New State & Local Policies

Dallas Business Resource and Information Network (BRAIN)

A partnership between Dallas’ Office of Economic Development and the Dallas Public Library, Dallas BRAIN aims to position Dallas as a leading small business and entrepreneurship city by providing better access to startup and expansion resources, more transparent city services, and easier regulatory compliance.  To do so, entrepreneurs can access training sessions, workshops, counseling, networking, and free meeting space at library branches across the city (and many resources can also be accessed remotely as well). Read more about Dallas Business Resource and Information Network (BRAIN)...

Community Wealth Building Form: What they are and how to use them at the local level

Steve Dubb
Academy of Management Perspectives

In this article for the Academy of Management PerspectivesSteve Dubb, Director of Special Projects at the Democracy Collaborative, writes a comprehensive review on community wealth building strategies, progress, and implementation in local communities:

Highlights from our Cities Building Community Wealth convening

There's a movement building in cities across the country to reinvent economic development with a new focus on community wealth. Earlier this year, with the help of the Community and Economic Development Clinic at the CUNY School of Law and the Surdna Foundation, we hosted a daylong conversation with leaders from city governments and community-based organizations to explore this emerging movement—here's a short video highlighting the key insights and inspiring takeaways from the gathering. Read more about Highlights from our Cities Building Community Wealth convening...

"Building Community Wealth" Forum featuring Sarah McKinley

In partnership with Northland College's Center for Rural Communities and WITC, a League Forum features Sarah McKinley, Manager of Community Development Programs at the Democracy Collaborative. She presents on her research and travels around the US visiting cities who noted for their innovative strategies resulting in growing more prosperous local communities.
Read more about "Building Community Wealth" Forum featuring Sarah McKinley...

Community wealth building: America’s emerging asset based approach to city economic development

Marjorie Kelly, Sarah McKinley and Violeta Duncan
Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy

Across the United States a growing number of communities are experimenting with innovative ways to create a more equal, democratic, and community-based economy from the ground up. Our Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly, Manager of Community Development Programs Sarah McKinley, and Research Associate Violeta Duncan co-write a piece for the Renewal Journal on how we can use a "politics of place" and "politics for places" to uplift communities across the country and world:

The Color of Entrepreneurship: Why the Racial Gap Among Firms Costs the U.S. Billions

Algernon Austin

“America is currently forgoing an estimated 1.1 million businesses owned by people of color because of past and present discrimination,” writes Algernon Austin, author of this new report from the Center for Global Policy Solutions. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, Austin finds that the country would produce an estimated 9 million more jobs and have $300 billion more in national income if entrepreneurship amongst people of color were proportional to their distribution in the labor force. To address this, Austin recommends creating tax credits to incentivize investments in minority-owned businesses, expanding the number of Minority Business Development Agencies, and utilizing alternative credit data for those with limited credit histories. 

Dane County TimeBank (DCTB)

Established in 2005, the Dane County TimeBank (DCTB) is a network of over 2,500 individuals and organizations who exchange services and skills in order to build community, capacity, and a better world.  In 2014, members exchanged 15,545 hours of services. Read more about Dane County TimeBank (DCTB)...

Affordable Space: How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, and What Cities Are Doing About It

Olivia LaVecchia and Stacy Mitchell
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

This new brief from National Housing Conference explores how affordable housing and community development organizations can partner with healthcare anchors to achieve both health and community development goals. The authors describe collaborations around the country which have helped create ageing-in-place programs for low-income seniors, public housing renovations, and employer assisted housing programs. Examining community health needs assessments (CHNA) is identified as the first step for organizations looking to pursue partnerships with nonprofit hospitals:

State legislatures attacking community wealth building

Municipal policies for inclusive local hiring shouldn’t be illegal

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. Read more about State legislatures attacking community wealth building...

Slicing the Budget Pie for Big Business: How Three States Allocate Economic Development Dollars, Large Companies versus Small

Kasia Tarczynska, Thomas Cafcas and Greg LeRoy

The third in Good Jobs First’s recent series exploring whether state economic development programs are fair to small, local businesses continues to find bias in favor of large companies. The report analyzes state economic development spending in Florida, Missouri, and New Mexico and finds that on average 68 percent of spending goes towards large companies, more than triple the amount received by small businesses—despite the fact that small businesses are the primary driver of job growth. The report recommends that states develop more transparent subsidy award reporting and track how economic development dollars benefit small businesses specifically. The authors also recommend that states develop safeguards to ensure that incentives going to large companies result in public benefits commensurate with the subsidy.

Community Schools: Transforming Struggling Schools into Thriving Schools

Evie Frankl

With passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaces No Child Left Behind, communities have the opportunity to direct the change they wish to see in their education systems. This new report from the Coalition for Community Schools, the Center for Popular Democracy, and the Southern Education Foundation profiles of 10 community schools across the country and outlines how this model can increase school attendance, decrease suspensions and expulsions, improve academic outcomes, and promote community health and well-being. The paper also outlines key strategies and mechanisms for implementation and includes resources to help codify community schools in policy.

Panel: Can Inclusive Economic Development Build Better Jobs and a Stronger Regional Economy?

January 27th, 2016
The Aspen Institute, One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036

On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, Washington, D.C. from 12:00-1:30pm, our Executive Vice President and a Senior Fellow, Marjorie Kelly, will speak on a panel alongside Richmond, Virginia Mayor Dwight C. Jones, and Sociologist and Fellow at The Worker Institute at Cornell, Sanjay Pinto. The discussion, part of The Aspen Institute's Working in America series, will be moderated by MSNBC's Dorian T. Warren, a Roosevelt Institute Fellow. Read more about Panel: Can Inclusive Economic Development Build Better Jobs and a Stronger Regional Economy?...

A City with Opportunities for All: Toronto, Canada

A municipal strategy to reduce urban poverty addresses the roots of inequality

Like many major metropolitan areas in the United States, Toronto is experiencing fast-paced growth. Canada's finance and business capital has more cranes in the sky than New York City—with nearly 50 percent more high-rises undergoing construction than in the big apple. Read more about A City with Opportunities for All: Toronto, Canada...