Done Right, Eliminating Food Deserts Result in Community Oases

Building community wealth every step of the way
Pogue’s Run Grocer Mural, an initiative of the Indy Food Co-op. © Indy Food Co-op
Building healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities requires more than “bottom up” solutions. The importance of community ownership to ensure that projects that start at the bottom result in lasting community wealth for the people involved is often missing from the discussion. The local foods movement provides examples that illustrate the importance of this ownership principle in practice.

Research for Organizing

Alexa Kasdan, Lindsay Cattell and Rosten Woo

Democracy Collaborative Presents to Illinois Governor's Task Force

Public session April 24 on community wealth building
Next week in Chicago, Democracy Collaborative executive director Ted Howard will present testimony before the Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise. The presentation will focus on a set of actionable policy recommendations to help position Illinois as the nation’s leader in community wealth building. The meeting will take place in room 314 at Roosevelt University’s Walter E. Heller College of Business, 430 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

Bernanke Praises Jane Jacobs and Bottom-Up Solutions

Fed Chairman calls for community engagement, collaboration and place-based investment

Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed the Fed’s Community Affairs Research Conference in Washington, DC, opening his speech by acknowledging that successful strategies to rebuild communities require “multipronged approaches that address housing, education, jobs and quality-of-life issues in a coherent, mutually consistent way.”

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Access to Capital: Growing Local Businesses, Financing Entrepreneurs, Building Strong Economies

California Financial Opportunities Roundtable

This guidebook organized by the California Financial Opportunities Roundtable (CalFOR) identifies roadblocks to and develops recommendations for leveraging existing resources and expanding opportunities for sustainable economic development, job growth and wealth creation. Solutions range from micro-finance to new bonding authorities as well as innovations within traditional investment classes.

What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution

Gar Alperovitz

New book from political economist and historian Gar Alperovitz, the co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, outlines how we can democratize wealth and build a community sustaining economy from the ground up.

Community Organizing As Job Creator: An Investment That Works For All

Karen Kelsey, et al

Gamaliel’s latest study, Community Organizing As Job Creator, argues that more investment in community organizing leads to multiple economic benefits including job creation and community stabilization. Examining the achievements of the Gamaliel network over the last five years, the study finds that the network directed over $16.6 billion toward infrastructure development, education and transit that created and saved a total of nearly 640,000 jobs. The report is intended not just for community organizers, but also elected officials, businesspeople, government agencies, and any advocate for the common good.

Fed Governor Raskin Talks Anchor Institutions, Evergreen

Speech highlights anchors' important role as local job creators
Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin gave a powerful keynote last Friday, March 22nd, in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s (NCRC) annual conference, emphasizing the role that private business must play — specifically, anchor institutions — to stabilize communities, create better jobs, and stimulate local economies.

State of the Dream 2013: A Long Way From Home: Housing Asset Policy and the Racial Wealth Divide

Tim Sullivan, Maz Ali, Carlos Perez de Alejo, Brian Miller and Nicole Marin Baena

To mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, United for a Fair Economy outlines how a national history of racially discriminatory policies and practices created the racial wealth divide that exists today. Worse, present policy perpetuates these patterns. This report offers recommendations for housing, ownership, and wealth creation policies that aim to reduce this divide by designing asset building policies that reach those most in need and not just home-buyers and encouraging alternative ownership models that build community, and not just individual, wealth.  Included are several case studies that highlight action at the local, state, and regional levels to address racial inequality. 

Ecological Economics

Joshua Farley
The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises