Dear Colleague, 

We are excited to announce the launch of a new partnership with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), a network of 100 of the country’s urban-based institutions of higher education. Building off of the work of The Democracy Collaborative’s Anchor Dashboard Learning Cohort, the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative will focus on supporting participating institutions as they accelerate the adoption of anchor mission strategies such as local hiring, local sourcing, and place-based investment, both at their university and across the sector. Learn more here.
Across the pond, just a few weeks ago I had the privilege to keynote an event in the United Kingdom marking the official launch of a new Community Wealth Building Unit, housed in the office of Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party. The Democracy Collaborative will serve as a senior advisor to the office which, in turn, will support city councilors from across the country as they implement policies around re-municipalization, local procurement, and the development of worker cooperatives. Read more about the launch and my keynote remarks here.
Labour’s Community Wealth Building Unit builds off of groundbreaking developments in Preston, England where the city council is implementing an ambitious agenda around community wealth building. Already, the initiative has returned almost £200 million to the Lancashire economy and supported more than 1,600 jobs. Learn more about the innovative “Preston Model” in our new infographic below. Major coverage for the model has also appeared in The Guardian as part of Aditya Chakrabortty’s new series “The Alternatives” and its associated podcast. While in the UK, I also had the opportunity to keynote the Environmental Funders Network conference and present at the Labour Party’s Alternatives Models of Ownership conference about how community wealth building strategies add up to a new model of economic development that puts people and place first. The interest in these strategies in the U.K. is palpable, as is the historic potential of the work underway now.
This commitment to new, inclusive models of economic development is not just found abroad: In Rochester, New York, Mayor Lovely Warren has launched a new Office of Community Wealth Building, the second in the country following Richmond, Virginia. The Office will serve as the City’s liaison to OWNRochester
, a network of employee-owned businesses with the goal of creating jobs and building wealth in specific high-poverty neighborhoods. Read more about the Office in the Rochester-based Southwest Tribune and on our blog
Lastly, The Democracy Collaborative team continues to grow. We are pleased to welcome Felipe Barroso­ as a senior associate in our Healthcare Engagement department and Melanie Brusseler as the Special Assistant to Gar Alperovitz. We are also hiring for three new full-time positions. Find out more here and read more
in our new jobs in community wealth building section below.

Ted Howard
President and Co-Founder,
The Democracy Collaborative


Community Wealth Building in the News

  • The Democracy Collaborative’s Marjorie Kelly and Jessica Rose published a piece in The Daily Yonder on the benefits that employee ownership can provide to rural communities, noting that converting enterprises to employee ownership can deliver returns to investors while improving wages and increasing job stability.
  • The Albuquerque Journal recently published a profile on Albuquerque’s shifting of economic development policy towards strategies that promote local businesses, and particularly historically underutilized businesses.
  • The work of Project Equity promoting worker ownership in California was recently highlighted in Forbes, with the article noting that conversion to worker ownership can help to ensure factories remain locally-owned. The Central Penn Business Journal published a piece about a similar initiative Project Equity is supporting in Pennsylvania, also highlighting how conversions can provide help business succession planning.

New from The Democracy Collaborative

New Infographic: The Preston Model
Inspired by the Evergreen Model in Cleveland, Ohio, the Preston Model refers to a comprehensive strategy being developed by the city of Preston in the UK around economic revitalization. This new infographic outlines the components of this strategy, which leverages the procurement power of local anchor institutions and government to support locally owned businesses and worker cooperatives. The model also includes innovations like the integration of a public energy utility and a public pension fund.
Find out more here
New C-W City: Tacoma, Washington
The forty-fourth in our C-W City series is Tacoma, Washington. 26 percent of all Tacoma children live in poverty versus 16 percent of children statewide. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, the city’s homeless population increased by 37 percent. To reverse these trends, the City, local anchors, and organizations are investing in building community wealth. Examples include the Education Project, operated by the Tacoma Housing Authority, which includes a children’s savings account program that provides matched savings to incentivize family deposits and financial literacy programs.
Read more here

Jobs in Community Wealth Building

Featured Videos

BBC Clip on Labour’s Community Wealth Building Platform

This BBC clip discusses the Labour Party’s platform around local procurement and re-municipalization of enterprises like rail, water, and power as well as developments in Preston. 
Trailer for A Silent Transformation - A Film About Co-operatives

Watch the trailer for A Silent Transformation, a documentary about the role of cooperatives in creating a more just economy. Visit to learn more about setting up a community screening

Recommended Reads

25 Federal Policies to Advance Economic and Racial Justice

A guide for policymakers and grassroots organizations, this new report from Dēmos outlines 25 federal policies that advance racial and economic equity. The report includes short summaries of each policy, polling information around the popularity of particular policies, and key talking points for advocates. Policies highlighted include a public job guarantee, paid family leave, renewable energy investment, and developing a more equitable tax code. Read the full report here.


Measuring the Impact of New York City’s Worker Co-Op Initiative

The city government of New York recently released the third annual assessment of New York City’s Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative, which works to incubate new worker-owned enterprises and provides assistance to convert existing businesses to worker ownership.  In 2017, the initiative helped launch 36 new cooperatives and facilitated 185 new hires. The report also details the technical assistance provided to existing businesses and provides a business directory. Read the full report here.

Featured Website


A project of Enterprise Community Investment, Opportunity360 provides tools and resources around developing investment strategies that can promote asset-based community development. The site includes tools for measurement, community engagement, cross-sector partnerships, and evaluation. Users can generate their own reports that bring together neighborhood data and metrics that measure economic opportunity.


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