The latest news on community wealth building initiatives!
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Dear Colleague,

Welcome to our July newsletter. This month’s developments include:
  • Produced on behalf of the City of Jacksonville, Florida, The Democracy Collaborative is pleased to share our latest report, Building Community Wealth: An Action Plan for Northwest Jacksonville. See below for more on this publication and video highlights of the Community Wealth Building Roundtable that we co-organized with the Mayor’s office and Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation, and Empowerment (ICARE) in March 2014. Jacksonville is one of a number of cities where mayors are taking a lead on community wealth building initiatives.
  • Last month, I discussed best practice approaches for measuring the impact of anchor institutions in a webinar hosted by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). The recording is available here. I also moderated a plenary panel at CleanMed 2014 on the Cleveland anchor institution framework. A video of the discussion, which featured top leadership from the Cleveland Foundation, the City of Cleveland, University Hospitals, and the Cleveland Clinic is available here. Research Director Steve Dubb’s Leveraging the Power of Local Institutions presentation at the American Independent Business Alliance’s 2014 Go Local, Grow Local conference is also available.
  • Our co-founder, Gar Alperovitz spoke on the keynote panel at the New Economy Coalition’s Commonbound Conference. Gar also gave the closing keynote address at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The video is available here. Gar discussed the growing support behind democratizing wealth in an interview with New Start Magazine and joined BALLE co-founder Michael Shuman in a conversation on how to build sustainable communities. In an Al Jazeera article, Gar presents a critical perspective of Thomas Piketty’s best-selling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century— emphasizing how democratizing ownership of capital can address the vast wealth inequalities that Piketty so powerfully documents.

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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Indian Country the Site of New Developments in Community Wealth Building

Worker Cooperatives Address Low-Wage Work and the Feminization of Poverty

City Governments Building Community Wealth and Cooperative Local Economies

Small Island, Big Cooperative

Seizing the Moment


New from The Democracy Collaborative

Action Plan Outlines Strategy to Build Community Wealth in Jacksonville, Florida

At the request of the Office of Mayor Alvin Brown, The Democracy Collaborative has presented a community wealth building action plan to the City of Jacksonville. This report identifies key action items to begin to fully integrate lower income communities in Northwest Jacksonville into overall City economic development. To develop a community wealth building approach tailored to Jacksonville’s needs and strengths, The Democracy Collaborative conducted over 40 interviews with more than 60 key stakeholders, coordinated a visit by a Jacksonville delegation to study wealth building strategies being implemented in Cleveland, and organized a Community Wealth Building Roundtable, attended by nearly 100 local leaders. A video of the Roundtable can be found hereFind Out More»

C-W Interview: Ai-Jen Poo

This month we interview Ai-Jen Poo, co-founder and director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). To date, NDWA has helped pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights laws, which enumerate domestic care workers’ labor right protections in the states of New York, Hawaii and California. Ai-Jen has also helped organize Caring Across Generations, a multi-generational coalition advocating for policies that support quality care for seniors and quality jobs for domestic workers. She is also an active participant in broader coalition work with National People’s Action and other organizations that seek to build a more inclusive and democratic economy. Find Out More»

Recommended Reads

Guide Outlines Strategies to Sustain Community Assets


This new toolkit from the German Marshall Fund offers policies and practices to empower communities to preserve civic assets such as public parks, libraries, and recreation centers in the face of resource constraints. Based on research conducted in Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Baltimore, the guide offers a range of strategies to raise money, awareness, and community involvement for the preservation of community assets. Read More»


Philanthropic Organizations Seek to Expand Social Impact


A wide range of non-profit leaders, including Carla Javits of REDF, Michael Smith of the Social Innovation Fund, Patrick McCarthy of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Dr. Robert Ross of the California Endowment discuss ways to scale impact in this Grantmakers for Effective Philanthropy report. Among the key findings for funders: provide flexible, long-term support; invest in capacity building; fund data collection and analysis; and support movements (and not just organizations). Read More»

Report Outlines Agenda to Increase Financial Service Access in Communities of Color


The Alliance for Stabilizing our Communities — a collaboration between National CAPACD (Coalition of Asian and Pacific Americans for Community Development), the National Council of La Raza, and the National Urban League — has released the findings of a national survey of bank account ownership and use in communities of color. To reduce continued disparities and close the financial services access gap, the coalition recommends a multi-faceted approach that combines technological innovation, bricks-and-mortar bank branches in communities of color, financial education, and asset building programs. Read More»

Latino and African American Homeowners Face Continued High Levels of Underwater Mortgages 


Measuring how communities have recovered from the national foreclosure crisis, the Haas Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, has analyzed the concentration of underwater homes by race and income. The findings reveal geographic “hot spots” of underwater homes and how the legacy of predatory lending has concentrated these homes in African American and Latino communities. The report recommends a range of loan restructuring strategies to assist severely impacted communities. Read More»

Featured Websites

The National Resource Network

The National Resource Network, a new pilot program developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, aims to be a “311 for Cities” — a one-stop shop to support the work of local leaders. Users can find information on federal grant opportunities related to community and economic development and public budgeting as well as access policy resources and technical assistance. City officials can receive on-the-ground assistance from leading experts in both the public and private sectors. Find Out More»

The Working World

Providing investment capital and technical assistance to worker cooperatives in Argentina, Nicaragua, and the United States, The Working World has invested more than $2 million to create long-lasting, wealth-creating jobs, including helping former Republic Windows in Chicago to create the “New Era Windows” worker cooperative.  The Working World ensures continued cooperative development through reinvesting returns in locally-based revolving loan funds. Find Out More»

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