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Dear Colleague,


As we approach the end of the year, all of us at The Democracy Collaborative would like to wish you and yours a happy holiday season and thank you for your interest in our work throughout 2015. This has been a year of tremendous growth for the Collaborative and more generally for the community wealth field across the nation.
 

This month alone, we released a new healthcare white paper co-authored with a Vice President of Kaiser Permanente, launched the Next System Project’s Teach-In initiative, and began planning for a New York City convening focused on our most recent report, Cities Building Community Wealth.

 
We are also encouraged to see community wealth building gaining traction across the continent. Only last month, for example, the City of Toronto, adopted a Poverty Reduction Strategy that includes a call for systemic change through strategies like community benefits agreements, a City social procurement policy, and cooperative development. Read more about Toronto’s prosperity initiative on our blog.
 
From city governments, to major healthcare providers, to local resident organizations, communities across the country and around the world are increasingly pioneering strategies that prioritize equity and inclusion, broad-based ownership, resilient local economies, and local participation. We look forward to another year of collaboration and innovation in the field.
 
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
President & Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative

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In this Newsletter:


New from the Democracy Collaborative

Recommended Reads

Featured Websites


On Our Blog:


A City with Opportunities for All: Toronto, Canada

Interview: A St. Louis organization goes above and beyond providing homes for communities


On Our Calendar:


Stepping Up to Make a Difference: The Vital Role of Anchor Institutions in Community Health Improvement
January 27, 2016, 12PM

Cities Building Community Wealth: A Gathering at the CUNY School of Law
Sponsored by the Democracy Collaborative
January 29, 2015

New from The Democracy Collaborative

Can Hospitals Heal America's Communities?

This new paper, co-authored by Democracy Collaborative president Ted Howard and Tyler Norris, vice president of Kaiser Permanente’s Total Health Partnerships, discusses an emerging “all in for mission” approach in which hospitals and health systems are stepping outside their walls to address the social, economic, and environmental conditions that contribute to poor health outcomes. The paper outlines how hospitals and healthcare providers can leverage their business practices, such as purchasing, hiring, and investments, to promote healthier and more equitable communities. Manager of healthcare engagement David Zuckerman will discuss this approach further on January 27 in a Dialogue4Health webinar hosted by the Public Health Institute. Find out more»

Save-the-date: Cities Building Community Wealth Convening

Join us on January 29 in New York City for a panel discussion and reception co-hosted by The Democracy Collaborative, the CUNY School of Law’s Community and Economic Development Clinic, and the Surdna Foundation. The event will highlight community wealth building strategies described in our most recent report, Cites Building Community Wealth, as well as the work of innovative city leaders who are building more inclusive, equitable, and cooperative economies. Panelists and speakers include Mayor Ras Baraka, City of Newark; Mayor Lovely Warren, City of Rochester; and Mayor Paul Soglin, City of Madison. The event will be livestreamed. Find Out More»

Launch of New Next System Teach-Ins Initiative

On December 8th we launched our newest initiative, the Next System Teach-Ins, with a call to action for all those who would like to see our colleges and universities become leaders in exploring systemic solutions to our national challenges. Within the first three hours of our website going live, more than 100 people across the country had registered to be part of the movement and teach-ins are already in the works in Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, Madison and more. Find out more»

C-W City: Newark, New Jersey

The thirty-seventh in our Community Wealth Cities series is Newark, New Jersey. Newark faces major challenges, including a poverty rate nearly three times the statewide average, but many civic and community leaders are working hard to reverse these trends and promote economic and social inclusion. For instance, recently elected Mayor Ras Baraka has announced a “Blueprint for Economic Development and Job Creation,” which includes a commitment to local hiring on city funded projects; New Communities Corporation, one of the largest community development corporations in the nation, owns and manages 2,000 units of housing and employs around 600 people; and Rutgers University-Newark pursues an anchor mission, having helped to establish or grow over 130 local businesses in the past seven years. Find Out More»

Recommended Reads

Designing Children’s Savings Account Programs


In 2015, the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) launched the Campaign for Every Kid's Future, an initiative to promote dedicated savings for children’s post-secondary education. The Campaign has developed a guide for state and local government and nonprofits to design, staff, implement, and evaluate Children’s Savings Accounts (CSA)—a long-term, incentivized savings product that has been shown to facilitate educational attainment and family financial stability. The guide describes how initial deposits, matched savings, benchmark incentives, and tax credits can be used to open CSAs for 1.4 million children by 2020. Find Out More»

 

PUSH Buffalo Highlights Opportunities of “Blue Economy”

860 billion gallons of raw sewage per year spews from outdated infrastructure and contaminates U.S. waterways, creating pressing environmental and public health concerns. This new report from PUSH Buffalo and the Partnership for the Public Good makes the case that the large scale public investment needed to update and renovate this infrastructure should not only meet ecological goals, but should also support local economic growth and job creation. The authors outline opportunities for community-based organizations to link green infrastructure development to the creation of social enterprises and highlight successful case studies and funding opportunities. Find Out More»
 

Regional Collaboration Generates Greater Economic Growth & Equity

“While it would be nice to simply wait for the lessons from America’s metros to bubble up to the federal level, we may need to more quickly bottle the magic elixir,” note authors Manuel Pastor and Chris Benner in their book, Equity, Growth, and Community. Pastor and Benner analyze 11 U.S. metropolitan regions that have demonstrated resilience despite economic restructuring and find the presence of “epistemic communities,” partnerships that bring together diverse stakeholders and knowledge sources, which enable communities to better withstand shock. To scale these collaboratives, Pastor and Benner suggest the creation of a learning network in which communities can share their experiences. Find Out More»

Guide Provides Resources for Jurisdictions to Advance Racial Equity

This new toolkit, published by the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), provides resources for local, county, and state governments to advance racial equity. Based on learnings from a GARE cohort, the toolkit includes examples of municipal racial equity frameworks and provides recommendations on how to adopt new organizational capacity for racial equity, implement racial equity tools, evaluate progress, and engage new partners. The authors underscore the importance managing of change when developing major new government initiatives and provide suggestions for how individuals can lead these changes. Find Out More»

 

Featured Websites

The Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA)


Formed in 1977, The Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA) is a partnership between Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, and Trinity College with a mission to restore economic vitality to neighborhoods in South Central Hartford. SINA’s programs focus on increasing employment opportunities for residents, catalyzing local business development, and promoting homeownership. SINA also provides homeownership grants for employees and has helped construct or rehabilitate at least 55 affordable homes and 74 rental units. Find Out More»
 

ImpactAssets
 


ImpactAssets is a nonprofit financial services firm that helps individual and institutional investors select financially, socially, and environmentally responsible investments. Started as a donor advised fund in 2001 by the Calvert Foundation, ImpactAssets now not only provides impact investment vehicles for philanthropists and individual investors, but also works to expand the field. In addition to issue briefs and educational materials for financial advisors, the website hosts ImpactAssets50, the first open-source database of impact investing firms in the U.S. Find Out More»

 

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