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How Economic Development Can Build 'Community Wealth'

Anne Field

Journalist Anne Field unpacts the Democracy Collaborative publication Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth, highlighting the eleven case studies from the original report.

Too often, economic development efforts pit communities against each other or fail to help large swaths of low-income people. How do you go about engaging in economic development that helps low-income areas, involves local people in the process, creates jobs paying a decent wage, avoids the dislocation of many residents and shops, and helps to form a more vibrant community?

To answer that question, researchers at Takoma Park, Md-based Democracy Collaborative looked at 11 community economic development initiatives aimed at what they call “community-wealth building”, ranging from worker cooperatives to family foundations. In a recently published report, Educate and Empower: Tools for Building Community Wealth, authors Keane Bhatt and Steve Dubb pinpoint 21 successful tactics used by these groups...

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