Dear Colleague,

Earlier this month, The New York Times featured an article about the work of The Democracy Collaborative’s Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN), highlighting how this growing collaboration of 45 health systems is shifting the healthcare field to invest in addressing one of the root causes of poor health: economic insecurity. The article features quotes from myself and Director of Healthcare Engagement David Zuckerman, as well as leading voices in the field and local residents at the heart of these anchor strategies. The work of HAN was also recently featured by Grantmakers in Health and in an op-ed in OtherWords. Later this winter, HAN will be collaborating on Modern Healthcare’s Social Determinants of Health Symposium, which brings together many of those working on drawing the connections between systemic inequity and health outcomes. The symposium will take place on December 3rd in Detroit, Michigan. Learn more about the symposium agenda and speakers, and register here.
 
I am pleased to announce two new TDC fellows: Dominic T. Moulden joins as a Senior Fellow for Community Organizing & the Democratic Economy in the African and Latinx Diaspora. Dominic, who brings a deep history of community organizing in Washington, DC, will help to map the existing landscape of community organizing groups and enterprise developers who are advancing the movement for a democratic economy. This information will help to inform us on how best to support the growth of a democratic economy from the perspective of the grassroots. Dr. Obery Hendricks joins as a Distinguished Senior Fellow for Faith, Power, and the Democratic Economy, and will advance our work around engaging faith leaders, and outlining the role that religion, faith, and theology can play in shifting the public’s moral imagination about the political economy. 
 
In September, The Democracy Collaborative co-sponsored this year’s The World Transformed festival, which occurs alongside the UK Labour Party’s annual conference. Among the panels TDC helped support were several on community wealth building as well as a panel on municipalism featuring Kali Akuno, Debbie Bookchin, Frans Bieckmann, Elif Sarican, and Osman Baydemir. We also co-hosted an event with local Councillors and others interested in community wealth building, which included Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities Andrew Gwynne, North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll, Islington Cabinet Member Asima Shaikh, Preston City Council Leader Matthew Brown, and Sarah McKinley, TDC’s Director of European Programs.
 
During their conference, the Labour Party announced a number of exciting new policies, many related to TDC’s work on democratizing ownership and control. Read a piece from Research Director Thomas Hanna and Policy Associate Peter Gowan on Labour’s backing the concept of Universal Basic Services in Tribune Magazine. On this side of the Atlantic, Senator and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently released a plan for “Corporate Accountability and Democracy” which includes a proposal for Democratic Employee Ownership Funds. Read more below and in The Washington Post, Vox, The Guardian, CNN, the New Republic, the Huffington Post, and Jacobin.
 
The recent power outage crisis in California
⁠—due in part to PG&E’s failure to maintain adequate and safe infrastructure⁠—has highlighted the many shortcomings of profit-driven, investor-owned utilities. Co-Manager of Climate & Energy Programs Johanna Bozuwa recently published a piece in The Nation outlining the need for a new energy model based on public and community ownership, a resilient grid, and renewable energy. Read more about the opportunity for public ownership in response to energy crises like the PG&E shutoff in Vice and In These Times.

Sincerely,
Ted Howard
President and Co-Founder,
The Democracy Collaborative

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TDC & CWB in the News

  • President and Co-Founder Ted Howard was recently quoted in The Guardian, noting the opportunity that universities have as they open new locations or redevelop their campuses. “[The university],” he shares, “has got to take account of the kind of neighbour it is, and how it uses its economic strength to creatively help solve problems in the community where it’s going to be based.”
  • Last month, The Democracy Collaborative released a paper with UK-based groups Just Treatment and Global Justice Now on the opportunity for democratic public ownership in the pharmaceutical sector. Subsequently, the Labour Party announced that it was moving forward on its version of this proposal, with Jeremy Corbyn calling for "a new, publicly-owned generic drugs manufacturer to supply cheaper medicines to our NHS." Read more in The Guardian and Jacobin.
  • The Next System Project’s recent proposal around the creation of a US Green Infrastructure Bank, which would provide the finance needed to catalyze a just transition, was featured in openDemocracy. Learn more about the proposal in our recommended reads section below.

New from The Democracy Collaborative

Infographic: Democratic Employee Ownership Funds

Senator and Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders recently released a plan for Corporate Accountability and Democracy which includes a proposal for Democratic Employee Ownership Funds. Such funds would require large companies to issue shares into worker-controlled funds – an idea proposed by The Next System Project’s Peter Gowan and Common Wealth’s Mathew Lawrence in this report. This new infographic provides further information on how such a fund, referred to as Inclusive Ownership Funds in the UK, could work.

Learn More

Survey: Are you involved in a re-municipalization campaign?

Over the next few years, The Democracy Collaborative will serve as a US hub for a global project on re-municipalization. The project, hosted at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, aims to explore the potential of, and growing movement for, returning services and utilities that have been privatized to public ownership. An important element of the project is a survey to better understand past and present efforts around re-municipalization. If you have been involved in such a campaign, we invite you to take the survey, which is available in multiple languages.

Learn More

Featured Video & Audio

Democratizing power in rural America through electric co-ops

This episode of the Next System Podcast features Johanna Bozuwa in conversation with Nikita Perumal from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and Chris Woolery from the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development about the New Economy Coalition’s toolkit on rural electric cooperatives. Listen here.

How to Make a Democratic Economy

Democracy Collaborative President and Co-Founder Ted Howard and Executive Vice President Marjorie Kelly join the Laura Flanders Show to discuss their new book, The Making of a Democratic Economy. Watch here or listen to the podcast episode here.

Recommended Reads

New Report: A Green Investment Bank

Democratized finance will be key to executing a green and just transition away from fossil fuels. This new report from The Next System Project proposes the creation of a green infrastructure bank that can catalyze a Green New Deal and the transition to a more ecologically sustainable future that would otherwise be impossible under the short-term, high-return regime of private finance. The proposal explains how the bank would be structured to meet triple bottom line goals of facilitating the green and just transition, financial sustainability, and democratic decision-making. Read more here.

Racially Exclusionary Housing in the Bay Area

This report from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley discusses the historic roots of racialized housing inequality in the San Francisco Bay Area. The report outlines how state policy from the 1850s to the present codifies segregation and displacement, from violent dispossession to exclusionary real estate practices. The report makes the case that the current housing crisis is not natural, but the result of purposeful policy and tactics, and calls on readers to reimagine the role that local jurisdictions can play in reversing these trends. Read more here.

Featured Website

Greater Boston Anti-Displacement Toolkit

Funded by the Surdna Foundation and a project of GreenRoots, the Everett Community Health Partnership (ECHP), Research Action Design (RAD), and MIT CoLab, this set of multimedia toolkits provides resources that organizers and residents can use to fight displacement in their communities. While geared towards Boston residents, the toolkit’s activities, how-to guides, facilitation plans, and other resources can be adapted to other geographies. Learn more here.

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