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

Welcome to our October newsletter. This month we celebrate National Co-op Month, as well as many exciting new developments at The Democracy Collaborative, including: 
  • The Democracy Collaborative has joined the Mayor’s Office in New Orleans and the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) in a major new initiative to build community wealth by leveraging the resources of anchor institutions. We will work with local leaders to explore how best to use anchor institutions to benefit the city's most underserved communities. Earlier this month, Mayor Alvin Brown of Jacksonville, Florida announced a new Community Wealth Building Initiative in Northwest Jacksonville to help connect neighborhood businesses to local anchor institutions. This initiative grew out of the action plan that The Democracy Collaborative developed earlier this year in collaboration with the Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE).
  • Democracy Collaborative Senior Fellow and Co-Chair of the Next System Project Gus Speth has a new memoir entitled Angels by the River that describes his personal journey to become one of our nation’s most prominent environmental thought leaders and activists. Gus's co-chair of the Next System Project, Democracy Collaborative Co-Founder Gar Alperovitz, writes on community ownership in the featured article in Shelterforce Magazine’s latest issue on work in America. Gar also spoke with television journalist Laura Flanders about how to build communities for systemic transformation. 
  • Congratulations to Democracy Collaborative’s Research Director Steve Dubb, who has been named a BALLE Local Economy Fellow. Steve will join 17 other leaders from across North America working to develop a new, more equitable, and democratic economy in an 18-month program that aims to advance their work in the field.  
  • Our staff continues to promote the community wealth building field in a variety of fora: in an interview with Mary Helen Petrus of the Cleveland Federal Reserve, published in the Fed’s Forefront magazineI discuss anchor institution strategies. Communications Coordinator John Duda describes our recent state and local policy report for the British magazine New Start. And Steve Dubb and Research Associate Sarah McKinley participated on a panel about our Learning/Action Lab for community wealth building at the CFED Asset’s Learning Conference along with Justin Huenemann of the Northwest Area Foundation and Nick Tilsen, Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation on the Pine Ridge Reservation and finalist for the Buckminster Fuller challenge.  
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:

Local Policies for building community wealth

Models for mobilizing multiple anchor institutions

Clandestine Corporate Subsidies Undermine Community Participation in Local Economic Decision Making

Infographic: The Cleveland Model


New from The Democracy Collaborative

New Animated Video Shows How Cleveland is Building Community Wealth

The Democracy Collaborative has released a new animated video that shows how local anchor institutions, connected to environmentally friendly, worker-owned cooperatives, created jobs in low-income neighborhoods in Cleveland. The video shows how the Cleveland Model — brought about by a partnership among the Cleveland Foundation, local anchor institutions, the City of Cleveland, and The Democracy Collaborative, among others – uses the purchasing power of the city’s major hospitals and universities to build democratized wealth in disinvested neighborhoods. Find Out More»

Recommended Reads

Burlington, Vermont Supports Local Ownership

In the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Communities & Banking Journal, localist Bruce Seifer presents an excerpt from his new book that describes the shift in Burlington, Vermont's economic development strategy from one that seeks corporate subsidies to one based on building local entrepreneurship. Seifer gives an overview of the city's long-term economic vision and describes the city's efforts to convert business into employee-owned companies and to provide technical assistance to locally owned firms. Read More»


Revitalizing Public Housing in New Orleans Offers Lessons for Other Cities

Destruction brought by Hurricane Katrina presented the opportunity ­— and the challenge — for New Orleans to revive its troubled public housing and integrate residents into the planning processes. This case study from the National Housing Institute describes one community development organization's efforts to build trust between displaced residents and local social service providers, and offers lessons learned for other cities struggling to revitalize their public housing. Read More»

Leaders Identify Pathways to a Sustainable and Inclusive Economy

The Post Carbon Institute and Collective Conversations interviewed 18 leaders, including Democracy Collaborative Communications Coordinator John Duda, for a new report on the possibilities for a new, more equitable, and democratized economy. Building off of conversations from the Community Resilience and New Economy Network, the collected interviews help to connect different social movements and present creative solutions and alternatives to our current extractive economy. Full transcripts of each interview are also available online. Read More»

Rental Market Speculation Disrupts Communities 

This new report from Right to the City Alliance’s Homes for All Campaign examines how the entrance of large, well capitalized, private equity firms, into rental markets creates the risk of a second housing bubble. The author, urban geographer Desiree Fields, demonstrates that the institutionalization of the single-family rental market benefits the same financial institutions behind the housing market crash of 2008, while disproportionately impacting low-income communities. She lays out a policy agenda that can promote greater diversity and broaden ownership of land and housing. Read More»

Featured Websites

The Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA)

A worker-owned cooperative, the Toolbox for Education and Social Action (TESA) offers educational resource, consulting, and curriculum design on participatory democracy in workplace and beyond.  They have coordinated workshops and academies on cooperative design, created an interactive game of cooperation and collaboration called Co-opoly, and run, on online hub for sharing information on cooperatives. Find Out More»

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America examines the social and economic disparities of health and looks beyond the medical system for solutions. Their website offers downloadable issue briefs and reports providing ideas on how to break the link between poverty and poor health. It also provides maps of cities across the country detailing life expectancy by geography. Find Out More»

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