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Local policies for building community wealth

John Duda
We need to move beyond ‘projects’ and towards policies that help build and sustain community wealth, says John Duda of the Democracy Collaborative

At the Democracy Collaborative, we’re interested in finding ways to build community wealth at scale — that is, in finding ways to anchor capital, democratise ownership, and stabilise local economies to really make a difference in the lives of low-income communities that find themselves marginalised by the current paradigm of economic development.

Making this happen means thinking past ‘projects’. While it’s absolutely essential that projects like individual worker co-operatives exist, the promise they offer of a viable alternative can only be kept by creating the conditions that can help community-sustaining economic institutions multiply and thrive.

It’s with this in the mind that we wrote our latest report,Policies for Community Wealth Building: Leveraging State and Local ResourcesDrawing on our work with municipal governments and local stakeholders on the ground in places like Cleveland, Ohio, and Jacksonville, Florida, as well as our larger work outlining more comprehensive state and federal level policy solutions, the report underscores the need for creative solutions to economic problems.