When the city government of Richmond, Virginia, established the country’s first Office of Community Wealth Building in 2014 , we were pretty excited here at The Democracy Collaborative, and not only because University of Richmond professor Thad Williamson, our former colleague and co-author, with our co-founder Gar Alperovitz, of Making a Place for Community, had been tapped to set up the office. It was also an important milestone for our work as advocates for “community wealth building.” Using this name for an office within a city government represented a new level of engagement with the idea that a new approach—focused on cross-sector collaboration and the use of local assets to catalyze opportunities for broad-based ownership, with an intentional orientation towards inclusive development rather than the failed promises of trickle-down strategies—was necessary if cities were going to really tackle persistent place-based poverty.Read more about “Community Wealth Building” on the rise in city governments...
A guide for policymakers and grassroots organizations, this new report from Dēmos outlines 25 federal policies that advance racial and economic equity. The report includes short summaries of each policy, polling information around the popularity of particular policies, and key talking points for advocates. Policies highlighted include a public job guarantee, paid family leave, renewable energy investment, and developing a more equitable tax code.
Published by the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, this new report discusses the relationship between health outcomes and wealth disparities in Detroit, Michigan. The authors detail how a lack of access to safe housing and water poses the greatest health threats to residents, and call for solutions outside the realm of clinical care. While noting the necessity of Medicaid expansion, the report calls for investments in the social determinants of health—including affordable housing and expanded social services.
This report published by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), a UK-based think tank focused on progressive economics, discusses the potential to leverage public spending to build community health. The authors detail how local anchor institutions in Manchester and Preston have already re-directed a significant portion of their procurement to local businesses. The report includes recommendations for scaling this approach across the UK, calling for revised legislation that integrates the economic, social, and environmental value of procurement into public purchasing guidelines.
Aiming to ensure Nashville residents can access jobs in the region’s growing construction industry, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry catalyzed the Nashville Construction Readiness Partnership (NCRP) to develop and implement strategies that match area employers with skilled county workers and provide training opportunities for residents with no prior construction experience. The creation of NCRP follows the passage of a 2015 charter amendment requiring that 40 percent of all construction hours on Metro-funded projects be completed by county residents.