica joins our advisory team in developing Community Wealth Building initiatives around the country.
  • Echoing Green Fellow Hilary Abell, author of our recent publication Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale, offers insight into cooperative development, as cities like New York allocate funding for this community wealth building tool. In an interview with Laura Flanders of GRITtv, Hilary describes the power of worker cooperatives to reduce inequality and provide quality jobs.
As always, we continue to add new links, articles, reports, and other materials to the site. Look for this symbol *NEW* to find the most recent additions.
Ted Howard
Executive Director, The Democracy Collaborative

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In this Newsletter:

New from the Democracy Collaborative

Recommended Reads

Featured Websites


On our Blog:

Kentucky City Begins Operating New Municipally-Owned Gas Station

The Real News Network Interviews Hilary Abell and Kali Akuno on Scaling Worker Cooperatives

How Much Outside Help Do Worker Co-ops Need to Get to Scale?


New from The Democracy Collaborative

C-W City: Cincinnati, Ohio

The thirty-third in our continuing series of Community Wealth Cities is Cincinnati, Ohio. The city has time and again proven its resilience. Community wealth building efforts like the Cincinnati Union Cooperative Initiative, which aims to build a network of union-worker co-ops; Cornerstone Corporation for Shared Equity, which allows renters to build equity; and the City’s Small Business Enterprise program are all playing important roles in fostering more inclusive economic development. Find Out More»

Recommended Reads

Guide Outlines Strategies to Sustain Community Assets


Socially and environmentally conscious investors have directed and leveraged over $45 billion towards impact investing. To support the continued growth of this field, this paper, authored by the National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, a taskforce charged to explore how impact investing can support economic development and address pressing social challenges, recommends federal policies to promote greater investment in affordable housing and expanding minority- and women-owned businesses. This paper also encourages the federal government to support the expansion of impact investing and to help develop measurement standards to build accountability for the field. Read More»


Workforce Development Leaders Examine the Potential of Sector-Based Strategies to Uplift Low-Income Workers

Edited by Maureen Conway of the Aspen Institute and Robert P. Giloth of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this anthology examines sector-based workforce development strategies. The book offers a range of perspectives from researchers, policy makers, and advocates, such as Denise Fairchild, President and CEO of Emerald Cities Collaborative and Saru Jayaraman, co-director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. The authors discuss pathways to make human, intellectual, financial, and political capital broadly available to low-income workers. Read More»

Communities Rebuff Zero-Sum Subsidies and Embrace Regional Equity


This new report from Good Jobs First offers policy recommendations to reduce job poaching, sprawl, and loss of public resources induced by intra-regional competition. Through tax-base sharing and institutionalization of procedures of cooperation, neighboring localities can expand resources available for public goods, such as education, from which the entire region can profit. The report outlines successful programs instituted in the metropolitan areas of Denver, Colorado and Dayton, Ohio and scrutinizes ineffective economic development policies elsewhere. Read More»

Credit Unions Obtain New Sources of Capital through CDFI Certification

As CDFI (community development financial institution)-certified credit unions have grown more than 40 percent in the last six years, their capacity to serve low-income and underserved areas has grown accordingly. This new white paper from the Credit Union National Association and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, the only national intermediary exclusively devoted to community development credit unions, describes community development credit union performance in 2013 and outlines the process and advantages of CDFI certification. Read More»

Featured Websites

Federal Communities brings together an extensive collection of community development publications and tools developed by the 12 Federal Reserve Banks and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The website supports community development professionals seeking to promote asset building, workforce development, neighborhood revitalization, and healthy communities. Find Out More»

Economic Hardship Reporting Project 

To shed light on the experience of poverty, inequality, and unemployment in this country, Barbara Ehrenreich and the Institute for Policy Studies have launched the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. The Project features intimate narratives of economic insecurity as a way to direct national attention to the isolation and distress that poverty brings. Find Out More»

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