Opportunity Threads is a worker cooperative cut and sew factory in Morganton, North Carolina. Started in late 2008, it’s an inspiring example of how democratic ownership in manufacturing can create jobs, empower workers, and even rebuild the value chains that sustain a community economically. To find out more about their story, we talked with Molly Hemstreet, the organizer, developer, and now worker-owner who got the ball rolling.
This month's new developments include:
- We showcase our new animated video on the Cleveland Model and our entries to Naomi Klein’s new website Beautiful Solutions.
- The Democracy Collaborative has joined the Mayor’s Office in New Orleans and the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) in a major new initiative to build community wealth.
- Mayor Alvin Brown of Jacksonville, Florida announced a new Community Wealth Building Initiative in Northwest Jacksonville to help connect neighborhood businesses to local anchor institutions.
- Democracy Collaborative Senior Fellow and Co-Chair of the Next System Project Gus Speth has a new memoir entitled Angels by the River.
- Democracy Collaborative Co-Founder Gar Alperovitz, writes on community ownership in the featured article in Shelterforce Magazine’s latest issue on work in America.
- Research Director Steve Dubb has been named a BALLE Local Economy Fellow.
- Steve Dubb and Research Associate Sarah McKinley participated on a panel about our Learning/Action Lab for community wealth building at the CFED Asset’s Learning Conference.
- Burlington, Vermont Supports Local Ownership
- Revitalizing Public Housing in New Orleans Offers Lessons for other Cities
- Leaders Identify Pathways to a Sustainable and Inclusive Economy
- Rental Market Speculation Disrupts Communities
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Commission to Build a Healthier
- Toolbox for Education and Social Action
Fostering resilient communities and building wealth in today’s local economies is necessary to achieve individual, regional, and national economic security. A community wealth building strategy employs a range of forms of community ownership and asset building strategies to build wealth in low-income communities. In so doing, community wealth building bolsters the ability of communities and individuals to increase asset ownership, anchor jobs locally, expand the provision of public services, and ensure local economic stability.
- The Cleveland Model brings community economic development and the purchasing power of anchor institutions like hospitals and universities together into a single coordinated strategy to build democratized wealth and cooperative business ownership in low-income neighborhoods.
What is Community Wealth?
How do you build community wealth? Here's some of the basic principles of a successful approach:
Community Wealth Cities
Incorporated as a city in 1819, Cincinnati grew steadily through the mid-1900s due to its prime location on the Ohio River. In fact, the Queen City—so dubbed by Longfellow, who referred to it as “the Queen of the West”—weathered the Great Depression better than most cities of comparable size because of the resurgence in river trade, which was less expensive than rail. By 1950, Cincinnati had grown to its peak of nearly 504,000 residents, making it the 18th largest city in the country. Read more about C-W City: Cincinnati, Ohio...
Community Wealth Interviews
- This webinar, organized by the Association for Community Health Improvement and the American Hospital Association, outlined opportunities for hospitals to promote health through economic development and community investment. The discussion used the findings of The Anchor Dashboard as a starting point to show how hospitals can broaden their impact on their surrounding communities.
Featured from the toolbox
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.