State & Local Investments

The Evergreen Cooperatives Launch The Fund for Employee Ownership


The Evergreen Cooperatives Launch The Fund for Employee Ownership
New initiative will preserve quality jobs by acquiring businesses and making their employees into owners Read more about The Evergreen Cooperatives Launch The Fund for Employee Ownership...

Our Common Wealth: The return of public ownership in the United States

Thomas Hanna

Public ownership is more widespread and popular in the United States than is commonly understood. This book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the scope and scale of U.S. public ownership, debunking frequent misconceptions about the alleged inefficiency and underperformance of public ownership and arguing that it offers powerful, flexible solutions to current problems of inequality, instability, and unsustainability- explaining why after decades of privatization it is making a comeback, including in the agenda of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party in Britain. Hanna offers a vision of deploying new forms of democratized public ownership broadly, across multiple sectors, as a key ingredient of any next system beyond corporate capitalism. This book is a valuable, extensively researched resource that sets out the past record and future possibilities of public ownership at a time when ever more people are searching for answers.

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TDC's Public Comments to Surgeon General's Call to Action: “Community Health and Prosperity”

Ted Howard
Federal Register Comments

TDC's public comments discussed how anchor mission and anchor collaborative work helps to address the social determinants of health and builds community wealth. 

Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting

Oscar Perry
Next City

Oscar Perry, writing for Next City, highlights the work of the Democracy Collaborative in "Leveling the Playing Field in City Contracting." In this long form piece, Perry writes about why New York City has doubled their contracts with women-and-minority-owned firm. As well as, the work of Democracy Collaborative's thought leadership, direction, and work with anchor instutitons through the Healthcare Anchor Network: 

Corporations and anchor institutions like hospitals and universities are stepping up MWBE contracting commitments and programs, too. The Democracy Collaborative, a nonprofit that does research and builds leadership around equitable, inclusive and sustainable development, has been working with anchor institutions to support more diverse contracting through the lens of building stronger local economies. In January 2017, it formed the Healthcare Anchor Network, consisting of 30 healthcare systems nationwide.

“Healthcare systems are recognizing the need for intentionality to overcome the history of discrimination,” says David Zuckerman, who manages the network. Yet such programs remain in danger of going away when there’s a leadership change, he notes.

“If you can institutionalize it, and build it into your strategic plan, that’s what’s powerful,” he says. “We’re not there yet, but I think in the next year we’re going to see more health systems build this local impact work into their strategic plans.”

One way to institutionalize it: Make it someone’s job.

“There might be an official statement that ‘we’re going to prioritize the effort to increase our spend to MWBEs,’ but it’s not any one person’s job, it’s something extra,” Zuckerman says.

Read more in Next City

Tacoma Housing Authority

The Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) is a public agency that owns over 1,500 affordable housing units and serves 11,000 people on an annual basis.  Focused on providing quality housing and supportive services to people living in the Tacoma area, THA develops housing and real estate, owns and manages affordable housing units, provides rent assistance to those in need, and supportive services to ensure its tenants can succeed.  Recognizing that successful schools are necessary to ensure children’s success and the creation of strong, healthy neighborhoods, THA launched its Education Project, which is now in an experimental phase.  One Project initiative is a children’s savings account program, which provides students living in New Salishan with a $50 post-secondary education savings account, matched savings to incentivize family deposits, and financial literacy programs.

Harvest Pierce County

Harvest Pierce County aims to engage Pierce County residents in a just and healthy food system.  Through its Community Garden program, Harvest Pierce County helps develop new gardens, orchards, and food projects; boosts the capacity of garden volunteers and community gardens through training, networking opportunities, one-on-one support, and other resources; and plans events to engage the broader community in its work.  About half of Pierce County’s 70+ community gardens are located in Tacoma, 11 of which are on city-owned lots.  To help the gardens thrive, the City donates TAGRO, its organic gardening product made from recycled wastewater byproducts.

