Highlighted Publications

May 2015

2015

*NEW* Sara Mojtehedzadeh, "Anchored in hope: How Toronto is learning from Cleveland’s return to prosperity," The Toronto Star, April 18, 2015.

After decades of economic and social despair that once saw it named the poorest big city in America, Cleveland has become a model of revitalization, thanks to a unique “anchor strategy” that harnesses the immense wealth and power of the city’s public institutions. Now, Toronto is taking a hard look at how the Comeback City’s done it.

2015

Beyond Business as Usual: Putting Cooperation to Work in Austin, TX, Austin, TX: Cooperation Texas, April 8, 2015, 1-62.

This report from Cooperation Texas examines the nature and benefits of the cooperative model and identifies barriers and opportunities for worker co-op development. There is a growing economic divide in Austin and worker cooperatives can play a role in addressing these conditions as part of a more equitable approach to community economic development.

*NEW* Successful Cooperative Ownership Transitions: Case Studies on the Conversion of Privately Held Businesses to Worker Cooperatives, Madison, WI: Democracy at Work Institute and the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, March 2015, 1-65.

With 70 percent of privately held businesses expected to change hands over the next two decades and 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day (many of whom lack succession plans), the nation has the opportunity to preserve these businesses by converting them to worker cooperatives. This new report from the Democracy at Work Institute and the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives provides case studies of successful cooperative ownership transitions for cafés in Washington and Oregon; an architecture, building, and energy business in Massachusetts; a natural conservation consultancy firm in Wisconsin; and a landscaping business in Massachusetts. The authors examine how owner involvement, financing, governance structure, and other critical factors affect the conversion process and highlight the need for greater technical assistance and peer support from the cooperative community. 

*NEW* Saqib Bhatti and Carrie Sloan, Our Kind of Town: A Financial Plan that Puts Chicago’s Communities First, The ReFund America Project, Roosevelt Institute, March 24, 2015, 1-19.

Despite the fact that municipalities have a default rate of 0.02 percent on their loans between 1970 and 2012, credit rating agencies frequently threaten cities with credit downgrades, a “political ploy” that often serves to transfer public assets into Wall Street hands. In this report from the ReFund America Project, an initiative of the Roosevelt Institute, Executive Director Saqib Bhatti and Senior Research Analyst Carrie Sloan charge the City of Chicago to resist corporate interests and put residents first. They offer a series of suggestions to stabilize the local economy and provide resources for essential public services, which include ending corporate tax subsidies and tax breaks, partnering with other cities to fight against financing fees levied by big banks, and creating public banks to foster reinvestment.

*NEW* Jessica Bonanno, Steve Dubb, and Ted Howard, Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis, Takoma Park, MD: The Democracy Collaborative, March 31, 2015, 1-17.

Our newest report, Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis, prepared in partnership with New Orleans based DMM & Associates on behalf of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), outlines procurement practices and supply chain needs of New Orleans healthcare institutions and the capacity local business to fulfill those needs. The report provides recommendations on how to leverage New Orleans’ hospitals’ $1.5 billion in procurement spending to promote greater local procurement and economic inclusion in a city where only 48 percent of African American adult males are in the formal labor force. This report is based on interviews with nearly  50 representatives from area hospitals, additional anchor buyers, technical assistance organizations, small businesses, and other public stakeholders.

*NEW* Jess Lynch et al., Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement, Chicago, IL: Illinois Public Health Institute and the Crossroads Resource Center, 2015, 1-154.

Minneapolis-based Crossroads Resource Center and the Illinois Public Health Institute contribute to the growing body of research on the health and economic impacts of local food procurement by institutional purchasers. The authors examine how communities in southern Arizona, Kentucky, southwest Wisconsin, San Diego County, and Burlington, Vermont foster collaboration and structure local procurement activities and identify the policies, systems, processes, and procedures that maximize health and economic benefits. The study outlines several key principles for expanding and enhancing support of local food procurement and outlines practical strategies for building networks, educating stakeholders, and marketing local food programs. 

