Welcome to our January newsletter. We begin 2016 with a number of exciting developments, not least of which is a new case study and evaluation of Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperatives published by REDF. We also send heartfelt congratulations to our good friend, cooperative scholar and activist Jessica Gordon Nembhard on her recent induction to the Cooperative Hall of Fame. In other news:
On January 29, we will be livestreaming our Cities Building Community Wealth gathering, held in partnership with the CUNY School of Law Community and Economic Development Clinic and the Surdna Foundation. Panelists from some of America’s leading community wealth cities, as highlighted in Shareable, include Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, New Jersey; Mayor Lovely Warren of Rochester, New York; and Mayor Paul Soglin of Madison, Wisconsin. 

We are pleased to release a new paper, Broad-Based Ownership Models as Tools for Job Creation & Community Development, authored by Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly, Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb, and Community Wealth Building Research and Strategy Associate Violeta Duncan. This is the first guidebook in Citi Community Development’s Building the Inclusive Economy series, which also includes contributions from the Democracy at Work Institute and Project Equity. Marjorie will discuss some of these tools, along with Mayor Dwight Jones of Richmond, Virginia, as part of a panel for the Aspen Institute’s Working in America program on January 27 in Washington, D.C. 

Hospitals and health systems are increasingly adopting an anchor mission. In a recent newsletter, Raymond Baxter, Senior Vice President of Community Benefit, Research and Health policy at Kasier Permanente, shared The Democracy Collaborative’s most recent report Can Hospitals Heal America’s Communities? In an accompanying note, he encouraged his peers to adopt an anchor mission and “leverage their power and influence to improve health… and create healthier communities.” To learn more about this type of strategy, register for the Dialogue4Health webinar on January 27, which includes Manager of Healthcare Engagement David Zuckerman and Vice President of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente Tyler Norris as presenters.

The Next System Project published a conversation between Kate Diedrick of Solidarity Research Center and Atlanta-based community organizer “Mother” Mamie Moore, in which Moore discussed her background as an activist and the importance of community control in fostering transformative change. At City Hall of Bloomington, Indiana, Co-Chair of the Next System Project Gar Alperovitz delivered a speech on “Community Wealth in the Age of Cooperation,” which was also livestreamed on Bloomington Community Radio’s Standing Room Only. In a CityLab interview with Richard Florida, Gabriel Metcalf, director of SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association), acknowledges Gar’s work on the pluralist commonwealth and community wealth building as a key influence in his new book Democratic by Design.

The Democracy Collaborative is now hiring. We are seeking an experienced Research Associate for our research department as well as a Research Assistant to work closely with Gar Alperovitz. Find more information, as well as application instructions, on our website.

Ted Howard
President, The Democracy Collaborative

New from The Democracy Collaborative

Our new report on broad-based ownership models

This new guidebook provides resources for community development practitioners to employ broad-based ownership strategies. As the first in the Inclusive Economies series, funded by Citi Community Development, it discusses employee stock ownership plan companies, worker-owned cooperatives, community development financial institutions, social enterprise, municipal ownership, and emerging hybrids. Each section includes best practices and discusses opportunities to link these strategies to inclusive community economic development.
Read the report

C-W Interview: Aaron Tanaka

This month, we interview Aaron Tanaka, co-founder of the Center for Economic Democracy and senior advisor to the Boston Impact Initiative (BII). With a background in community organizing and economic development, Aaron also served as the founding executive director of the Boston Workers Alliance, where he helped build a nationally recognized non-profit that combines grassroots policy advocacy with cooperative business development in Boston’s low-income communities of color. Aaron also worked as the lead organizer in Boston’s groundbreaking, youth-led participatory budgeting process.
Check out the full interview

Recommended Reads

Impact to Last: Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Enterprise

The Evergreen Cooperatives, a network of worker-owned cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio that employ around 110 people, was recently profiled in Impact to Last: Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Enterprise, a series of case-studies published by REDF. The report describes a multi-stakeholder, place-based strategy developed to create jobs and wealth building opportunities in some of Cleveland’s most severely disinvested neighborhoods. It also offers lessons learned, ranging from developing management structures to aligning democratically-owned business with efficient business operations.  

Read the case study now
Making the Case for Linking Community Development and Health

Despite growing recognition that social and economic conditions are the primary drivers of health, the fields of community development and public health remain siloed. This new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Build Healthy Places Network outlines specific opportunities to integrate the two fields and overcome barriers to collaboration. It also includes recommendations on how to measure the impact of cross-sector collaborations and refine programs accordingly.  

Read the full report
A Report by the Post Carbon Institute

In this paper David Lerch, Publications Director of the Post Carbon Institute and founding chair of the Sustainable Communities Division of the American Planning Association, offers a new framework for community resiliency. The “ability of a community to maintain and evolve its identity in the face of both short-term and long-term changes while cultivating environmental, social, and economic sustainability,” Lerch asserts, has six foundations—people, systems thinking, adaptability, transformability, sustainability, and courage. He draws on both ecological resilience science and local experience to demonstrate how communities can develop processes which allow them to make sense of complex challenges, build regenerative capacity, sense emerging risks, respond to new challenges, and adapt. 

Read the full report
Best Local Government Practices that Advance Racial Equity in Government Contracting and Procurement

This new issue brief from the Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race & Equity (GARE) discusses the importance of equitable contracting within government procurement policy, strategy, and regulation. It describes structural barriers in business development and offers strategies to address inequities, such as sub-contracting, bid discounts, loan programs, and mentoring programs. The report draws from the experiences of GARE members who are fostering cultural change, building capacity, developing comprehensive approaches, and expanding inclusive procurement systems. 

Read the issue brief

Upcoming Events

Cities Building Community Wealth
January 29th, 2016
NYC, Livestreaming
New Partners for Smart Growth
February 11-13, 2016
Portland, Oregon
Working in America Panel
January 27th, 2016
Washington, D.C.
Dialogue 4 Health
January 27th, 2016
See all events

From Our Blog

“Coopify”: a new platform bringing broad-based ownership to your smartphone
Health Care Confronts Challenge to Shift from “Volume to Value” 
Originally posted on Rooflines, the Shelterforce blog

Featured Websites

Launched in 2015 by the non-profit organization B Lab and the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Best for NYC helps businesses measure and improve their impact on workers and the surrounding community. It provides best practice toolkits in addition to a free assessment tool that allows users to compare how their company ranks in comparison to other New York based businesses. Taking just 20 minutes to complete, users are then able to create an action plan to improve their performance. Learn more at http://bestfor.nyc/
Founded in 1998, the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) now has over 1,100 members and is the largest network of social entrepreneurs and social enterprise practitioners in the United States. In addition to convening an annual summit focused on integrating social missions into for-profit activities, the SEA maintains a “Knowledge Center” with over 20,000 publications related to social enterprise. The site also hosts a Jobs & Events board and an online marketplace. Learn more at https://socialenterprise.us/
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