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Dear Colleague,

Welcome to our May newsletter. This month’s developments include:
  • We hope you will join us on June 5 at 1pm EST for a free webinar on “Measuring the Shared Value of Anchor Community Engagement,” hosted by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). I will discuss the Anchor Dashboard, alongside Kim Zeuli of ICIC and Anthony Sorrentino from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • In its newest Field Guide to Investing in a Regenerative Economy, the Capital Institute outlines Cleveland’s Evergreen model and provides overviews of the three enterprises: Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, Evergreen Energy Solutions, and Green City Growers. Also, in a DiversityInc interview, Orlando Santaella, a worker-owner of Evergreen Energy Solutions, talks about the transformative role that Evergreen has had on his life as part of a profile on University Hospitals’ procurement efforts with women- and minority-owned businesses.
  • Last month in Montreal, at the Social Transformation through Social Innovation conference, hosted by Colloque International du CRISES, Democracy Collaborative co-founder Gar Alperovitz presented a keynote address on how public policy can support social innovation and community wealth building. Back in the United States, Gar discussed the merits of a guaranteed minimum income in this CNN article and appeared in a featured video on Upworthy, where he reiterated the importance of local and democratic ownership as a means to build wealth. Gar also questioned the assumption that economic growth is universally good in a recent Al Jazeera America article.
  • Thanks to Gale Publishing, a free download of The Democracy Collaborative's chapter "Economic Democracy", featured in the new anthology Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles & Practices, is now available on 
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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On our Blog:

Will Co-ops Spark a New Civil Rights Movement?

Join us in DC for a talk on the history of African-American cooperatives


New from The Democracy Collaborative

Book Highlights Community Wealth Building Innovation

Democracy Collaborative senior fellows Marjorie Kelly and Joe Guinan and senior researcher Thomas Hanna each contribute chapters to a new free e-book, Democratic Wealth: Building a Citizens' Economy. The authors discuss economic institutions, alternative economic system designs, and forms of democratic ownership. This openDemocracy and Politics in Spires series, hosted by the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, advances the conversation on visioning an economic system that serves the common good. Find Out More»

Recommended Reads

Income Inequality Rises in Every State Across the Country

Analyzing income inequality by state, Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price document the sharp rise in economic inequality over the last 35 years. Sommeiller and Price find that between 1929 and 1979, a time of rising minimum wages, low levels of unemployment, and union contracts, the share of income held by the top 1 percent declined in all but one state. But since 1979, every state has endured widening inequality. The authors caution that this shift will likely persist, unless states begin to create policies that support a more balanced economy. Read More»


New Sectoral Employment Initiatives Broaden Opportunity for All

In a new paper, Maureen Conway of the Aspen Institute and Steven Dawson of PHI (Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute) argue for comprehensive workforce development strategies that not only promote mobility for low-wage workers, but that also improve the conditions for those remaining in low-quality jobs. The brief highlights best practices in workforce development and outlines a multipronged approach to improve conditions through advocacy, policy research, job training, and education on workplace standards. Read More»

Speculative Finance Endangers Environmental and Economic Sustainability

In the latest publication in Great Transition Initiative’s sustainable development series, John Fullerton challenges the preeminence of modern finance. Fullerton says sustainability requires transforming our economic system to limit finance capital and the environmental deterioration and social instability that it encourages. By broadening public ownership of finance, through such means as sovereign wealth funds, public banking, and public utilities, Fullerton contends that nations can limit environmental degradation and manage long-term growth. Read More»

Trade Unions and Worker Cooperatives Unite


With overlapping histories and common goals of democratic organizing, trade unions and worker cooperatives are potentially natural partners in fostering inclusive economies. A recent issue of the International Journal of Labor Research showcases this emerging strategic alliance, providing case studies of joint initiatives in Latin America, East Africa, Canada, and the United States. The authors also consider the challenges of these partnerships and suggest solutions to overcome fractures between the movements. Read More»

Featured Websites

A Practical Playbook

The de Beaumont Foundation, the Duke University Department of Community and Family Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed A Practical Playbook: Public Health & Primary Care Together that offers a new vision for linking health care and community wealth building. The Playbook offers toolkits to complete community health needs assessments, guides for achieving health equity, and a range of other resources to help communities, local governments, and healthcare professionals advance community health. Find Out More»

Roots and Branches

Long-time community land trust advocates John Emmeus Davis and Greg Rosenberg have created a new resource, Roots and Branches, to chronicle the evolution of community land trusts and to foster thinking on the movement’s future development. The website offers a range of essays, photos, slideshows, videos, and oral interviews to recount political struggles and achievements of the community land trust movement. Find Out More»

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