Community Wealth Blog

In this article written for the Rooflines blog, our Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb points out key examples of equitable and sustainable alternatives to the traditional forms of economic development found in a new report released by Good Jobs First. Dubb highlights the case studies presented in our report, Cities Building Community Wealth as essential new approaches to combat the detrimental effects of traditional development practices. 

Ohio’s marijuana legalization effort suffered a crushing defeat on November 3rd. In the aftermath, there is much conversation about why Ohioans opposed the measure so strongly. Some have pointed to the bad timing of an off-year election, others to lingering puritanical opposition to drug use. But the strongest and most consistent message is the strong populist resistance to legally establishing a business structure that leaves out every day people.

Leaving aside heated rhetoric about the evils of “Big Pot,” the fact is that, had Issue 3 passed, it would have established a system of elite and most likely absentee ownership, as opposed to community-based family businesses. Voters recognized the need for local, broad-based ownership as the foundation of a thriving, resilient economy.

How are student activists uniting to change the food system from the inside? The Real Food Challenge is a national campaign to restructure university cafeteria buying structures for a more equitable, sustainable future of food.

The Democracy Collaborative extends a heartfelt congratulations to Gary Cohen, an activist and social entrepreneur innovating environmental responsibility in health care, for winning the MacArthur ‘genius’ award. This week he became one of 24 fellows to receive a grant in recognition of his groundbreaking, coalition-building work in the healthcare industry. (Photo: MacArthur Foundation)

An infographic depicting how the members of the Dos Pinos Housing Cooperatives are building wealth in Davis, California.

This blog post highlights groundbreaking municipal involvement in worker cooperative development.

Critiquing the old economy is easy. The ends (more economic growth!) don't justify the means (privatize everything, and Devil take the hindmost!). And the means don't even get us the advertised ends; instead we just get widening inequality, perverted democracy, and degradation of life-giving systems.


Steve Dubb writes for the Stanford Social Innovation Review on the importance of having access to tools that educate and empower low-income communities to shape their economic future.

Reflecting growing enthusiasm for worker co-ops, the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy—held last month in Worcester, Massachusetts—attracted a record 300-plus participants. One item on the agenda: the possibility of creating new worker cooperatives through conversions in which employees buy a business from an exiting owner.

Community land trusts (CLTs) are nonprofit, community-based organizations that help create permanently affordable housing, build equity, and reduce the displacement that can accompany rapidly rising or falling property values.

These are some of the key facts and figures on how community development corporations build community wealth. 


The phrase “new economy” can mean a variety of things to different people. To some, the phrase still refers to the adoption of new technology or the growth of the tech sector. Among progressives, however, it has generally come to mean, as John Cavanagh and Robin Broad put it a while back in The Nation, the movement to achieve “holistic, systemic change” in our economic structures.