Community Wealth Blog

Here at the Democracy Collaborative, we were incredibly excited when the Movement For Black Lives announced their policy agenda last month, underscoring the need to develop real systemic solutions to the drivers of systemic racial inequality in America (and honored to see that our work on building more inclusive local economies had found its way into a few pieces of this collaborative mosaic of transformative policies assembled by an incredible nationwide team of scholars, activists, and policy advocates). After studying and discussing the program internally, The Democracy Collaborative has decided as an organization to formally endorse the M4BL policy platform, not because we necessarily agree with every single detail of every recommendation, but because we believe it is an important contribution to a vital national conversation, and should be a key starting point in the urgently needed efforts to find policy solutions that address both the police violence inflicted with tragic regularity on too many individual Black lives, and the larger systemic violence inflicted on Black communities by an inequitable economic system. Below, our Community Development Associate Nicole Brown delves deeper into the structure and significance of the M4BL agenda and its connections to our work.

During the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives membership meeting this past July in Austin, Texas, the Federation shared with its membership the newly created Racial and Economic Justice Member Council. The Council is hoping to facilitate the Federation’s adoption of three more principles that will guide worker cooperatives. This marks an important institutional change, as organizations strive to create and sustain racial and economic justice.

This infographic, created by Shelterforce Magazine and adapted from our report Cities Building Community Wealth, uses the seven key drivers of community wealth to illustrate how inclusive development practices can create a new, democratic economy.

The presence of the 2016 Republican National Convention cast a national spotlight on Cleveland, Ohio. Looking to highlight the struggles and hopes of ordinary low-income local residents, many visiting journalists found their way to the Evergreen Cooperatives, a group of three linked employee-owned social enterprises based in the Greater University Circle area of Cleveland's East Side.

Originally published in Rooflines: The Shelterforce blog on July 7, 2016.

Since 2010, 60 percent of new cooperative worker-owners are people of color and more than two thirds of total worker-owners are women.


Our Research Associate Emily Sladek writes on the capacity of local food systems to transform the paradigm of economic inequality, especially for low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

After a drawn-out legal process, Green Taxi Cooperative received approval to operate its 800 driver-owned and -operated business in Denver, becoming the largest worker cooperative in the state of Colorado.

Our Director of Special Projects Steve Dubb describes the need to link community economic development and the new economy movement in this Shelterforce Rooflines blog.

This infographic cites exemplary practices already in place at anchor institutions - place-based hospitals and universities - that work towards more inclusive and local hiring practices as a way to build wealth in their surrounding communities.

The eyes of the country turned this spring to North Carolina, where the state legislature passed the infamous HB2 “bathroom bill” in order to overturn the efforts of the Charlotte city council to make public bathrooms inclusive and safe for transgender individuals. HB2—with its extraordinarily broad attacks on LGBT individuals’ rights to equal protection under the law—has been roundly condemned by everyone from grassroots activists to some of our country’s largest corporations, not to mention federal leaders from the DOJ and the White House.


We are hiring to fill a position in our Cleveland, Ohio office. Deadline: March 21st, 2016.

On January 27, Democracy Collaborative Manager of Healthcare Engagement David Zuckerman joined leaders in healthcare on a web forum to discuss the emerging anchor mission model in healthcare. Hosted by Dialogue4Health, the forum brought together Steve Standley, Chief Administrative Officer of University Hospitals, Tyler Norris, Vice President of Total Health Partnerships at Kaiser Permanente, Amy Slonim, Senior Program Officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Matthew Marsom, Vice President of Public Policy and Programs at the Public Health Institute.