*NEW* Sara Mojtehedzadeh, "Anchored in hope: How Toronto is learning from Cleveland’s return to prosperity," The Toronto Star, April 18, 2015.

After decades of economic and social despair that once saw it named the poorest big city in America, Cleveland has become a model of revitalization, thanks to a unique “anchor strategy” that harnesses the immense wealth and power of the city’s public institutions. Now, Toronto is taking a hard look at how the Comeback City’s done it.

Beyond Business as Usual: Putting Cooperation to Work in Austin, TX, Austin, TX: Cooperation Texas, April 8, 2015, 1-62.

This report from Cooperation Texas examines the nature and benefits of the cooperative model and identifies barriers and opportunities for worker co-op development. There is a growing economic divide in Austin and worker cooperatives can play a role in addressing these conditions as part of a more equitable approach to community economic development.

*NEW* Successful Cooperative Ownership Transitions: Case Studies on the Conversion of Privately Held Businesses to Worker Cooperatives, Madison, WI: Democracy at Work Institute and the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, March 2015, 1-65.

With 70 percent of privately held businesses expected to change hands over the next two decades and 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day (many of whom lack succession plans), the nation has the opportunity to preserve these businesses by converting them to worker cooperatives. This new report from the Democracy at Work Institute and the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives provides case studies of successful cooperative ownership transitions for cafés in Washington and Oregon; an architecture, building, and energy business in Massachusetts; a natural conservation consultancy firm in Wisconsin; and a landscaping business in Massachusetts. The authors examine how owner involvement, financing, governance structure, and other critical factors affect the conversion process and highlight the need for greater technical assistance and peer support from the cooperative community. 

*NEW* Saqib Bhatti and Carrie Sloan, Our Kind of Town: A Financial Plan that Puts Chicago’s Communities First, The ReFund America Project, Roosevelt Institute, March 24, 2015, 1-19.

Despite the fact that municipalities have a default rate of 0.02 percent on their loans between 1970 and 2012, credit rating agencies frequently threaten cities with credit downgrades, a “political ploy” that often serves to transfer public assets into Wall Street hands. In this report from the ReFund America Project, an initiative of the Roosevelt Institute, Executive Director Saqib Bhatti and Senior Research Analyst Carrie Sloan charge the City of Chicago to resist corporate interests and put residents first. They offer a series of suggestions to stabilize the local economy and provide resources for essential public services, which include ending corporate tax subsidies and tax breaks, partnering with other cities to fight against financing fees levied by big banks, and creating public banks to foster reinvestment.

*NEW* Jessica Bonanno, Steve Dubb, and Ted Howard, Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis, Takoma Park, MD: The Democracy Collaborative, March 31, 2015, 1-17.

Our newest report, Healthcare Small Business Gap Analysis, prepared in partnership with New Orleans based DMM & Associates on behalf of the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), outlines procurement practices and supply chain needs of New Orleans healthcare institutions and the capacity local business to fulfill those needs. The report provides recommendations on how to leverage New Orleans’ hospitals’ $1.5 billion in procurement spending to promote greater local procurement and economic inclusion in a city where only 48 percent of African American adult males are in the formal labor force. This report is based on interviews with nearly  50 representatives from area hospitals, additional anchor buyers, technical assistance organizations, small businesses, and other public stakeholders.

*NEW* Jess Lynch et al., Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement, Chicago, IL: Illinois Public Health Institute and the Crossroads Resource Center, 2015, 1-154.

Minneapolis-based Crossroads Resource Center and the Illinois Public Health Institute contribute to the growing body of research on the health and economic impacts of local food procurement by institutional purchasers. The authors examine how communities in southern Arizona, Kentucky, southwest Wisconsin, San Diego County, and Burlington, Vermont foster collaboration and structure local procurement activities and identify the policies, systems, processes, and procedures that maximize health and economic benefits. The study outlines several key principles for expanding and enhancing support of local food procurement and outlines practical strategies for building networks, educating stakeholders, and marketing local food programs.