The Cleveland Model

Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think

Duncan Robinson
The Economist

Duncan Robinson writes in the Economists "Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think." Duncan highlights the leadership of TDC Fellow Mathew Brown in Preston, England:

Preston, in north-west England, is a laboratory for other aspects of Corbynomics. Under an agreement with the local council, large public institutions such as the university bias their procurement towards providers in the local area. For Matthew Brown, the councillor who started the scheme, it is about taking back control of public resources. “It democratises the capital,” he says. If elected to Downing Street, Labour would get the government to use its colossal procurement budget for policy goals, demanding that suppliers pay the living wage (a voluntary amount slightly higher than the statutory minimum wage) or cap bosses’ pay at 20 times that of the median worker, for instance."

Read more in the Economists

Anchoring Hospitals In The Community

Laurie Larson
Trustee Magazine

Laurie Larson writes the article Trusteee Magazine "Anchoring hospitals in the community." In this article, Larson covers the Healthcare Anchor Network, a project of the Democracy Collaborative: 

Theirs is just one example of the work emerging from the Healthcare Anchor Network, a blooming consortium of nearly three dozen health systems launched in May 2017. The network's overarching goal is to “reach a critical mass of U.S. health systems [that are] strategically improving community health and well-being by leveraging all of their institutional assets, including intentionally integrating local economic inclusion strategies in hiring, purchasing and investing.”

HAN is the brainchild of the Democracy Collaborative, an economic development agency in Cleveland, which was launched as a “democratic renewal” research center at the University of Maryland in 2000. The collaborative has since moved well beyond its research roots, offering field activities to expand community wealth-building, hosting nationwide roundtables to discuss transformative economic development solutions, and advising local governments, foundations and anchor institutions such as health systems on new strategies for addressing the root causes of socio-economic inequity in their communities.

The ‘Preston Model’ And The Modern Politics of Municipal Socialism

Thomas M. Hanna, Joe Guinan and Joe Bilsborough
Open Democracy

Thomas M. Hanna, Joe Guinana, and Joe Bilsborough write in Open Democracy  "The ‘Preston Model’ and the modern politics of municipal socialism."In this piece, the writers highlight the flagship community wealth building project in Cleveland, Ohio, and Preston, England and what it means for municipal socialism: 

There are now two flagship models of community wealth building—and a growing number of additional efforts in cities across the United States and United Kingdom.  The first model is the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio—created, in part, by our own organisation, The Democracy Collaborative. Cleveland had lost almost half of its population and most of its large publicly-traded companies due to deindustrialisation, disinvestment, and capital flight. But it still had very large non-profit and quasi-public institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, and University Hospitals—known as anchor institutions because they are rooted in place and aren’t likely to up and leave. Together, Cleveland’s anchors were spending around $3 billion per year, very little of which was previously staying in the local community. The Democracy Collaborative worked with them to localise a portion of their procurement in support of a network of purposely-created green worker co-ops, the Evergreen Co-operatives, tied together in a community corporation so that they too are rooted in place. Today these companies are profitable and are beginning to eat the lunch of the multinational corporations that had previously provided contract services to the big anchors. Last month came the announcement of an expansion of the Evergreen Cooperative Laundry to a new site serving the needs of the Cleveland Clinic, with a hundred new employees on fast track to worker ownership.

A Second City

Nissa Rhee
Chicago Magazine

Writing in Chicago Magazine, Nissa Rhee writes a long-form article on the effects of poverty in Chicago; "A second city."  Rhee quotes David Zuckerman about the anchor strategy in Chicago's West Side Total Health Collaborative

“Our job as doctors is to heal and prevent suffering,” says Ansell. “In this situation, the healing needs to be aimed at neighborhoods.”

While most anchor institution strategies around the country have focused on one issue, employment or housing for example, the West Side Total Health Collaborative has a wide scope and an impressive goal: To improve life expectancy across region and halve the 16-year life expectancy gap between West Garfield Park and the Loop by 2030.

According to David Zuckerman, a manager for health care engagement at the Democracy Collaborative and organizer of the Healthcare Anchor Network, it is “the most ambitious collective strategy around anchor work” he’s seen to redirect money into a particular region.

Read more in Chicago Mag

Turning Health Care into Community Wealth in Cleveland

Sarah Trent
Next City

In Next City, Sarah Trent writes "Turning Health Care into Community Wealth in Cleveland." Trent highlights community wealth building work by Democracy Collaboratives in Cleveland, Ohio: 

“[The expansion] proves that local businesses can deliver at the quality and cost that institutions require,” says David Zuckerman, director of health care engagement at the Democracy Collaborative, a nonprofit research, advisory and advocacy organization with offices in Cleveland and Washington, D.C.

Ten years ago, the Cleveland Clinic joined the Cleveland Foundation, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, the Democracy Collaborative and the city government to launch the Evergreen Cooperatives, a network of three worker-owned and worker-managed companies, starting with the laundry cooperative, later adding a construction cooperative specializing in renewable energy installation, and an urban agri-business cooperative. According to Evergreen Cooperatives, the median income in the six neighborhoods they target is $18,500.

Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think

The Economist

Written in The Economists, "Corbynomics would change Britain—but not in the way most people think." The Economists highlights the work of the Democracy Collaborative in Preston England:

Preston, in north-west England, is a laboratory for other aspects of Corbynomics. Under an agreement with the local council, large public institutions such as the university bias their procurement towards providers in the local area. For Matthew Brown, the councillor who started the scheme, it is about taking back control of public resources. “It democratises the capital,” he says. If elected to Downing Street, Labour would get the government to use its colossal procurement budget for policy goals, demanding that suppliers pay the living wage (a voluntary amount slightly higher than the statutory minimum wage) or cap bosses’ pay at 20 times that of the median worker, for instance.

