Rooting Opportunity will help practitioners explore economic devlopment partnerships that promote regional prosperity, business success, and the livelihoods of low-income people, places and firms. Attendees will hear from economic development specialists across sectors, who will share tools and tips for doing wealth-building economic development, including strategies for network and value chain development, building anchor institution partnerships, and engaging residents. Read more about Rooting Opportunity...
Bianca Wythe joined the Democracy Collaborative as a junior fellow in January of 2015. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in History and Public Policy at George Washington University. Her thesis focuses on the implementation of the Food Stamp Plan during the Great Depression and the centralization of American agriculture. As an experienced community organizer, she has contributed to a number of grassroots campaign efforts, including helping launch a food coop within the Dorchester section of her hometown of Boston. Read more about Bianca Wythe...
This month’s developments include:
- We release our first annual impact report.
- In Nonprofit Quarterly, Democracy Collaborative Co-founder Gar Alperovitz discusses the growing wealth and income divide in the United States. Gar also co-authored an article with Senior Research Associate Thomas Hanna in YES! Magazine, in which they discuss net neutrality and community-owned broadband.
- We announce that we will be working with the City of Rochester, New York to develop a plan to launch worker-owned cooperatives in partnership with local anchor institutions.
- Politico Magazine highlighted the Evergreen Cooperatives and their role in the Greater University Circle Initiative in an article and video.
- Our report A New Anchor Mission for a New Century was cited by Laura Flanders in YES! Magazine; Peter Berliner, managing director of Mission Investors Exchange; and Gerry Roll, Executive Director for the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.
Politico highlights the Evergreen Cooperatives and their role in the Greater University Circle Initiative in "What Works: Cleveland," filmed by Mark Peterson, edited by Bridget Mulcahy and Michael Schwab. Read more about A Cleveland Renaissance?...
Founded in 1980, Self-Help works to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all, especially minority, women-headed, rural and low-wealth families and communities. In 2006 Self Help expanded into California, and in 2008 launched Self-Help Federal Credit Union to increase access to affordable, responsible financial services in low-income communities. Read more about How a credit union is increasing access to affordable, responsible financial services...
Based in Indianapolis, Community Health Network (Community) is a nonprofit healthcare system with 200 sites across central Indiana. Since beginning to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments in the 1990s, Community has recognized the importance of addressing social and economic factors that impact health. One initiative is Project Search/Indiana, a high school transition program for students with disabilities that provides participants with worksite-based training. Initiated in 2006 with an investment of $92,000, Community also supported an Individual Development Account program designed to help area residents build assets through matched savings. To promote nutrition, Community sponsors farmers’ markets in neighborhoods and within its hospitals, helped develop the Community Heights garden where it maintains a medicinal herb garden, and provided technical assistance to the Indy Food Co-op, which opened the city’s first community-owned grocery store, Pogues Run Grocer, in a food desert at the end of 2010.
It was in 2005 that the highly regarded Monitor Institute report declared that the field of community foundations was “On the Brink of New Promise,” and in the decade since, there have been countless working groups and initiatives to introduce innovative approaches to the field. At the same time, largely beneath the radar, a small but growing group has begun pursuing the innovative path we explore here. Mostly in small steps—but sometimes in larger ways—they are adopting elements of what could emerge as a new anchor mission to deploy all resources to build community wealth.
- 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
Located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee was incorporated in 1846. German immigrants, who came to Wisconsin in search of inexpensive farmland, fueled the city’s early growth. Over the following decades, Milwaukee attracted large groups of other immigrants, including Poles, Lithuanians, Italian, Irish, French, Russian, Bohemian, and Swedish. By 1910, Milwaukee ranked first in the nation, alongside New York City, for having the largest percentage of foreign-born residents. Read more about Milwaukee, Wisconsin...
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.