Neighborhood Opportunity Fund

Established in 2016 to ensure that the growth of downtown Chicago catalyzes equitable development across the city, Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund uses revenue from downtown developments to finance commercial and cultural projects in neighborhoods lacking private investment.  The fund aims to support projects that will have a catalytic impact on the neighborhood and lead to the development of new commercial spaces or cultural establishments.  Included in the criteria used to select grantees is a project’s impact on community wealth, which includes an assessment of how communities benefit from the project and the extent to which local entrepreneurs, property owners, and residents are included.  The Fund’s first round of grants is expected to disburse about $4 million.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI)

Launched in 2016, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) focuses on helping Atlanta women business owners succeed.  To do so, it provides free incubator space to grow their businesses and workshops and mentorship to emerging and future women entrepreneurs.  Its incubator program currently includes 15 women, all of whom have been operating small Atlanta businesses for at least 2 years.

Invest Atlanta

As the City’s official economic development authority, Invest Atlanta works to strengthen Atlanta’s economy and global competitiveness to create increased opportunity and prosperity for city residents.  It administers a range of loan programs to support small business.  For instance, its Opportunity Loan Program provides gap financing to Atlanta small and medium-sized businesses that create at least five new jobs.  Established to catalyze job creation, economic development, and neighborhood revitalization in underserved areas of Atlanta, its New Markets Catalyst Fund is a revolving loan program that provides loans to businesses in designated low-income census tracks.  In 2015, Invest Atlanta made loans to 21 small businesses, investments credited with leveraging $2.5 million in development activity.

New Haven Small Contractor Development Program

New Haven’s Small Contractor Development Program aims to help grow the city’s small minority and women-owned businesses by providing them with technical assistance, mentoring, networking, and targeted opportunities.  All city construction contracts of $150,000 or less are reserved for contractors registered in the program, and larger contracts have a 25 percent small subcontractor requirement.  The program also includes a loan program to help small contractors finance preliminary material and payroll costs up to $100,000.

Livable City Initiative (LCI)

New Haven’s Livable City Initiative (LCI) is the City’s neighborhood-focused effort to enhance the experience of those who live and work in New Haven.  To do so, LCI focuses on enforcing housing code and public space requirements and on implementing programs and public improvements to support high quality, affordable, energy efficient housing and safer, healthier, more attractive communities.  To help attract and retain residents, its Re New Haven initiative packages up to $80,000 in incentives for new homeowners, including $10,000 for down payment assistance, up to $30,000 for energy saving renovations, and full-tuition at in-state schools for public school graduates.

Baltimore City Anchor Plan

Developed over a two-year planning process by the Office of the Mayor, numerous city agencies, and eight Baltimore-based universities and hospitals, the Baltimore City Anchor Plan is concrete action plan that defines the mutual commitments of the City and participating anchors in four priority areas:  public safety, local hiring, local purchasing, and quality of life.  The plan is organized around geographic sectors to encourage collaboration, partnerships, and targeted investments that could produce greater impacts and also to help the City provide information to anchors about ongoing City investments and activities in a more coordinated and comprehensive manner.  In 2015, the city awarded grant funding to four projects involving its anchor partners, including an effort spearheaded by Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) to conduct merchant organizing, business development and recruitment, and marketing in an area suffering from disinvestment.

Miami-Dade County Prosperity Initiatives Feasibility Study

Edward Murray and Kevin T. Greiner
Florida International University Metropolitan Center

This feasibility study conducted by the Florida International University Metropolitan Center outlines opportunities to promote broad-based prosperity and economic growth in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Recognizing the importance of addressing wealth inequality, the study highlights best practices that promote economic mobility and greater equity. The authors include a “Preliminary Action Agenda” which suggests directing up to $10 million to create a social enterprise accelerator, a community benefit agreement ordinance, a children’s saving account program, and an employee-owned business development program: