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Dear Colleague,

Welcome to our March newsletter. This month’s new developments include:
  • We hope you join us March 19 from 3 to 4 pm (eastern) for a webinar to discuss best practices for hospitals pursuing an anchor mission. The presentation is part of an American Hospital Association webinar series, “Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence,” and will feature Democracy Collaborative Research Associate David Zuckerman along with practitioners from three health systems.
  • Last month, our co-founder Gar Alperovitz , spoke with Peter Buffett, chairman of the NOVO Foundation, about the challenges and opportunities of systemic change. Read more about their conversation below. On March 21st and 22nd, Gar will appear at A Celebration of Pittsburgh's New Economy, to discuss strategies to democratize wealth. 
  • Democracy Collaborative Research Director Steve Dubb recently participated on a panel at the Aspen Institute to discuss “Big Ideas for Job Creation.” Moderated by Maureen Conway, Executive Director of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute, Steve and fellow panelist Carla Javits of REDF outlined strategies to redirect anchor institution procurement (as discussed in the Anchor Dashboard) and policies that support social enterprise, build community wealth, and strengthen local economies.
  • Our staff continues to advance community wealth building strategies through their work. Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly recently directed a project at the Tellus Institute that has just released a new guide on crowdfunding and value chains.  A Democracy Collaborative infographic, developed by Communications Associate Benzamin Yi, was featured in a Grassroots Economic Organization article regarding a Cincinnati Union Co-op gathering held last December.
  • Throughout 2014, we will be making significant updates and additions to our website. This month we are happy to announce a new section on Worker Cooperatives. Watch for additional sections to be added and revised over the coming year.
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:

Featured from the Democracy Collaborative

C-W City

Recommended Reads

Featured Websites


On our Blog:

Rethinking Community Economic Development Beyond "Rent or Own"

Chokwe Lumumba, RIP

Cleveland as a Model for Anchor/Community Partnerships


New from The Democracy Collaborative

Imagining Systemic Change with Peter Buffett

Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz spoke with Peter Buffett, chairman of the NOVO Foundation, about the “charitable industrial complex” and community organizing to encourage systemic change. Buffett describes how his experiences working with local communities have guided his efforts to democratize the economy and build solidarity around this goal. Read the full transcript of their conversation here or listen to segments here.

C-W City: Richmond, VA

C-W City: Richmond, Virginia

The 32nd in our continuing series of Community Wealth Cities is Richmond, Virginia. Richmond has a complex history; once the capital of the Confederacy, it was also the first city to host a bank chartered by African Americans. Its unique legacy as a site of both racial tension and progress creates interesting challenges and opportunities for community wealth building. Last fall, Richmond gained national attention for Mayor Dwight Jones’ anti-poverty plan, which calls for broad expansion of community wealth building and social enterprise activity. Read More»

Recommended Reads

Lawmakers Respond to Household Financial Insecurity

The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) employs its annual Assets and Opportunity
Scorecard to assess states’ commitment to reducing financial insecurity. This year’s scorecard measures the pervasiveness and effectiveness of polices that help people learn financial skills, build human capital, increase earnings, create affordable financial products, generate wealth, and protect consumers. CFED ranks states’ outcomes in five issue areas—Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education. Read More»


New Book Combats Enclosures and Embraces the Commons 

In his new book, Commons Strategies Group co-founder David Bollier describes the logic and ethics of the commons, as well as the growing international movement, especially in Europe and the global South. Bollier maps the field from information commons such as Wikipedia to common spaces such as community gardens. The book also covers threats to the commons, such as enclosures and private property rights. Read More»

GDP Alternatives Better Capture Measures of Progress

Robert Costanza joins other sustainable development advocates to discuss the implications of setting national policy goals based on levels of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in a recent issue of Nature. The authors argue that the use of GDP as a measure of progress fuels social and environmental instability. They outline alternative measures of progress that take into account indices such as net savings, ecological impact, life expectancy, and civic engagement to provide a more comprehensive measure of wellbeing. Read More» 

New Guide Outlines Tools to Spur Local Investment

In this new guide to community investment, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) identifies finance options and other investment tools to reinvigorate regional economies, create high-quality jobs, and restore the environment. BALLE offers this guide as a resource to help re-shape financial capital flows to support local self-sufficiency and ingenuity. Read More»

Featured Websites

The Equality of Opportunity Project

Researchers from Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley developed the Equality of Opportunity Project to share their findings on intergenerational income mobility across U.S. metropolitan areas. Their website offers an interactive map, presentations, and papers to describe how measures of social capital, inequality, segregation, family structure, and quality of schools correlate with mobility. Find Out More»

Boaz & Ruth


Boaz & Ruth is a community organization that provides critical job training in Highland Park, a neighborhood with one of the highest concentrations of formerly incarcerated individuals in Richmond, Virginia. Boaz & Ruth has established six social enterprises, renovated a historic fire station for use as a business incubator, and helped found the Highland Park Retail Merchants Association at Six Points. Boaz & Ruth employs approximately sixty people. Find Out More»

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