Dear Colleague,
This past month at The Democracy Collaborative has been one of the most productive I can recall since our founding in 2000. Some (but not all) of the highlights include:

We launched our new toolkit series, Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities, produced with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and designed to help hospitals and health systems build community wealth through inclusive hiring, investment, and purchasing. The toolkits were profiled by Modern Healthcare in an article that discusses the growing movement among health systems to leverage their resources for inclusive, local economic development. Read more below.

With the leadership of the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center and a multi-anchor collaborative involving five other local institutions, we helped to launch a major new initiative, Healthy Neighborhoods Albuquerque, which will leverage institutional procurement and hiring practices to create employment and build wealth for area residents living in low-income neighborhoods. Read press coverage in Next City, the Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Business First, KRQE News 13, the UNM HSC NewsBeat, and UNM HSC TV
As we enter National Cooperative Month, I am pleased to announce the release of our latest report, Strategies for Financing the Inclusive Economy. This guidebook highlights tools for financing cooperatives as well as other broad-based ownership models such as employee stock ownership plans and municipal enterprise. Read more below, and register for the October 20 webinar discussing the report. Drawing on themes in the report, co-author Marjorie Kelly contributed an article to the Stanford Social Innovation Review in which she outlines opportunities for financial institutions to join foundations, nonprofits, and city leaders in scaling broad-based ownership.
I am also pleased to share a new working paper from The Next System Project, prepared as a framing document for the “After Fossil Fuels: The New Economy” conference held at Oberlin College in early October. The paper explores the intersections of our systemic and ecological crises, and proposes a bold, new solution for how the United States can create an historic climate change breakthrough: “Quantitative Easing for the Planet.” Read the full paper here.
Recognizing the immediate need to address the drivers of racial inequality in the United States, The Democracy Collaborative has formally endorsed The Movement For Black Lives (M4BL) policy platform. The platform puts forth 40 comprehensive policy proposals on economic justice, financial investment, community control of police, and other areas. Community Development Associate Nicole Brown discusses the structure and significance of the M4BL agenda and its connections to our work on our blog. Research Assistant Emily Sladek also authored a blog post discussing the growing focus on racial justice at the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives membership meeting in July.
Finally, if you find yourself in New York City between now and February 26, 2017, we invite you to visit the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper Hewitt Museum to see the exhibition “By the People: Designing a Better America.” The exhibition features 60 cutting-edge examples of “design for more inclusive and sustainable communities.” Two organizations we have been privileged to work closely with for years—Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperatives and Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota—are featured for their “powerful message of optimism for achieving a more just and equitable society for all Americans through design.”
Ted Howard
President & Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative

New from The Democracy Collaborative

New Guide on Financing Broad-based Ownership Models

Strategies for Financing the Inclusive Economy, the third guidebook in Citi Community Development’s Building the Inclusive Economy series, provides resources for banks, impact investors, foundations, local government, and community development leaders on how to use their capital to help grow a new economy grounded in democratized community ownership. Authored by Marjorie Kelly, Violeta Duncan, and Steve Dubb, the paper highlights tools used to finance cooperatives, employee stock ownership plans, social enterprises, hybrid enterprises, and municipal enterprises. Although the basic tools of debt and equity still apply to these models, unique financing approaches are being developed to meet their goals of worker and community benefit. These include peer financing, new forms of public funding, mission-related investments, and many others.
Read the full report
Inclusive, Local Hiring: Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities

First Toolkit Released in Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities Series

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Democracy Collaborative has launched a new toolkit series on how hospitals can best use their considerable economic resources to create more equitable and inclusive local economies. The first toolkit on was released in September, with additional toolkits on inclusive, local sourcing and community investment coming out later this year. Authored by Manager of Healthcare Engagement David Zuckerman and Research Associate Katie Parker, the toolkits provide detailed strategy descriptions, case studies from leaders in the field, and worksheets that allow health systems to begin planning and designing an inclusive local hiring program.
Explore the full toolkit

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Financing the Inclusive Economy

October 20, 2016
3:00-4:30 PM ET

Marjorie Kelly and Steve Dubb will join Camille Kerr of The ICA Group, Marnie Thompson of the Fund for Democratic Communities, Melinda Pollack of Enterprise Community Partners, Olivia Rebanal of Capital Impact Partners, and Tina Corea of Citi Community Development for a webinar about our new Strategies for Financing the Inclusive Economy guidebook. Register now.

National Cooperative Month: Cooperatives Build

October 2016

October is National Cooperative Month and the 2016 theme is “Cooperatives Build.” The co-op month website provides a variety of resources including social media materials, sample press releases, co-op success stories, and a listing of events, including International Credit Union Day on October 20 and a Co-Op 5K in Washington, DC on October 22. Check out the website here.

See all events

From Our Blog

The Movement for Black Lives Policy Agenda
by Nicole Brown


Institutionalizing a Commitment to Racial and Economic Justice
by Emily Sladek


Recommended Reads

Participatory Budgeting Bolsters Civic Engagement
This new white paper from the Participatory Budgeting Project discusses how governments can use participatory budgeting (PB) as a tool to foster civic participation, ensure more accountable and fair decision-making processes, and develop innovative policy solutions. The paper provides a broad overview of how PB works and highlights successes from the more than 3,000 PB efforts implemented across the United States. The paper includes perspectives from: New York City, where low-income residents represented 40 percent of participants in PB processes (compared with 29 percent for previous local elections); Boston, which has developed a youth-led PB process; and Greensboro, North Carolina, the first PB effort in the American south.


U.S. Ranks Low on New Global “Inclusiveness Index”
The majority of comparative metrics assessing the well-being of people in countries omit social cleavages—such as gender and ethnicity—that influence experiences of marginalization and exclusion. To identify policies and interventions that promote inclusivity and equity, the Haas Institute has developed the “Inclusiveness Index.” This new paper explains the development of the Index, which is based on factors such as outgroup violence, political representation, income inequality, and rates of incarceration. Based on these metrics, the US is ranked as having low inclusivity globally. The authors then apply the index to the US internally, noting the geographic concentration of incarceration, persistent income inequality, and discriminatory laws.


Featured Websites

Launched by Black Central, an organization dedicated to empowering Black communities, Blackout Coalition provides resources for the #MoveYourMoney campaign, which focuses on shifting resources to Black-owned enterprises. The website features a map of Black-owned banks and credit unions in the U.S, as well as a business directory, and film and music video libraries. Learn more at

To celebrate their 100 year anniversary, the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) launched a web series celebrating cooperative history. It includes a new documentary series on cooperatives that will screen on PBS this fall, a social media toolkit for promoting cooperative ownership, and a monthly photo contest. Learn more at

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