Read more in The Economist

 

Labour's New Economics Conference: Part Five, Local Democratic Economic Strategies

Tom Gann
New Socialist

Tom Gann writes for New Socialist in "Labour's New Economics Conference: Part Five, Local Democratic Economic Strategies." Gann recaps the UK Labour Party's panel, "Local Democratic Economic Strategies," at the New Economic Conference. The panel included Matthew Brown, Preston City Council; Heather Wakefield, UNISON; Ted Howard, president/co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative:

Ted Howard, Democracy Collaborative

Howard began by talking of the “pilgrimage” from the USA to Preston, and how Preston had now eclipsed what had been achieved in the US. He then outlined the principles of Community Wealth Building.

  • The priority of labour over capital, particularly in a crisis, with continued stable employment more important than capital’s profits.
  • The need for local and broad-based rather than absentee ownership, as the basis for asserting what interests are valued.
  • The importance of active democratic ownership contrasted with the passive, consumer model of neoliberalism.
  • The central role for multipliers and internalising the circulation of money with investment sticking rather than capital being extracted.
  • Economic development understood not as a partnership between the state and business, in which the state is unaccountable and subordinate, but as a multistakeholder process.
  • Place matters, direct investment in neighbourhoods, particularly neighbourhoods of colour is necessary, trickle down particularly into these neighbourhoods cannot be relied upon.
  • Systemic change, the current system destroys the environment and produces inequalities so it’s necessary to move beyond amelioration to build systems that produce different outcomes.

Howard concluded, with the properly Marxist-humanist insight, “people made our systems, we can remake them” (or, “if there’s been a way to build it, there’ll be a way to destroy it, things are not all that out of control”).

Worker cooperatives offer real alternatives to Trump’s retrograde economic vision

Sara Aziza
Waging Nonviolence

Sara Aziza writes in Waging Nonviolence: Worker cooperatives offer real alternatives to Trump’s retrograde economic vision. In this article she highlights the work of the Democracy Collaborative's report Worker Cooperatives: Pathway to Scale and the Democracy Collaborative's strategy and proposals for reducing economic inequality: 

“The field of worker co-op development is just beginning to create the infrastructure and knowledge base needed to increase its scale and impact,” wrote Hilary Abell in “Worker Cooperatives: Pathways to Scale,” an extensive report for the Democracy Collaborative, a research and advocacy institute dedicated to progressive economics.

Read more in Waging Nonviolence

 

Democratic Ownership and the Pluralist Commonwealth: The Creation of an Idea Whose Time Has Come

Gar Alperovitz
Truthout

Writing for Truthout co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative Gar Alperovitz highlights the connection between Youngtown, Ohio, and the Principals of the Pluralist Commonwealth.

On September 19, 1977 -- a day remembered locally as "Black Monday" -- the corporate owners of the Campbell Works in Youngstown, Ohio, abruptly shuttered the giant steel mill's doors. Instantly, 5,000 workers lost their jobs, their livelihoods, and their futures. The mill's closing was national news, one of the first major blows in the era of deindustrialization, offshoring, and "free trade" that has since made mass layoffs commonplace.

Read more about it here 

The stage is set for an unusual political and economic experiment in Jackson, Mississippi

Information

Mississippi's poor capital Jackson will be in the next four years subject to an economic experiment led by black activists and a newly elected progressive mayor. The plan is to introduce a barter economy, start worker cooperatives and build affordable rental housing in cooperation with the City. Tea Party Republicans and the white business community are expected to resist

International coverage of Cooperation Jackson...read more 

In Cleveland, co-op model finds hope in employers rooted in the city

James E. Causey
Journal Sentinel

Program that boosts workers into homeownership could hold lessons for Milwaukee...read more

Development in Cleveland through the Multi-Anchor Model

Julia Poznik, Jonathan Ramse and Ruchira Sen
Economics for Equity and the Environment Network

This case study evaluates the success of the Greater University Circle Initiative (GUCI) in meeting its goals using the Future Economy Analytical Framework developed by the E3 Network. Through personal interviews and secondary research, we have evaluated whether the GUCI has the potential to create a new, more equitable and more sustainable way to localize work and life. A network analysis was implemented to aid us in the study of power dynamics between the organizations comprising the GUCI. All of these methods allow us to draw conclusions about the resilience and replicability of the GUCI and about the achievements and limitations of the multi-anchor model as it has been implemented in Cleveland. 

Evergreen Cooperatives take the spotlight in Cleveland, OH during GOP Convention

The employee-owned trio of social enterprises exemplifies equity and sustainability

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. Read more about Evergreen Cooperatives take the spotlight in Cleveland, OH during GOP Convention...

Ours to Share: How Worker-Ownership Can Change the American Economy

Sanjay Pinto and The Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation

This report from The Surdna Foundation delves into the world of worker ownership, detailing models and best practices, from the Cleveland Model developed by the Evergreen Cooperatives in Ohio to the role of foundations and philanthropy in developing worker-owned business strategies:

Impact to Last: Lessons from the Front Lines of Social Enterprise

Ben Thornley, Jacquelyn Anderson and Lauren Dixon

In these eight case studies, REDF (a California-based nonprofit, has led the pioneering effort to create jobs and employment opportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work) highlights the work of social enterprise leaders around the country. By surveying groups such as the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio, REDF showcases the principal drivers of achieving scale and success, and paving the way towards a more inclusive economy.

Is it Time for a New New Deal?

James M. Larkin and Zach Goldhammer
The Nation
Our economy is broken. Could a universal basic income, child allowances, and worker-owned cooperatives fix it? The Democracy Collaborative's Gar Alperovitz, alongside other economists and activists, sheds light on the issue.